I turned 50 a few months ago. I didn’t think much about it, after all, it’s just a number, right?
But 50 years on the planet proved to be more than a number, it was a time to measure the impact of my life. There’s something about us humans needing markers in our lives to measure how we are doing. I figured I’m about half way through, so I took inventory of mine.
How am I doing? What am I doing? Could I really be 50? Wasn’t I just 25 and starting out in life?
In 2012, Teresa and I made a huge life decision. We moved away from everything that we knew, and headed west to Colorado…to plant a church. Yeah. I was 42 at the time, and I sensed that if I didn’t do it them, I wouldn’t do it at all.
KeyStone Church was a mere idea discussed over breakfast with my dear friend Jon Plotner. We were both sensing a “disturbance in the force” for both of or lives. Breakfast turned to lunch, and a long story short, KeyStone was birthed.
That was 7 years ago.
Lately, I’ve been sensing a twinge. Nothing huge or revelatory, just a small twinge in my spirit that something was about to change. I wasn’t even sure what that meant. Change of career? Location? Home? I have learned that this is how Holy Spirit speaks to me. She gently whispers, then we have short conversations, and then it becomes very apparent of what I am supposed to do. Her gentle twinge became a clear conversation. “It’s time to transition out of KeyStone Church.”
I tend to argue…sometimes. OK, most times. However, this time I just began to listen, all the while trying to understand the larger picture of what we had tried to do for the last 7 years. “What was this all for?” “Why did we leave our familiar lives?” “This is not what I thought it would be!” All of these thoughts and more flooded my mind. I approached each one with curiosity, yet not expecting a full explanation. What will this transition look like? Doesn’t she know that this is what we came our here to do?
Kids can be great sounding boards. When I presented the idea of transitioning out of KeyStone to my kids, they both said, “Dad, moving to Colorado was the best decision that you have ever made, regardless of what happens at KeyStone, we don’t regret a thing!”
Phew! That made me feel like HS and I still have a solid relationship. In all I do, I want to be a great husband and great dad. Sometimes I still completely blow it, but all a guy can hope for is that he did what he thought was best for his family.
It’s been a tough 7 years. We’ve lost family members to horrific diseases. We’ve lost friends, we’ve been sued, misrepresented, moved three times, had multiple jobs, and all the while wondering what the hell we were doing pastoring a small church where there are over 600 others in our community.
However, in the midst of this, we have built deep friendships, been a part of an amazing community, extended our church family, and along the way, I have had the pleasure and honor of pastoring a beautiful group of people.
Our time at KeyStone is coming to an end. At the time of this writing, I have announced that we are transitioning once again. Our dear friends David and Catherine Reyes are taking the reins at KeyStone as lead pastors. They have been with us since the inception of our church, and have shown their vulnerability and transparency, things that are principles at KeyStone.
We are excited for the transition. We don’t know “what’s next”. It’s not like we have another church lined up, or moving out of our beloved city. We’re just not sure. God usually doesn’t let us know ’til we take the first step. I’ve said this many times, “God please move in our lives!” He responds, “You first.”
So here we are, dealing with the what if’s, egos, what will people think, and a myriad of other thoughts and emotions that come with this type of transition. I haven’t measured the full effect of it all just yet, I’m sure that will come with time. All I can do is try to be obedient to the voice of HS.
I thank God for our 7 years at KeyStone. Mostly, it’s about the relationships that were forged. This is what really matters. I believe that this is what carries into eternity. These are the gold nuggets of life, you know, the stuff that lasts.
KeyStone Church, you have taught us way more than we have taught you. You have loved us through our mistakes, and had grace upon our shortcomings. I am a better person, a better husband and father than I was before I came. Thank you for an amazing 7 years. From breakfast in our living room watching Lord of the Rings, to a packed house on our appreciation dinners, you have been our family. We will always be a part of this family, no matter where we go, KeyStone Church has been forever imprinted on our hearts.