Sunday, June 08, 2014

Closing One Chapter, Opening a New Chapter

In 2008, Holly and I packed our bags and left Abilene, Texas with our sights set on a call from God to Denver, Colorado. I was 24-years old and the Littleton Church of Christ offered me a job to come and preach for them.
But today, that chapter of our story has come to an end. 

I have accepted a job as the preacher at the Greenville Oaks Church of Christ in Allen, Texas. 

And today, I understand better than ever before the adjective "bittersweet." 

It was very difficult to announce our resignation at Littleton this morning. After all, these are people we have come to know and love deeply. They have seen me grow from an extremely young preacher to a young preacher. The people of Littleton have become our family away from family. Our relationships are battle-tested. We have laughed and bled together for the sake of God's mission.

At the same time, we are very excited about what God is doing among his people in Allen, Texas at the Greenville Oaks Church of Christ. While our relationships are not yet fully-developed there, we anticipate building life-long friendships with a church situated to do audacious things for the sake of God's kingdom in Collin County.

Bitter...sweet

But if becoming a father of three has taught me anything over the past few years, it is that our capacity to love expands as a family grows larger. 

When Holly and I had our second child, Addison, I wondered how I could love her as much as my first-born son, Maddox. But as our family expanded, my newfound love for Addison did not necessitate loving Maddox any less. No! Our hearts expanded and our capacity to love grew again when Brooklyn entered the world a few weeks ago.

We know God called us to Colorado. These have been special years. We will always look back fondly on our time at Littleton. Just look at the changes to our family over the past six years. 
Few young preachers can claim the support of a first congregation like I can. Far too many of my friends who entered ministry after leaving Abilene Christian University have already left full-time ministry. Churches have a way of recommissioning ministers as insurance agents (no offense to the insurance agents of the world). Ministry is hard. And many churches don't make it any easier. 

These past six years have been full of challenges (as in every church). And those challenges have grown me in ways all of the successes in the world never could have. But those challenges would have destroyed me had it not been for an incredible group of elders who encouraged me on Mondays when they should have critiqued me. Our growing family would have faced challenges alone had it not been for the many "family members" who loved on our kids, blessed my wife, and took us in on holidays. And I would have ditched preaching and gone to "law school" had it not been for mentors, preachers, and staff members who helped "extremely young Collin" become "young Collin."

A chapter has closed and tears flowed today. I wish the Littleton Church of Christ nothing but the best in the days ahead because a new chapter is about to begin for you!

And for the Packers, a new era is about to begin.

There's a new chapter about to be written. And we couldn't be more excited to begin our journey with the congregation, elders, and staff at the Greenville Oaks Church of Christ in Allen. 

Greenville Oaks, get your pens out. God has a script that is larger than our imaginations can dream. 

4 comments:

kingdomseeking.com said...

Congratulations and blessings!

Christopher Perry said...

Looking forward to having your family join our congregation this summer. You and your family will be in our prayers during this transition!

-Christopher, Andra, and Mackenna Perry

Mark's Remarks said...

Welcome home, Collin! I know your new ministry will bless many.

shela hartsell said...

Looking forward to you and your family becoming a part of the GO family!
Be safe during the transition.
Shela K Hartsell Rojsatapong