Like many of you, as a couple we talk a lot about the future. Darlene and I pray, we dream, we make plans and try to discern what God wants the next season of our lives to look like. I started talking to the elders about a succession plan last September; we read and discussed the book “Next,” which describes pastoral transitions. As we approached the 10-year mark of our time here at CBC in October, Darlene and I began to sense that perhaps we had done what we came to do - whatever God wanted us to do - and that the next season of life was about to start, sooner than later.
There was no event or situation that caused us to decide it was time to make a move. I think the best way I can express it is that I think it’s time to hand the leadership of the church over to the next generation. I would say that my relationships with the elders and staff have never been better, and writing these words produces a lot of emotions in me. I really love the people at Crossroads. I think one of our strengths is the loving community that we all enjoy. I love showing up for work knowing that we as a staff are “for” each other. I love the sense of camaraderie and teamwork and yes, the general goofiness of the people I share this journey with.
Plus, the idea of leaving without knowing what lies ahead is scary! Darlene and I tentatively plan to move to Colorado, mainly because that’s where two of our three kids live. But we’ve spent most of the last 40 years here in Texas, so we have lots of friends and memories here. We are not ready to retire, and so we are praying about whatever God may have for us. We both want to use our spiritual gifts of pastoring, teaching, leading, etc. to help people discover a grace relationship with God and grow closer to him. We don’t know what that setting looks like - a church, a school, retreat center, etc. I say we “tentatively” plan to move there because we really are open to other places, if God opens a door.
As I talked with the elders, part of my decision had to do with Charlie. He has been part of our church for nine years now, and I have especially enjoyed working closely together with him for the last few years as we have increasingly shared leadership, preaching and planning. He has grown into an excellent leader who really cares about the body of Christ here at CBC. He invested in our students (and their parents) for many years and has more recently provided leadership for our young families, who, along with all their kiddos, are the future of Crossroads. The elders have spent the last several months meeting with Charlie and asking him a lot of hard questions! They fully endorse him as the next senior pastor at CBC, and so do I. Many churches do not have the privilege of a “home-grown” pastor, but it is a blessing when it happens.
I look forward to working with Charlie and the elders over the next several months, through the end of June. I would like to contribute anything I can to a healthy transition process, and to celebrating the beginning of a new season of life here at Crossroads. I think God has big plans for us all!
- Pastor Steve
PS - Please feel free to call, email or get coffee with me if you have any questions.