Nov 28, 2006

a new chapter

Dear friends, family, prayer partners, blood brothers, soul sistas, and everyone in between…

The family and I are moving to Medina, Ohio where I will be humbly stepping into the role of lead pastor of Connection Church.

What a ride.

Have you been praying for us?

Thank you! I mean, really… T-H-A-N-K--Y-O-U-!

Have you remained closed to us when life stayed crazy, we were depressed, and I turned down jobs that would have made nice trinkets on my resume?

You rock… you absolutely rock!

A close friend asked me if I would have traded the past two years of hardship for two years of comfort if I somehow could wave my arms and make it so. I knew the answer immediately – absolutely not. It’s odd, but somehow we’re in a healthier place these days than we ever were in a full-time paid position somewhere. I don’t mean that to sound critical of my past, but rather thankful that I’ve been able to step outside the system and take a better look at it while allowing God to help me take a better look at myself.

So we’ve been pruned, stripped, embarrassed, ashamed, angry, resentful, frustrated, deaf, blind, and unable to breathe.

And then…

We saw fruit, became “naked and unashamed,” found joy, prayed for those who’d caused us hurt, experienced releasing, heard divine whispers in our souls, saw colors we’d never seen before, regained a new heart for people, and fell head over heels in love with the church in all its broken beauty.

Is there closure? Nope… doesn’t need to be.

Does any of this make sense? Absolutely not… and please don’t try to make it.

We’re choosing to follow God relationally – and relationships don’t always make sense on paper. He’s released things in our souls that have allowed us to see what hills are worth dying on and which ones are just things we spend a lot of energy on to prove our worth. Along the way we’ve found some real friends who have labored with us in tears, prayer, and encouragement.

Maybe you’re one of them.

I love it that we got to this place before we had anything figured out job wise. To me that’s what’s most important because then we didn’t end up looking for circumstances to be our saving grace but rather Jesus Christ himself. We fell into that trap too many times along the way, whether they were uplifting or difficult moments. If there’s anything I hope we keep once a full-time paycheck comes back into the scene, I hope it’s the complexity of that simplicity.

So we’re moving… which means looking for a house, running mortgage numbers, finding a U-Haul, and assembling a crew of people to carry boxes marked “This end up.”

Let me answer all the questions you might want to know:
  • How big is the church? It’s healthy.

  • Who is your church targeted for? Jesus Christ and all his glory.

  • Will you have a staff to assist you? Actually, the staff will sort of have me to assist them… you know, that whole servant thing Jesus spoke about?

  • What is your vision? To release God’s vision.

  • How can I pray for you? That I would be a man of prayer… and so would my family.
I hope that helps.

In the meantime, we are trying to figure out a lot of things that make the left sides of our brains throb at a dance club beat. The one way we seem to be able to balance that out is by staying close with folks like yourself, so please don’t be a stranger to the phone call, email, or spontaneous slushee appointment.

Can I just tell you again how much you are amazing to us for even caring to read this much information? I mean, really… that says a lot in itself not to mention your cheerleading and support all throughout this process. I hope you feel it’s reciprocated, so please keep us in the mix on your life, too.

And so the next chapter begins… building on (and never abolishing) the one we have all been in.

Together,

Tony, Katie, Joshua, Daniel, and C.K. the dog

13 comments:

BarBarA said...

THIS IS INCREDIBLE NEWS!!!!!! WOW!!!

It's been inspiring watching you on the journey to this point, I can't wait to see/read about the next chapter!

Anonymous said...

Tony, kudos to you and your wife for listening and waiting. I read your blog everyday to force myself to think critically about the God I love, but know so little about. To hear about your journey and know there are others who have experienced the same fears, disappointments and questions in ministry gives me hope to continue on in this task. God speed in Medina.

Brian said...

Tony,

Wow! Cogratulations! Your story is a great encouragement.

Blessings.

DJG said...

Fantastic news Tony. I checked out the church web-site and it looks like a truly awesome place.

Praise God....as I am sure you have been!!

Tony Myles said...

Thanks, everyone! It's really an exciting time for us... your prayers are awesome.

bjk said...

Congratulations!!! Oh and I am very much adopting your previous prayer and the prayer to become and be naked and unashamed.....please keep us informed of the journey!!

tony sheng said...

hey tony,
i read your blog every once in a while and it's refreshing - thanks for writing.
and big congrats on the new role and context. god's blessing on you and your family and i pray that you all have a great first few weeks transitioning.

Casey said...

Congrats! So awesome when God moves as only He can!

Rodney Olsen said...

Congratulations. I look forward to following the journey in the days and weeks to come.

Andy Thompson said...

Praying for you, Tony.

Peace,
Andy

J Raitz said...

How great! I am so excited for you and admire your willingness to be patient, wait on God and listen to his voice!

JT said...

Congrats Bro!!

Patti said...

Wow, Tony! Congrats to you and your family. Know you and your new church will continue in my prayers!

ps - was paying too much attention to people to haul too much free stuff... but my soul is happy.