(Originally posted on our former blog site on 12/12/2013)

Dear Students,

The last few years have been filled with great talks, memorable nights, and an innumerable amount of gut busting laughs- but there are still a few things I want to say. Things I know in my heart you need to hear especially now that God is transitioning us on and I pray that you will take these words to heart.

You are ready.  

Jesus had three years with His disciples. Three years to pour His life into them and teach them all of His ways. Three years to laugh with them, cry with them, and do life with them. But after those three years He was crucified and put in a grave. I can guarantee you that for those three days the disciples talked about how they weren’t ready for Him to go. How they didn’t understand why He had to die. I am sure they said some of the things you have been thinking, and honestly I am so thankful for that. It means that Pastor Rich and I have done what we are called to do. 

I am certainly NOT comparing us to Jesus because we fail daily but I am wanting you to see how these twelve men handled the transitioning of someone who loved and led them. I want you to see that you are ready for this even if you think you are not. You are. It is okay to have questions, to be angry, or to be sad. It is okay. But do not forget that you are ready, God would not be calling us to go if He didn’t believe in you, which leads me to the second thing…

God has not forgotten about you.  

Before Jesus was betrayed He spoke to the disciples about what was to come. He talked to them about how they would grieve but how He would send them someone to comfort them. John 16: 5-7 reads “But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.”  

The Advocate. (I love that word used to describe the Holy Spirit but that is another post for another day.) Jesus told the disciples that He had to go so another could have a voice in their lives. We believe with all of our hearts that our time with you was needed and appointed by God, but now He is calling for some new voices. Give them a chance. Whoever they may be.  

Yes, Pastor Rich and I are moving and yes, we know in our hearts that God is the one leading us to do so, but this does not mean that He has forgotten about you. He is bigger than that.

God is calling us to go, but He is also calling others to come. They will be the ones you need for this new season, just as we needed Jesus to go so the Holy Spirit could come and be with us as a constant voice of encouragement and conviction. Our move may seem only for us, but it is for you too.  And lastly…

You will do great things.

We all need many people to help guide us through this crazy thing called life. Many. People. These voices are there to encourage us because if we are honest with ourselves, life isn’t all that encouraging sometimes.  

Despite what you have gone through, or maybe what you are still going through, you were designed with greatness inside of you. The twelve disciples did AMAZING works after Jesus was crucified, came back to life and ascended to heaven. Amazing works. They did them because they allowed what they were taught to work as the foundation for their lives, and not merely something to leave behind as they moved on. Remember what we’ve taught you from the Word of God. Remember the many things God has brought you through. Do not forget them. Use them as your foundation to do great things. 

We love you.  

We believe in you.  

We are so thankful God chose us for this season to be a voice in your lives.  

And if you find yourself in a few days, a few weeks or even a few years needing us just remember that a voice can be heard from across a room, or across the world. So pick up a phone! 

It is with a heavy heart we say goodbye. But know that this goodbye is only for now, it is not for always. You are ready, God has not forgotten about you, and you will do great things.

1 Corinthians 3:7 It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow