What I Was Thinking
So, by now lots of people know that I am no longer a part of the pastoral staff of Crosspoints Church, where I’ve served as Children’s Pastor for the last three years. Given the state of the economy and the fact that Elizabeth and I are expecting Titus right around the beginning of December, some have asked me what exactly I was thinking and why I would make such a change now? Also, why would I leave gainful employment without having a job locked in somewhere else.
Good questions. Let me speak into them and, hopefully, you’ll hear my heart in what God is doing.
I’ve loved being at Crosspoints. What a great staff, group of volunteers, and people who I’ve been able to work with in my time there. From a strictly natural standpoint I am sad to go and, honestly, torn about leaving. My ‘logical’ side didn’t really want to, if I’m being honest. But from the time I entered ministry after graduating Bible School I’ve always know that God has some pretty specific things for me to do in ministry. However, as a young man with good training but no experience, I wasn’t ready to step into some of the areas that the Lord ultimately has for me in ministry. I needed to learn…a lot! (I still do, really). So, God took me on a journey that involved coaching high school basketball, working in retail, coming on staff at a mega church, moving my new bride away from her home and job right after marriage, and eventually landing here.
Everything God does, He does for a reason. Sometimes we don’t understand that reason. Sometimes we may not agree with or like what He’s doing. But one thing about God that I know beyond any doubt, when we trust Him He doesn’t fail us.
- He didn’t fail me when I was a volunteer pastor with no ministry income.
- He didn’t fail me when I and one other pastor encountered a teen girl who was demoniacal possessed and reacting violently.
- He didn’t fail me when Elizabeth and I moved to Jackson with just my job and income, and it took her months to be able to find a job, then only an entry-level position.
- He didn’t fail me when I went to India and literally was stuck on my way back in Germany with no visa, no phone, no money, and no plane to take me home
- He didn’t fail me when someone ran a stop sign and t-boned my car, leaving it a total loss.
I could go on…but the point is God is faithful. So when He began speaking to me at the beginning of this year about change coming in my ministry, I knew He had a plan. I didn’t know what He meant or what the plan was… and I didn’t try to force anything. You see, at the church we were in the middle of transitioning to a new Senior Pastor. My focus was on doing everything I could to provide support and leadership to our members. When the new Senior Pastor came on in early summer, he and I talked about his vision and goals and about my vision and goals.
I knew that I could stay and continue doing what I was doing, but that it would not be as effective because God was starting to demand some new things of me. On top of that, learning that I was going to become a first time father put a new passion in my heart to move to the next level in my ministry.
So, when the Senior Pastor approached me about making a change, I knew it was right-for the church and for my family and I. See, leading with a divided focus is never a good long-term idea. Our new pastor recognized the calling of God on my life outside of what I was doing, and based on where the church was there wasn’t the opportunity for me to do some of those things there. I knew that as a new leader, he needed people around him who were 100% focused on going forward in the direction and with the vision he was bringing in. I wasn’t. So, together, we decided that the best thing was for me to step down and begin to pursue some of these new things, and to allow the church and children’s ministry to fully take the shape he desired.
It wasn’t a situation where I was running away, or even where he didn’t feel I could contribute. It was one of those rare times you hear about in ministry where people actually put off their own personal immediate interests and decide to do what is in best long-term interests of the church and individuals involved. Far too often people do things out of selfishness or vanity and they call it ‘the will of God’ when really it’s not. That’s not at all what happened as we talked and developed a plan.
Instead, I got excited about what would come next and I began preparing to hand over the reigns to someone new. Sure, there is some intimidation and natural anxiety that arises as I look for new ministry opportunities knowing that I don’t currently have a full-time job. But anxiety is quickly replaced by peace, because I know that God’s timing is perfect, His provision is more than adequate, and His leading is always to the right thing. What makes it even better is that my wife feels the same way. Sure, she was a bit shocked when I told her ‘I’m stepping down’ but within minutes she expressed that she had the same peace I had.
Now, just a month after, we’ve already transitioned in a new Children’s Pastor, whom I’ve met with and fully support. I’ve sent out resumes literally all over the country, because God’s said there is something new, but He hasn’t yet identified exactly what it is. I’m able to help get everything ready for the arrival of Titus, who’s only a few weeks away from being born. I have time to work on my Masters coursework, which is always good. And, I get to follow God’s leading in the formation of this new ministry endeavor, Kroner Ministries.
This is something God put in my heart back when I was 16 years old. Now, step by step, He is leading me forward in the formation of the plan and purpose of this ministry, which won’t take me way from the local church but will allow me to do things such as training and support for ministries that aren’t as doable simply as a staff pastor.
Where will it all end up? I don’t really know the answer to that. However, I sure am excited as God is opening doors and possibilities, giving me ideas and connections, and showing Himself faithful yet again.
So stay tuned friends…because I know the best is yet to come!