It’s funny how God works. Okay, sometimes it really isn’t. I guess it’s one of those things that become funny after some time goes by… sometimes a lot of time.
I’ve had a draft of this post saved for over a month now. Over the past several years, I’ve had to let go of many volunteers for oneÂ reason or another… something that is easier said than done. I’ve also let go of some part-time staff, sometimes because of restructuring and other times because of performance. This summer I had to let go of two staff members. One was a full time team member and another was a part-time person. Both of them are phenomenal people and it was so incredibly hard to do. But that’s not what this post is going to be about today. Maybe a little later I’ll write about the lessons I learned from letting staff go. This post is quite a bit more personal as just 6 days ago I found myself at the other end the table.
I’ve been at Cross Timbers for two years now and was a part of a church that merged into Cross Timbers. We’ve been experiencing phenomenal growth over the past several years, being on Outreach Magazines’ 100 Fastest Growing Church list for the last three years. Attendance has been up; however, giving has been down. Anyone who’s been in a church for any amount of time has probably experienced the stretching times either due to growth or church issues. Cross Timbers on the other hand has been experiencing quite a bit of change over the past 6 months. One campus (the one I started at) has seen some staff turnover in significant positions as well changing to a total video campus (it was a hybrid of live and video before). In addition the church bought from cash reserves the equipment and services to broadcast all services live over satellite. Also, just a month ago the church bought a facility for our Denton Campus who’s growing like gangbusters in a totally maxed out facility. With all these big changes, giving has been trending downward and over the past several weeks has been significantly down. As a result, on Monday, November 5th, 16 staff members were let go in addition to many key staff personnel taking significant pay cuts. You can read the actual web press release here.
Fortunately for us, my wife and I were on that list (that was a really bad joke). It was a terrible day for the leadership team to have to personally let go of so many people and then pull the rest of the staff together to explain what just happened. Sara and I are so thankful to have been able to be a part of such a dynamic church, it’s just sad that this day came the way it did. Cross Timbers definitely needs prayers right now. The actions of last Monday have not fixed the financial situation and unless giving increases again, more changes will be made.
As for Sara and I, we’re doing good. Although this is a personal blow that took the wind out of me, I haven’t faltered in my calling… I know what I’m supposed to do. Just after my meeting with the leadership team I went to check my mailbox before heading out. In it was this. I don’t know about you, but what a precious and gentle reminder from the Lord that I haven’t “missed my calling.”
It’s been a busy week as I’ve been getting resumes out, making phone calls and getting our house on the market. Actually, things have already been moving quickly as I’ve gotten a very favorable response and have already had a few phone calls and initial phone interviews. Although Sara and I are in the wonderful and scary place of totally trusting God, we know that he’s got our absolute best in mind and we have not doubt that he’s got something even better for us. So, please pray for us as we sell our house and look for a new job. It’s likely that we’ll relocate which we’re totally up for (it’s in our blood).
Ironically, I’ll probably be going back and reading all my posts from just a month ago about seeking employment in Children’s Ministry. Now that’s funny!
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How is the search going? If you want, call me. 513-272-5800. I would love to see you in the Cincinnati, OH area.
You are definitely in our prayers. I know God has a great place for you. It is times like this that remind us of the call that brought us to where we are.
By the way, I don’t look anything like the cartoon above…. I don’t wear ties! 🙂
Kenny, when I heard about the layoffs I had mixed feelings. I was greatful that God had pulled me out of CT way before poo hit the fan there, so to speak. And I was also heart broken for those who had lost their positions. I don’t agree with a lot of things going on there, since I know the insides of that church… just know that you may find that this is a blessing in disguise for you and your growing family. Blessings on you, Sara, and Titus this holiday season. I’m praying for you guys. (We’re attending the Met now. It reminds me of CT back in the old days. We visited Keystone a couple times, but we didn’t really click with it. But Joshy, my 4 almost 5 year old, loved their children’s program!)