I want to start at the very beginning. Not the very very beginning, of course. But the beginning of this now ending season. The origins of my time in Tennessee, as I’ve slowly been shaped and molded into the man I’m sure God is desiring to create me to be. I hope it brings hope to someone, anyone, who is feeling this way or who will feel this way.
Over the past 11 months, I have stepped in as the Associate Pastor at the church here in Shelbyville, TN because of the need we had while we were growing and becoming who we are now. After several conversations and prayers, I felt (along with my Pastor) that the Lord was positioning me at least in that season to partner with my Pastor, Jason Daughdrill to take on this new Associate Pastor role. Boy has this been a wonderful ride leading at this new level and ministering in ways I didn’t think I was able to do. I always knew a part of me would still long to work with students and young adults. It was a passion that the Lord place intricately inside of me and a gifting I couldn’t just 100% forsake. Both my pastor and I were aware of this desire and so, with his blessing, I was given the opportunity (late May) to begin the process of searching for a Student Pastor position that would fit.
I am both happy and extremly sad to announce that I will be soon transitioning out of Gateway Church (as announced August 31st). Happy because I get to enter back into student ministry which I love so much and sad because I am leaving behind some dear and lifelong relationship I have fostered here over the last year and half along with a church I love. Relationships that has kept me going through tough times… friendships who have celebrated life with me, together.
I am tremendously thankful to my current Pastor, Jason Daughdrill (& Sylvia) and all that he has poured into me and preparing me for great success wherever I am leading at next. I know that without his mentorship in this season, I would not be the pastor and leader I am today. Such a tremendous preacher and co-laborer with Christ. I have personally seen him love and handle tough decision with grace and mercy… a rare quality in today’s time. I am also thankful for Corey Voss, a great friend and roommate who believed in me and encouraged me since day one. This man is a prayer warrior and gifted worship leader for the Body of Christ. Can’t wait to see all the Lord does in him and through him. Would like to also honor Johnathan and Andrea Key for being able to step in as Student Pastors here and lead with such grace. Our friendship has developed into a brother/brother-sister relationship. Excited about the Lord doing marvelous thing in their life and through Rhythm Student Ministry. Though my time with Gateway was short, I am grateful for families such as the Buckner’s, the Bynum’s, the Haughton’s, the Martin’s, the Milkuka’s, the Spence’s and the Throneberry’s. These families have taken me into their homes, loved me as one of their own and been such amazing prayer warriors for me and I am better because of their care, love, and prophetic encouragement/wisdom.
Following Jesus is hard. But it’s the most beautiful adventure. To fully know that the Creator of the universe, the God-man Jesus Christ, the One who makes dead things live… to know that He is for you is unlike anything else. He has made this whole thing – this entire journey – worth it. And He will make this next season of my life, though unknown to me and filled with uncertainty, even more worth it.
I’m eager to see what the Lord has next for me and I am just taking in all he has for me in this journey/transition. (sometime, He calls us into this journey or desert place just to Allure Us Towards Love)
I am currently sitting here thanking God (in streaming tears) for all the wonderful things that has happened these past 18 mos and I am constantly reminded of how faithful Jesus truly is. Through all of the ups and downs, the good and bad, the laughter and pain – he remains Faithful. My passion for young people has grown stronger and the desire to be a part of what God is doing with them is burning within me. Don’t know what the future holds. But I DO know that it’s ALL in God’s hands. And I’m perfectly okay with that. Truly Blessed 🙂
To my Gateway Family and Friends — This is not a Goodbye… simply See You Later!!! Shelbyville will be known by your love and marked by Jesus because you cared. The BEST is yet to come!
To all who’s reading this… I covet your prayers for me and what’s next but also for Gateway Church – Shelbyville.
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” – John 3v8
PS… enjoy this song I am currently listening from the defunct worship band, Livingston (Victory World Church) – MY ALL