Monday, November 15, 2010
A new chapter begins...
Yesterday marked a unique turn in our lives and ministry. Our family is stepping out in faith and prayerfully searching for what comes next.
Back in September, I preached in view of a call to become the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Olive Branch. The church extended a call, but circumstances surrounding the call led us to decline. We sensed our ministry coming to a close there at FBCOB and determined that it was time to move forward.
I cannot express how wonderful so much of the experience of serving in Olive Branch has been. I’ve had the privilege of leading out in mission opportunities, seeing people come to Christ and helping them grow in Christ! Equipping people to faithfully follow Jesus Christ and casting a courageous vision to impact the world has been my consuming passion!
My labor of love has also included teaching a wonderful Sunday School Class that has shared life together! For the past two years this amazing group has explored a variety of topics from verse by verse studies of books of the Bible, marriage and parenting issues to Heaven! We’ve prayed, laughed, cried, and grown together. They have been a true faith family!
It is with a deep sense of sadness that we’re saying goodbye. Yet as Stephanie and I have prayerfully considered our place in ministry and recognized that it was time for us to move forward... we do so with confidence!
My new email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
and Stephanie can be reached at email@example.com
Below is the letter I shared with the church: November 14, 2010
Dear Church Family,
“The steps of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord.” Reading this passage from Psalm 37 reminds me that my life is not my own. I belong to God. Stephanie and our children belong to God. We’ve committed our individual lives and our family to His calling and purpose. We’ve resolved to travel together down the path that He has set before us. We’ve entrusted our steps to Him.
It was God’s leading that brought us to Olive Branch in December of 2007. It was His plan for us to serve and minister through First Baptist Church. He has given us a heart for this community and a love for our faith family. His blessings have been abundant and evident, and I’m convinced that our days here have been ordained by the Lord.
That’s why today is so difficult. Through prayer and Godly counsel we are convinced that God is asking us to travel down a new path and our deepest desire is to honor Him by following His lead! The difficulty comes, not in saying yes to the Lord, but in saying goodbye to all of you. In our hearts we never thought this day would come, yet God’s Word tells us in Proverbs 16 that “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”
Today, November 14, 2010, I am officially resigning as your Associate Pastor for Education.
Please hear these words from the bottom of our hearts, we love you and will be praying for God’s richest blessings in your lives and in the life of this church. Also, be reminded of this... our friendship in Christ is not merely lifelong, but eternal! We will be united again, never to be parted, in God’s presence. Our labors here and now are temporary and we work must all work with diligence and urgency until our faith becomes sight.
God directs our steps and promises not to leave us nor forsake us. I’m confident that if God is leading us on to something new and wonderful then the same is true for FBCOB. Just as God is preparing to bless Stephanie and I with a new work, He is preparing to bless this church with a new season. May God richly bless this church to His Glory as you honor Him in thought, word, and action.
Dr. L. Scott Hanberry