Friday, April 11, 2008

A Day of Mixed Emotions

In a few minutes, I will walk into our worship service at SWC, preach from Acts 9, and then read this letter at the very end of worship.

Through prayer, fasting, and after talking and praying with several mentors and friends, Kayci and I have decided to take the Preaching Ministry position at Sycamore View Church in Memphis, Tennessee.

It is with pain and heartache that we have made this decision. After days of seeking God for clarity, we are coming to peace with our decision, and we are confident, but it came with turmoil because of our love for you. We took this job, not because of our dissatisfaction or frustration at Southwest Central, but because of calling and giftedness. At no point over the past 2 years have we been looking for another job, but this opportunity came to us, and we felt it is a good move for our ministry and our family.

In some ways it feels like we have been here for 10 years; in other ways—6 months. What we do know is that our 2 years here at SWC have been full of grace, opportunity, and countless Kingdom-moments in which we saw the hand of Jesus at work in the people of this church and throughout this community.

We’ve cried tears over loved ones we have lost.
We’ve rejoiced over baptisms.
You were there to greet us with cards and meals after the arrival of Little Truitt.

I hope and pray that God has used me to move this church into a healthier existence.
I hope and pray that God has used me to help this church to dream new dreams.
I hope and pray that God has used me to give you fresh ways to think and talk about Jesus.

My prayer for you is:
1) That God will protect you. I pray for him to protect your hearts this day. You are loved by God. You are needed in this place.
2) That God will heal the pain in anyone’s heart that has been caused by our decision.
3) That God will continue to breathe life in you and through you.
4) That God will give you energy to embrace the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God.

I urge you:
1) To love one another.
2) To rally around the leaders of this church. They are godly men with vision, passion, loyalty, integrity, and they have within their hearts an undying love for each of you.

I’m confident that the vision of this church will continue…the mission of this church will ignite…and the leaders here will continue to lead you on to higher ground in Christ our Lord.

Today is filled with many emotions. We are excited about our future at Sycamore View, but it is also hard to leave the people we have grown to love at SWC. Today, please pray for the Ross family, the Southwest Central Church, and the Sycamore View Church.


Kevin Smithers said...

I'm sure that the sorrow and pain of SWC can only be matched by the joy and anticipation of SVCC.
June seems rather distant for us, but I'm sure it is coming much too quickly for your family. Y'all have been in our prayers for 18 months and will continue to be as will SWC now.
I heard your buddy Josh Graves in Tulsa a couple of weeks ago and came back speaking about the work they are doing in Rochester.
We'll see you soon!!

Anonymous said...

I'm Paul Butler of Bartlett, TN. My wife and I just joined Sycamore View Church in March of this year.
The Lord is doing a marvelous work at Sycamore View. And there is a lot of excitement at SVC about the spirit filled family the Lord is bringing our way.

"To Him who sits on the Throne, and to the Lamb,
Be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever.

Kara Graves said...

I have been thinking and praying for this day that you and Kayci were facing and I pray that you both felt God leading you through it all!

Ash, Kel & Ella said...

I think a buddy of mine (Keith) married a girl (Natalie) from SVCC.

God bless you guys on the move!

Don&Betty Litton said...

You were lifted up in prayer this morning. I hope you felt God's peace.
Please let us know of any way we can help at this end. We can't wait to see you. Thanks for remembering the tigers...maybe next year.
God's blessings on you & prayers for as smooth a transition as possible.

Karen said...

You, Kayci, and the SWC family are in my prayers. While we are excited about your coming to SV, I am filled with sorrow for those you'll leave behind in Houston. SV is a very special place.

My husband and I have been there since September (moved here from Arkansas), and truly love the people at SV. We will continue to pray for you guys through your transition. I look forward to meeting you in a little while.

Anonymous said...

I know that you and Kayci have prayed over and sought wise council on this decision. I pray God will continue to use you in powerful ways to grow and build his kingdom!

RPorche said...


Congrats! Let me know how I can help you in your transition to Memphis, having just spent three years there, myself!

Let's visit via phone sometime. I've got some buddies I need to introduce you to.

jcozzens said...


I am Jeff Cozzens in Bartlett, Tn. You will be in our prayers as you move through this period of transition.

I praise God that he has sent you to us as our church continues to grow in the image of our Lord.
God Bleass,


Rom 8:28

Josh said...

Hey Josh...just heard that you were coming to Sycamore View. I love what God is doing there! Blessings on your ministry!

I'll be eager to connect when you get settled in.

Keith said...

Josh and Kayci - I'm looking forward to you being here and working together. Let's get together at Pepperdine if possible.
Keith Fussell