Hi everyone. Rob here.
Regular readers will note that it’s been a while between posts! I apologise for that, but the last several weeks have seen a big change in my life. A month ago I handed in my resignation as pastor of my church, Hillcrest Chapel, in Hamilton, New Zealand. I have served as pastor for 12.5 years, been on staff for a further 3 years and been part of the church for 25 years. It was a big call, but it was because I had received a new call.
Well, not that new really. For several years the desire to write, run retreats and serve God’s kingdom in new and creative ways had been bubbling away in me. The problem was that I was struggling to do all of that, while also doing what needed to be done as pastor. The church didn’t seem to be the forum for me to fulfil those other desires at this time. And that’s fine.
So, instead of having me battle on, God called me out. He reminded me that he had put those desires in my heart. He showed me that there are hearts lost in the wilderness of self-centredness and in the fog of self-preservation that need rescuing. It’s time to step outside of one church so that I can serve many churches, and the kingdom of God as a whole. The time is now, God said. As I said yes, I felt God’s excitement for what’s ahead and his pleasure in my agreeing to his will.
Soon, a book called Coming Home will be available on Kindle and as a paperback. It’s a book that David and I have written on the story of the two sons in Luke 15:11-32. They represent the wilderness and the fog; rebellion and self-preservation; true identity and false identity, but both remain objects of the father’s unconditional love. So, under the banner of Brand New Heart Ministries, I will be offering retreats and workshops based on the book, Wild at Heart BASIC retreats, spiritual direction and coaching for men, guest speaking and more. It feels scary! That’s good. It means I’ll be praying.
Change like this involves loss as well as opportunity, grief as well as hope, uncertainty to go with faith. I ask for your prayers. I still have a couple of months until I finish at church. May I finish well. We’ll keep you informed about the book and ongoing developments.
Grace and peace to you.