Alanna and I have accepted a call to pastor an Alliance church in the Houston, TX area.
I want to explain a few things to you this morning about this process, and I’d also be happy to talk personally with you in the coming days about any other questions or concerns you have.
Firstly, and most importantly, the elders and board members are fully aware of this. There is not a lack of unity in the church leadership and everybody is on the same page about what is going on. No one asked me to resign and I am not leaving because of some conflict going on be-hind the scenes. For those who are looking for the “juicy details”, I’m happy to tell you that there aren’t any!
Transitions are always uncomfortable and difficult, but I and the elders and board members have a spiritual burden that this process be God-honoring and Christ-glorifying. Far too often, the Church does a pretty terrible job of sending people out and being sent out. Most of the time, these transitions are abrupt, people do not have time to process their emotions, and our witness to the community is damaged because we simply don’t handle these things very well. Furthermore, the momentum of the church is stalled or lost because of poorly executed transitions.
So, to help with that, we will continue to pastor here for another couple of months while the board begins the search process with our District Superintendent. This will, we pray, not only allow the search process to begin while we continue to serve, but it will also allow for us to process with you your questions or concerns rather than simply disappearing into the night. We hope that it will also demonstrate to our church family, school family, and community here that God can and should be glorified in the coming as well as the going.
I want you to hear me clearly on this: your attitude about this process and during this process are absolutely essential. Our church can continue to grow, and build momentum, and develop relationships during and after this time...OR...these new relationships and faces can fade away and what the Holy Spirit has been building in our midst over the last six years can lose traction. What I am pleading with you to do is this: love and serve one another, but especially those who are new. Embrace their gifts and their heart. Similarly, if you are one of the new faces here recently, make an intentional effort to love and serve those around you. If you, by the love and power of the Holy Spirit, do this, then Missionary Alliance will continue to grow both in number and in effect, which is exactly what God wants for you.
One last thing I need to address briefly (because it is the one question everyone is asking) is why? Why are we leaving now? When we came here in 2013, the church had just taken a gigantic leap of faith to move to this property. You were full of faith, trust, excitement and...everything was CHAOS! There were times when it felt that we were held together by faith, prayer, duct tape, and baling wire! Sometimes it felt like it was all triage and we were simply trusting God to stop the bleeding. Well, over time, God not only brought stability, but growth beyond what we ever imagined. The school has doubled in size, we have a growing preschool, and the church has seen new families join and begin serving here with us. When I look back, it is obvious to me that God in His sovereignty matched your need with my gifting and passion for such a time as this, and it truly has been incredible.
Now, we are at a point where the elders have a firm and unified grasp of the “next steps” for our church, which is exactly what I have been praying for and working toward. Our current leadership is unified on the mission of the church, its relationship to the school, and the role of the pastor in all of this. During this process, the Lord spoke clearly to my heart that I needed to get out of the way and let someone else, with a new and different gifting and passion, serve as your pastor for the next phase of Missionary Alliance.
We will be sad to leave our relationships with you behind, but excited to continue to serve the Lord and further His Kingdom in a new field. I al-so want you to know that I would, in no way, be prepared for this next phase without you. Just as God sent us here to walk with you to pre-pare you for the next season of life and ministry, God also sent you to us to prepare us for our next phase of our life and ministry.
I’ve told you many times before –and I mean it –that I love you and I’m grateful to be your pastor. Let’s close this chapter together over these next couple of months by honoring Christ in our prayers, our attitudes, and our loving service to Him and one another. And, just like you did for me in 2013, let’s trust God with faith and excitement for what lies ahead.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Justin DuBose
Just a man trying to save his thoughts and correspondence