Well, the day finally has arrived. I'm no longer the youth pastor at my church. I've now moved into the role of worship/adult ministries pastor. It's been an incredible four years working with our students, but I know God's hand is in this change.
He's been stirring something inside of me for many months. Wasn't quite sure what He was doing most of the time, but as far back as February or March, I knew He was up to something. And just the other week at summer camp, I finally experienced the release and the peace to know that it was time to take this step.
I'm excited about the new role. I've been working with our 11AM worship team for the last month, since our worship pastor left our staff. Things have flowed much better than I had anticipated, and I really began to feel God shifting my attitude and perspective on where and how to serve this congregation.
Of course, that doesn't mean it will be easy for the students. They're handling it in different ways, with different mixes of acceptance, anger, excitement, disappointment -- all the emotions we feel in a big transition.
But I've reminded them that this transition is different from a "typical" departure of a youth pastor because I'm not going anywhere. Yes, my role is changing. Yes, we'll be hiring someone to oversee youth. Yes, that person will become their primary leader (or leader of leaders). But I'll still be around, still be visible, still be available in some capacity as a staff pastor. And I'll be there to encourage them to give the new person a shot, to pray for that person, to remain active in ministry, to keep their focus on God and not just on the circumstances.
So, here's to the next chapter!