On May 8 I left for a 4 day candidating weekend with Bethel Baptist in Newell.  It was quite the weekend.  Thursday night I had dinner with the junior high leaders.  Friday morning I had a 3 hour meeting with the deacons.  Friday night I hung out with the young adults group.  Saturday bright and early I had a meeting with the church board then went to lunch at Gary’s house.  Saturday night I did an event with the students where I lead worship, gave my testimony and played dodge ball and some other games with them.  I had a blast.  Sunday morning I had a question and answer time during Sunday School and then preached the sermon during the service.  After that I went out to lunch with a few families and then hit the road to come back to Ogallala.

Can you say exhausting?  The weekend was just one big whirlwind.  Overall I felt it went really good.  The board had to meet that Monday night to decide whether or not to bring me in front of the church for the “official” vote.  It was unanimous to go ahead and let the church vote on whether or not to “call” me as their next youth pastor.

The vote was May 18.

I received a call at 12:30pm on May 18 from the chairman of their search team telling me the vote was approved by 95% and they were calling me to come and be there next youth pastor.  I hung up and called my family first.  They are all pretty excited I’ll be back in Iowa.  Then Eric (our sp) called and I told him the news.   He then called our board and I started the process of telling everyone this past week.

  • I told our students on Wednesday.  There was a lot of weeping and some went away mad at me.  I understand.  It’s all part of the grieving process.    I was glad to be able to tell them first.
  • I told Celebrate Recovery Thursday night.  Nothing like dropping a bombshell.
  • I told our congregation Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

This is a really bittersweet thing for me.  I am excited about starting a new phase of my ministry in Newell and am excited about being closer to my family.  I am sad to leave Ogallala.  I have grown a lot over the past 6 years and really feel like this is really just an extended family here.  I know God is in this as it has been so clear to me.  So what’s next?

I’m finishing boxing up my stuff so I can load up and be ready to leave THIS Sunday after church.  Then Monday @ 9am I head out to Arkansas on a mission trip with the high school students at Bethel.