Nothing is truly ordinary

Why leave something great?

bible_abraham_20130306

On May 19, I celebrated my last Sunday as the worship pastor at Crosspoint Community Church.  Though I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many people about my reasons for leaving – and even got to preach it a couple of months ago – I want to make sure that there is a clear understanding of why I’ve made such a tough decision.

Eleven years ago, I felt a prompting from God to set out and become a part of something that no other church was doing.  What it looked like, I had no idea.  Where I would go, I had no idea.  But one day, I was scouring job listings, and I found a new church plant starting in Decatur, Alabama.  “Tattoos and piercings optional”, it said.  Ironically, I had neither.  But in those words I knew that this church, called Crosspoint Community, had a heart for the same kind of people I wanted to reach.  And it’s hard to explain this to you, but before I ever talked to pastor Dave Anderson, before I ever set foot in Decatur, Alabama, I knew this was where I was going to be.  So, I interviewed with Dave, I met the small number of people here, then in May of 2002, my very pregnant wife and I moved to Decatur, Alabama, to become a part of Crosspoint Community Church, and we never looked back.

And in the past 11 years, we have been a part of something amazing.  We started as a church of just a dozen or so meeting in a hotel conference room.  There were Sundays when the band onstage was bigger than the crowd in the room.  And from those humble beginnings, to the days in our old building on Spring avenue, to the days we had as a portable church in a movie theater, to the current days in the House of Rock and the campus in Somerville – we have seen hundreds make decisions for Christ and be baptized.  We have seen great times.  We have seen difficult times.  We have laughed.  We have cried.  We have screamed.  We have shouted for joy.  Over the years, this place has become home, and I have come to think of all the people at Crosspoint as my family.  And for the past 11 years, I’ve never imagined doing anything else.

Until now.

A couple of years ago, God began stirring something in my heart.  And for over two years, I haven’t really known what it is.  Becky Alexander, the executive pastor, has called it a restlessness that you can feel in ministry.  Pastor Dave referenced Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek church in Chicago, who calls it a “Spirit of discontent” – not a discontentment with the church, or with some individual, but “discontentment” in a positive sense – that there’s something I’m supposed to be doing that I’m not.  And this restlessness has grown.  It has evolved into a calling.  It has evolved into God telling me to “just go.”

So here I found myself.  At a pivotal point.  I could have chosen to remain in my staff position at Crosspoint – perfectly content, satisfied at my home, amongst my family.

Or I could choose the path of Abram, whom God asked to go without even giving him a destination.  Like Abram, I could chose to go.  Even recklessly go.

It’s been a tough decision.  I’ve been happy.  I’ve been comfortable.  I’ve gotten to be a part of a movement of God.  I’ve seen so many baptisms.  I’ve seen so much life change.  I’ve heard the stories of so many people.  So why would I ever consider leaving that?

Because, sometimes, when it makes absolutely no sense… God says, “Go.”  And God has told me to go.  I have no details.  I have no safety net.  Like Abram, I have no idea my destination.  Only a calling and a vision.  I can only trust that God will reveal more to me as time goes on.

Months ago, I discussed this calling with Dave and with Becky, and realized that this was God asking me to do something outrageous.  For this reason, I decided to step down as the Creative Arts Pastor of Crosspoint Community Church.

Let me be clear.  I’m not angry.  There is no ill will in this decision.  This is about following a calling that is unique to me.  It may be different.  Maybe at times it will be so different that it might even be tempting to say that it will “clash” with what I’ve been doing for years. That does not mean it is “better.”  It is simply the uniqueness of the calling God has placed on my heart.

And this uniqueness may make it tempting for some to want to find a backstory.  It may be tempting for people to use it to fuel their own disgruntlements or agendas.  It will be tempting to turn a “spirit of discontent” into the “sin of discontent.”  It will be tempting for some to interpret my “new” calling as an attack on the old one.  Such is the nature of navigating the waters of transition – a place where Satan loves to jump in and wreak all kinds of havoc.

But you cannot in the same breath say “I’m going to obey God” yet disobey him by wishing ill will on or waging war against the place you are leaving, no matter how unique or different the new calling/vision may be.  There is no “my way is better.”  There is only the uniqueness of the calling.

I resigned from Crosspoint Church because I heard God say, “Kevin… Go.  Do this specific thing I’m asking YOU to do.”  And like Abram,  I’m crying out “Where, when, how?”  And all God is saying to me is, “Kevin… you want too many answers.  You’re trusting your plans, not mine.  So jump first.  THEN, I will tell you where I’m sending you.”

So I went.  I have jumped out of the plane.  There is no parachute.  It is not trusting that God will give me a safe place to land, but that he will teach me to fly.

As for Crosspoint Church, I can only wish the place that has been my home and family well – and that God does even greater things through its ministry than He already has.

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