In Transition

          Before the holidays I informed the elders of the Ithaca Church of Christ, where I serve as the evangelist/preacher, that I am looking for another ministry location.  This past week I informed the rest of the congregation. 

          My reasons are due to the need for financial stability.  When I agreed to come hear, I knew I was taking on a full-time work for what amounts to a part-time salary.  The hope was that I would raise the rest of my expense needs.  However, I have not been able to raise the necessary funds.  With a the birth of our 3rd child expected this March 10th and a large student loan payment that I must begin paying this next year, my wife and I decided that it was necessary for me to find a ministry opportunity where I could be financially supported full-time by the congregation I serve. 

          As a result, I have submitted several resumes to congregations.  One congregation, in South Carolina, has already invited me to come for a visit the first weekend of February. 

          I am looking forward to the future but I am also sad for the Ithaca Church of Christ.  This is a good congregation.  Imperfect…  Yes!  But so is the preacher J.  Despite there imperfections, they are a wonderful congregation.  The people love God and each other.  For a small, 40 member church, they minister to the community with more frequency and tenacity than some 100 member churches do.  They are committed to the Lord yet also open-minded to new ideas and not afraid of change.  There is a core leadership there that cares enough to try and to be the best servant leaders possible. 

          As I transition away from here, I want to be faithful to my commitment and give them my best service until my official resignation takes effect.  I pray that the transition will take place in a healthy manner for both my family and the Ithaca Church of Christ as I know times like these can be good or bad, depending on how people deal with such difficult times. 

          My preaching for the next few weeks looks something like this:  Romans 8.31-39, Good News – More than Conquerors; 1 Corinthians 9.24-27, The Christian’s Responsibility for Finishing the Race; Ezekiel 37.1-14, Re-Converting the Church A; Luke 18.18-30, Re-Converting the Church B.  I finished 2007 preaching through the Gospel of Mark and now I hope to address some individual issues.  After I finish these lessons I may address some more leadership issues (I start this week teaching the Sunday Morning Bible Class on the subject of Congregational Leadership) or I may address some core Christian values (e.g., scripture, cross, hope, etc…).

          Please keep my family in your prayers and also the Ithaca Church of Christ.

5 responses to “In Transition

  1. Rex,

    May God bless you, your family and your ministry. Persevere!

    Bryan
    bryanbuttram.wordpress.com

  2. Hey Rex,

    The Rockvale Church of Christ just outside of Murfreesboro, TN was recently looking for a pulpit minister. It is a great church with some great elders. Send me an email if you would like some contact information for them. God bless in your new search,

    Matt

  3. Rex,

    My prayers are with you and your family, and the Ithica congregation as well.

    Ben

  4. Im sorry it didnt work out Rex, I hope you can find the financial support you need. I know the Ithaca church will miss you.

  5. These sorts of transitions really stink when they happen. I haven’t had an easy one yet. When I moved back from Brazil it was hard on the whole family, and when things went sour in New Mexico we drove across country to New Jersey and a very uncertain future. I really regret now not having studied something else as well as Bible and ministry. It would make it easier to support myself through lean times or to be a better bivocational missionary.

    I’m sure your transition will go far better than I ever had. You seem well prepared and there are a lot of churches looking, I’ve heard.

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