This morning I read this letter to my church after the sermon I preached:
Dear Lakeview Bible Church Family and Deacon Board,
Four years ago I first began coming to Lakeview when I was Freshman at Northland. After attending services at several other churches, it became clear that God was directing me to come back to Lakeview. On my first Sunday coming back, Brenda Womer came right up to me, remembered my name, and gave me a big hug. I felt immediately welcome. Over the next few months God made it clear that Lakeview was where He wanted me, and so I chose to make it the church I would go to during my time as a student at Northland.
During my 3rd year of attending church here, Pastor Dick asked me if I would take up the position of “Student Pastor.” After seeking godly counsel, and praying a lot, I decided I would take the position. The church voted, and I took up the position in February of 2014. In November of that same year, Pastor Dick decided he would resign from the pastorate at Lakeview on January 1st of 2015, and so I was the natural consideration to take up the position of pastor at Lakeview. That summer I had already prayed a lot about this potential position, and had decided I would take it if the opportunity presented itself, and the church voted me in. In December of 2014, the church voted me in as Pastor of Lakeview, and in January 2015 I officially took on the duties associated with that office.
It has been a challenging year for me in this position. Challenges that I often had no idea how I would handle. I have felt very ill-equipped to be the pastor of this small church. When I first took up the position of pastor here, it was with the understanding that Northland would be close by, so I could go and continue to be discipled and trained by the staff and faculty there. But as you all know, Northland closed, and so that support has not been available to me.
As situations have come up at Lakeview, I have so often had no idea how I would deal with them. Even with technology that has enabled me to call or email mentors, I have felt the need to have closer mentorship and training with an experienced pastoral staff.
So, it is for this reason, that I have decided to resign from being pastor of Lakeview Bible Church effective March 27, 2016. God has opened doors for me to be able to go down to Grand Haven, MI, where Rachel is from and be discipled by the pastoral staff at her church. My plan right now is to work full time in a secular job, while serving in the local church, and working on an M.Div. on the side online.
In the mean time, between now and March 27th, I will be continuing to preach most Sundays, while preparing to move. I will also be helping the church in whatever way I can to find a new pastor. I do not want to, nor do I plan to slack off in any way my responsibilities at this church in the time I have left. I will seek to love and minister to this church in whatever ways I can before I leave.
The plan right now, should the deacons & this body affirm, would be for Clayton to stay on as Interim Pastor at least until June. At that time, depending on whether the church has found a new pastor, Clayton will decide what is best for him and LBC.
I did not make this decision lightly, and it is with a heavy heart that I made the final decision. It was an extremely hard decision to make, especially because I have grown to love this church so much. I sought out counsel from many godly men, and prayed a lot, and genuinely believe that God has led me to the decision I have made.
Between now, and when I leave, I would like every Wednesday Night Bible Study to be dedicated mostly to praying fervently for the church to find a new pastor. So, if you would like to come out to that, I know it is very important for this church to be seeking the Lord in that matter.
And now, I want to close this with the words of Paul in Romans 11:33-36:
"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are
How unsearchable are
his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever.
All Glory Be to God Alone,
Pastor Jason Hunsicker