Few things in life are certain, but one thing we can count on is change. It comes and goes in our lives, sometimes faster than we’d like. But sometimes change happens at just the right time, for just the right purpose.
One of the most poetic Scripture passages, and one of my favorites, is found in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”
Life is made up of “seasons.” There is a time for everything in life. There is a time for things to stay the same, and a time for things to change.
It’s with that in mind that I made the announcement today in our worship services at FCC Columbiana that I have accepted the position of Student Pastor at Canton First Christian Church. I have submitted my resignation to the elders at Columbiana FCC and they have accepted it, effective June 29th.
More than five years ago, it became clear that God was leading me to become a part of the team at FCC Columbiana. God has blessed that time in many ways. Now I sense that same leading and confirmation, but in a new direction. This has not been a quick decision, but rather one that I and others have prayed about for quite some time.
I am excited to be in student ministry again. I have missed so much about student ministry since I transitioned out of it a little over two years ago, and I am extremely excited about the plans that are being formed in Canton. Great things are in store and I can’t wait to be a part of it and to get the ball rolling. At the same time, their student ministry has some crucial needs, and they and I both feel that my strengths are a great fit for their needs. It seems to me like a match made, literally, in Heaven, and directed by God. They have a great team that I am thrilled and humbled to be a part of.
In spite of all of that, this decision is bittersweet. I’ve grown up in this community. I love it here. My family is here. Stacey is here. To leave so much of this is an uncomfortable feeling in certain ways, but if I am going to walk the walk then I need to be willing to boldly follow God’s leading, and there’s no denying that this is it.
For many of you in Columbiana, this may come as a shock or a surprise. Let me assure you that, to God, this is no surprise. He has been working for quite some time to put all the pieces in place for this to happen. He is leading in this and is in control. This decision has been confirmed in numerous ways.
Over the next three weeks I am committed to the ministry of FCC Columbiana, to answering your questions, and to enjoying our time together. I look forward to spending time with many of you over the next few weeks.
It has been an honor to be welcomed into your homes and into your lives. I have mourned with many of you in moments of intense grief, and I’ve celebrated with many of you in moments of incredible joy. I have made friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Many of you have become more than friends to me, you’re like family. Thank you for letting me into your world.
Most of all, this is not goodbye. I look forward to keeping in touch with you to see what God is doing through you. I don’t feel that I am leaving, but rather that I am being led in a new direction that God has established.
Please pray for me in this transition. Please pray for FCC Columbiana as new courses are set. Please pray for the student ministry and the church at FCC Canton as we begin this new season together.
The best days for all of us are ahead. I am confident that God has great things in store, and with the power of the Holy Spirit, lives will be changed through what we each do in our communities in the name of Jesus Christ.
I both excited and sad! I pray blessings on your new road! I alwaysbthought that was where u belonged. The youth loved you and given thw right environment and leadership it would have florished. I know good things will happen because God is pn ur side
Thanks Anita, it’s bittersweet in many ways but I am excited to follow God’s lead and begin this new adventure! I’ll be praying for you and everyone at FCC Columbiana as you continue to reach out in this community!
Happy to hear that God is calling and you were listening. Will continue to pray great work will be done in kingdom through and with you. Our best and love to you, Jimmy.
Thanks Terri, you and Jim are great friends and have meant a lot to me. Looking forward to many more fun nights of hanging out and playing cards in the future!
Thanks, Jimmy, for the influence you have been to my boys. That influence will be everlasting, even as they have grown into young men and are moving/about to move into adult roles. We will be praying for you and the teens you will be working with. I know that you will be a positive influence to many other young people. I’m sure you and Will (and TJ) will keep in touch.
Thanks for the encouragement, Anita. Will and TJ are great guys, and despite the fact that TJ had to learn the hard way what happens when you give me a wet willy, we’ve had a great time together. Looking forward to hearing and seeing how God uses them in huge ways in the future! Thanks for all you and John have done and continue to do.
I am praying for you Jimmy! May God bless your life and ministry!
Thanks Len! Hope you are doing well. God bless!
Thanks Jimmy for allowing God to work so well in you by your submission to him. Praying for your transition, as well as that other fine Christian man, your Dad!
Thanks Jane! I appreciate your encouragement and compassion for others. God bless!
Looking forward to your serving and leading the youth at FCC Canton — we welcome you and look forward to getting to know you. Praying for you and your family as you make the transition and move to Canton. (mom of high schooler and college student)
Terrie, thanks for the warm welcome! I have really appreciated all of you from Canton First Christian who have already made me feel so welcomed. I’m looking forward to meeting your family and getting to know you!