Thursday, February 15, 2007

God's Best for Bryan

For nearly a decade God has given our church the privilege of having Bryan Nelson on our staff leading our Worship Arts Ministry. Over that timeframe, Bryan has done a tremendous job and has been a key player in seeing God bless our church with numerical and spiritual growth. I personally have been thrilled to partner with Bryan day in and day out for the little over 2.5 years that I have been here. He has become much more than a ministry partner, he has also become a good friend whom I appreciate. I actually knew Bryan’s wife, Lisa, before I ever knew Bryan existed. Lisa took one of the classes I taught at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana while she was a student there (she even got an "A").

Over the time that Bryan has been with us there have been several churches who have contacted him about openings they had on their staff. Bryan, however, has been very content and challenged with his role here at Grace and graciously passed on these offers. However, just after Christmas Bryan told me that the Topeka Bible Church in Topeka, Kansas had initiated a dialogue with him regarding an opening they had for a Worship Arts Director. This also happens to be the church where Lisa’s parents attend (Bryan’s in-laws). God very specifically opened these doors of opportunity and now Bryan and Lisa have the opportunity to have the best of both worlds…to use their gifts, talents and passions in a very strong local church and to be near their family all at the same time. How cool is that? I am very excited for them.

As a result of God’s clear direction to them, Bryan has accepted this new position and he, Lisa and their children will be moving to Kansas this April. In fact, Bryan’s last Sunday with us will be Easter Sunday, April 8th.

When Bryan first told me about this possibility I communicated to him that as much as I would hate to see him leave, the thing I want most of all for he and Lisa is God’s Best for their lives. I assured him that whatever decision he ultimately made that I would be his biggest cheerleader. I am committed to that promise. I will miss serving with Bryan very much but I can’t wait to hear reports back from Kansas as to how God is using Bryan and Lisa to meet people where they are and move them to where God wants them to be.

Beginning April 8th, I have asked Matt McElravy to step in as our interim Worship Arts Director on a full-time basis as I prayerfully consider what next steps we will take regarding this staffing change at Grace. I ask each of you to give Matt your prayers, encouragement and your support. Matt is a very wonderful and talented young man that God has brought to us “for such a time as this.” He is very much in love with the Lord and I appreciate him very much as well as his ministry each and every Sunday morning.

Please be sure to be praying fervently for Bryan and Lisa and their children as they have much to do over these next several weeks to prepare for this transition. Please also be sure to communicate to them how much you have appreciated their ministry. I’m sure that we will put together a more formal opportunity to communicate our love to them as a church family and we will communicate these details to you as soon as they are more concrete.

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