resignation (pt i)
let me begin by saying that im a pastor. i dont like saying that bc of all the negative connotations it carries for so many people but its part of why im telling this story.
in march of 2006 my family started a house church with another family and some singles we knew. there were 11 of us counting children but we began meeting and grew very close. in june the church who had agreed to sponsor us pulled their support and we were left with only the small group that gathered every week.
for the next 6 months we tried to survive and press on but by january of 2007 it became clear that it wasnt going to work so our house church merged into another larger church and my role as pastor evaporated.
at the same time i was planning a much needed family vacation to the big bend area and remembered that a friend ran the paisano baptist encampment just outside of alpine tx. i called him and arranged for us to stay there during spring break. i love the big bend area and we were looking forward to a week away from everything.
within a week i got a call from that friend informing me he had put my name in the soup at his local church for a possible staff position. shortly after this i received a series of calls from the pastor in which we talked about the church and the town and he made some inquiries about my experience. during these phone calls i assured him on no less than 3 occasions that i was not interested in moving my family to his town.
i thot it was settled.
the pastor called one afternoon and said he was going to be in dallas and asked if we could meet. we got together and talked for a couple hours about the problems in the church – i talked at length about my differences with traditional ministry models – and we parted with smiles and a handshake. i assured him that i would pray about coming to alpine but that i didnt see god moving us despite my love of the area.
over the course of the next 3 months our financial situation tanked in spite of the fact that i picked up a job. by march we were at a crossroads so i agreed to visit the church while we were out there and on sunday of our vacation we headed in to alpine to attend morning services at first baptist church.
it was quaint. and very traditional despite their attempts to update some of the music. after the service the pastor invited us to lunch with his family and we got to know them better at a local steakhouse. i was even more convinced that we were not meant to be there until as we headed out of town on our way home from vacation god spoke and said that we would come to alpine and be blessed.
i was at a loss and had no idea wot was in store…
(2 b continued)