15 years ago GT Church took a chance on a young couple who, at the time, had no youth ministry experience and no large church leadership experience. Common sense would have said to find someone else, but the hand of God was in that moment for both our lives and GT Church. 15 years later we marvel at the blessings and opportunities we’ve experienced during our tenure here at GT.
We’ve raised our kids (almost) here, made life-long friends, seen hundreds of teens meet Jesus, traveled around the world, climbed big mountains and seen the church experience significant growth. Needless to say, we are honored to have been part of the miracle of Jesus’ work here at GT Church.
It was the anointed leadership of Pastor Bryan that opened the doors of ministry for us here at GT many years ago. He has and always will be a friend and pastor who we admire and are grateful to for all that his leadership has brought into our lives. In the same way that hand of God brought us to GT we now sense that the hand of God is leading us towards a new adventure in ministry.
Earlier this spring Julie & I accomplished a major dream in youth ministry with the launching of the Lead the Generation Youth Leaders Conference. That day was unbelievably exciting and moving for us in many ways. We were inspiring other youth leaders. We were equipping students as leaders. We were ministering to those who were hurting. In midst of all that we were being ministered to as well. Even as I preached the closing message that day on the life of David (the same message I preached on Student Takeover Day this year) I felt a strong sense in my spirit that the message of Lead the Generation was for far more than just that day. I wasn’t sure what that meant at the time, but I knew there was a stirring happening in my heart.
On a Thursday night in the Dominican Republic, on our student missions trip, I found myself sitting in the back of a small Dominican church watching our students passionately pray and minister to several dozen in attendance that night. I wasn’t feeling too well that night. Too much Dominican Coca-Cola might have been the culprit. I almost stayed back at camp, but felt a sudden sense that I needed to be there. As the service was concluding, a young Dominican Pastor laid hands on my shoulders and began praying over me. As I sat quietly receiving his prayer he took his hands and placed them on my feet. In that moment I felt a strong sense of God’s presence and I realized that he was prophesying over me. I clearly heard the phrase,
“These feet are going places, these feet are moving on!”
That was it, nothing more, no explanation, no interpretation, just one phrase. I spent most of remainder of the trip pondering what that word meant to our lives with no clear understanding of what God was trying to say.
When I returned home a conversation with Pastor Bryan was the final step in God speaking clearly to us about the next step in our ministry journey. It was in that conversation that Pastor Bryan shared that in the same way that God had been speaking to me that God had been speaking to him as well, about needed change in the leadership of GT’s Student Ministry. God had once again used the anointed leadership of Pastor Bryan to provide clarity and direction for our future. I sensed a great peace in my heart during that conversation with Pastor Bryan, that although I was surprised by the topic at hand, that God was indeed in this moment.
This was a huge confirmation to us that God had been speaking and preparing us for a transition. God speaks through spiritual authorities in our lives. Pastor Bryan has been our spiritual authority for the past 15 years so it only makes sense that God would use his voice to give us clear directive moving forward. We are grateful that God not only spoke to us to come to GT 15 years ago through Pastor Bryan’s leadership, but is doing that again as we transition.
So where are we going?
Short answer: we don’t know yet.
Hebrews 11:8-10 reflects the faith filled journey of Abraham. The secret of Abraham’s blessed life is found in his willingness to just be obedient to the command to “go to a land that I will show you”.
Notice that he had to “go” before God would "show" him the land.
He was certain that God had spoken, he was certain he was willing to be obedient, he was certain that God would lead him, but he was uncertain as to where that place would be.
In the same way, we are living in a certain uncertainty. There are more things we are certain of that not.
- We are certain God has spoken.
- We are certain God is in this journey.
- We are certain God has blessing prepared for us in a new place.
- We are certain God has blessing prepared for GT as He anoints new leadership to serve in Student Ministry here at GT.
The only thing we are uncertain of at this time is where we are going and when we will get there. I guess we are in good company then, since Abraham was in the same situation.
It’s really not a bad place to be. It’s a place where faith and trust in God are increasing in our daily lives. We’re learning to live in the tension between what’s certain and what’s uncertain.
I think one of my favorite preachers, Steven Furtick, once said something like,
“Learn to enjoy the journey, cause the destination is a mirage.”
We are learning to enjoy the journey. Not just the journey to the next landing spot on this earth, but the entire faith journey of following Christ. There really are no final destinations on this side of eternity. They are all just rest stops or mirages along the way, until we celebrate eternity with our Savior.
Our eyes are fixed on Jesus. Our hands are firmly holding on to the plow of our ministry calling. There will be a new field in our future. The work we’ve done here will continue and grow stronger because it’s not really and never really was our work or what we built. It’s always been and always will be the work of God. We were just honored to throw some bricks on the foundation of what He was doing and what He will continue to do.
We love the people and the work of God happening at GT Church. We will miss it. We will cry. We will feel sadness to not see your smiling faces on a weekly basis. You are an amazing group of people!
Our last Sunday at GT will be September 25, 2016. After the morning Real Life services there will be a farewell reception in the Next Gen Center. We’d love to see you there and give you one last hug.
Eran, Julie and the Holt family (except the dogs - we didn’t tell them yet :)