July 25, 2009 Dear Old Church
Dear Old Church –
This is a difficult letter for me to write. We met over 9 years ago when I came to this city. Much of my spiritual growth can be attributed to what I learned from you. For the first time in my Christian life I was heavily involved in ministry and serving other people and could actually see myself living life by the Bible and not just coming to church on Sundays out of some perfunctory response. I just knew that I would be with you forever. I believed that there was no place like you on the planet.
Then about 4 years ago, as you know, God started dropping little hints in my heart about another place. You know the place well. In fact, it is one of your children that you gave your blessing to start another church. Although four years ago my heart wasn’t released to go, deep in my heart, I had a feeling that the day would indeed come.
Now, Old Church, the day has come. For the past year I have been debating in my heart whether to leave or not. I tried to rationalize staying. I had heard so many times that people aren’t supposed to leave you. I tried to check my motives for leaving to make sure that I wasn’t leaving you for some reason of offense, or for gain. And found that my motives were clear and that I was in fact being moved by God. The longer I stayed, the less I was getting out of you Old Church. But I found myself doing a lot for New Church and felt at peace with that, but in my heart felt guilty.
It got to a point that the things that I was learning from New Church was absolutely changing my life and marriage for the good. And so I took a month sabbatical away from you Old Church to visit New Church to see if leaving you was the right thing to do. What I found is that, although New Church is not as cool as you, hasn’t been around as long as you, and doesn’t have the world impact you have yet, that I still found it to be home. And so after heavy prayer and discussion with my wife, who also loves you Old Church. We decided that this is the place for us.
It is like Amram and Jethro for Moses. Amran was his birth father and raised him up to a certain point, and then Jethro became his mentor later to help his with the rest of his growth. You are Amran, Old Church. You raised me up. You will always be my Amram. I can never deny you. In fact, I will still visit and check in on you. But now I am going to allow Jethro (whom you know and trust) to mentor and take me and my family the rest of the way.
I hope you understand.