This week I want to share some updates at Crosswalk and take the next step from last week’s message, which several of you commented about.
Jesus said this:
I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. – Revelation 3:8 (NIV)
These words were originally addressed to the church at the ancient city of Philadelphia. Note that he knows all about them. He knows their weaknesses, and he also knows their strengths. That’s the way Jesus knows all his churches. He knows Crosswalk – our weaknesses and our strengths. And he says, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.
The open door image is often used in the Bible, and it stands for the opportunities we have in life. The Lord places opportunities before us.
Obviously, these opportunities involve transition. They involve, at some level movement and change of direction.
I will come back to this matter of transition, but allow me to use this forum to announce some staff changes. The newest and most significant change is that our beloved children’s pastor, Peggy Graves, has submitted her resignation. It is not immediate, so she will be around for quite a while as we work through this transition in her life and at Crosswalk. So there is no need for goodbyes yet. However, she will be on campus less hours during the summer months to aid in this transition. Here is a portion of her resignation letter:
This has been a hard decision for me, but after much prayer and listening I know God has guided me to this time. I look forward to much more time with my husband, children and grandchildren and know God will use me in their spiritual nurture and I am excited for this part of my journey.
Those of us in ministry know too well the conflicts that often come between ministry and family. Peggy is now wisely focusing on her family. God has placed an open door for her to do this, and she is choosing to walk through it.
Of course there is sadness and grieving. She says:
My term at Crosswalk has been one of the most blessed times of my life in service to Children’s Ministry and I will be forever grateful for the opportunities given me. I have come to love this faith community very deeply and leaving it is what saddens me most. I will work closely with Pastor John as he seeks my replacement. I will do everything in my power to make the transition smooth and painless.
One of the sad things about serving in a church family is that we say a lot of goodbyes. We say some wonderful “hellos” too, so it balances out. Please pray that the Lord would honor Peggy’s faith, and that her time of transition would be a blessed one. We will have ample time in the future to celebrate Peggy’s achievements and the way she has been a blessing to so many of us. We have not yet started the process of seeking a replacement.
Other transitions on staff have already been announced. Angel Hernandez has been brought on pastoral staff as our Pastor of Missions. He is eminently qualified after serving 91/2 years on the field. Pastor Linda will continue on as our Pastor of Small Groups and Discipleship. Her added component that falls under the discipleship heading will be that of overseeing our process of assimilating people into the life of our church family. This is one area of weakness that is now becoming a strength for us. Linda will also have more time in the year to focus on her Doorway to Hope ministry in the Philippines.
Back to transitions. Most of us struggle with them because our fears often prevent us from embracing the opportunities to grow in our faith through the new opportunities that God places before us.
Career specialist Andy Chan notes that young adults will face, on average, 29 jobs over the course of their lives. Oxford researchers predict that over the next two decades about half the jobs that exist today will be replaced by technology. If you are under 30, there’s a good chance you’ll have a job one day that hasn’t been invented yet!
How can we all adapt to a changing environment? We must look for open doors, and trust those opportunities that God places before us will be a blessing. In his message to the Philadelphian church, our Lord is introduced as the one who holds the key of David. Then it says, “What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open” (Revelation 3:7 NIV). Jesus is the Lord of all doors, open and shut. We can trust him!
Today, I’m praying for the Lord to bless you as you navigate the transitions of your life.