Our youth pastor (who, along with his wife, happens to be very good friends of our family) resigned from his position at our church recently. He has felt God calling him to church plant for some time now, and I guess it was God's time! They have moved to Orlando, Florida.
It was very difficult to say good-bye. How do you say good-bye after 7 years? We all know that this is God's will for them, but does that make it any easier? I am thankful for Facebook, for not only has it been a tool to enable us to keep up with family and catch up with old friends from days gone by, but it will also allow us to keep in touch with Rick and his family!
Tonight, the deacons and their wives and the church staff hosted a dinner to meet a prospective new youth pastor. Yes, I went. Yes, I'm supposed to be staying off my foot. But I felt that this was important. So I hobbled along and walked on my tippy-toes and tried to stay off of it as much as possible.
No, they are not Rick and Christie. But you can't really expect to replace people... friends, anyway.
My heart was comforted. I really like him...and his fiance. They will be married on July 10th. After listening to them share their testimonies, and answer questions, and after talking to them, I felt like they would be very good for our youth.
It was evident that they both have a heart for the Lord, and for youth ministry. I was glad when he said that it wasn't his goal to take the place of the parents in the discipleship process, but rather to be a resource to the parents. He also talked about his having had four different youth pastors in his church when he was a teenager, and that he hopes the Lord will allow him to be in one church long enough to form relationships with the youth, to mentor them, and to help disciple them over a period of many years.
I am thankful that the Lord allowed Rick to be our youth pastor for all of my son's years in youth. It does mean alot to them to be able to form the friendships with their youth pastor.
I hope the Lord will call Matthew and Joni to our church.