I thank God often for His design of reconciliation and redemption. How we can overcome deep wounds through time and healing conversations. His true character came through in his final season of life. I see him much differently now as a man in my forties with children of my own. I see him with more grace and greater understanding of the childhood he had navigated and survived.
Dear Friends & Family,
This morning I shared with our Willow Chicago community about a transition happening in my life. As you know, I completed my MBA last year, which drew out passions in me that I hadn’t before realized; ideas about economic development, job creation and helping our world in new and different ways. Over the last 12 months those ideas have continue to percolate within me and my passion for them has only grown, to the point I need to allocate more of my time to their development.
Last November I began to process these stirrings with my boss, Bill Hybels, some close friends and mentors, and obviously Christina and I have spent many hours talking and dreaming together. That journey has led me to discern that the best thing for my future, and for the future of our church, is that I transition out of my role as Lead Pastor of Willow Chicago, effective this coming September.
I know that all conventional wisdom says I should work to find a job, then make this transition public, but for a few reasons that path is not the best plan for me. Specifically I did not want this information to leak, as my job hunt will be hard to keep hidden. It could be very hurtful to our community to find out in an awkward conversation rather than from me directly. I also would have felt incongruous envisioning a future that I won’t be leading us toward long-term. I have every expectation that over the next four months the right next option for me will become clear.
I will remain on staff at Willow Chicago through September 1. If the timing works out right, I would like to take a few weeks off for personal replenishment and to do some writing before launching into whatever is next in the Fall. While this is the goal, it will be dependent on the specifics of my new role and financial feasibility.
Our family would love your prayers and good thoughts during this journey. While what is next for us is unknown, we feel a deep sense of peace and excitement about our future. Your love, encouragement and guidance have meant the world to us in the past, and will be exceedingly valuable in this discovery season.
I met a man named Mazen a few days ago. He works as the coordinator for meeting rooms at the hotel we’re staying in Doha, Qatar. My friend Bob, who is leading this fascinating effort to put Imam’s and Pastors in the same room for peacemaking through intentional relationship, has never met a stranger.
A short video highlighting who we are as a Spiritual Community.