I still remember where I was and what I was doing when I first heard the name Capitol City Christian Church. Sitting at my desk in my home office in Amarillo, Texas, I was holding our youngest son, Carson, who was about three weeks old. Kristen and I had slept a total of fifteen minutes since he was born. An email came through that mentioned the church and encouraged me to consider putting myself forward as the church was looking for a new lead pastor.
As I processed that, my immediate reaction was clear, simple, and decisive. I thought to myself: that will never happen. If our Lord has a sense of humor, I imagine he chuckled at that. Because, obviously, it did happen. And it happened because God clearly, simply, and decisively made it happen. He called me to serve at Capitol City six years ago. And he did it in such a way that those who were a part of the process have never been able to doubt that he was the one orchestrating that call.
As many know by now, several months ago I told the elders of Capitol City that I sensed my time of ministry and service here was nearing its end. For a variety of reasons, Kristen and I discerned that it was time to search for whatever ministry assignment the Lord had in mind for us next. Certainly this wasn’t an easy decision, as it requires us to move away from people and a church we love dearly. The saints of Capitol City have been our family for six years, and we have experienced much sorrow over the thought and reality of those relationships changing. But we have never doubted that this was, in fact, the right decision. Just as the Lord called us here six years ago, he has been working to call us away.
One month ago, that call away from Capitol City became a bit clearer, as the elders of Life Church in Salisbury, North Carolina, extended to me an invitation to candidate to become their pastor of teaching and vision. On October 6, I’ll be presented to the congregation and preach in the church’s worship gatherings. A few weeks later, the members of Life Church will vote to affirm their elders’ decision to call me as their pastor. While nothing is certain or official until the congregation votes, we are thankful for the unity and clarity the elders, staff, and search team of Life Church have experienced in extending this invitation to me. And though we will still miss our church family in Lincoln a great deal, we are excited to meet, serve, and be a part of the people of a new church family in Salisbury.
This Sunday, September 29, will be my final Sunday preaching at Capitol City. Beginning the next day, I will start a three-month sabbatical the elders here have graciously extended to me, allowing me to rest and prepare mentally, physically, and spiritually for the transition and new ministry challenges that await. We are sad that our time at Capitol City has come to an end, but thankful for the Lord’s provision even in that ending.
In a few days, I’ll post some parting thoughts for the people of Capitol City. In the meantime, if you are in or near Lincoln, I’d love to see you Sunday. (There’s actually a reception for us at 3:00 PM at the church, an event a church member nicknamed Sharpapalooza. That sounds like something you won’t want to miss, right?!)