Friday, May 22, 2015

Life Update: Following God's Call into a New Season of Ministry

Dearest Friends, Family, & Ministry Partners,

John and I are in an exciting, faith-stretching, season where we are trusting God's leading in our lives. I have been given a wonderful new opportunity to fulfill my calling to share the Gospel with the people of Columbia and beyond! July 1st I will begin working full time with The Grassroots Network, a network of churches that seeks to plant other Gospel centered churches. The pastors at our home church, Midtown Fellowship, created The Grassroots Network (TGN) so they could send out missionaries to plant other churches, with the goal to be " a Jesus centered family on mission" around the United States. Currently, Midtown Fellowship has sent out missionaries to plant churches in several areas including: Two Notch, Lexington, Knoxville, and West Columbia.

I will be the first full time employee of TGN and will have a variety of responsibilities. One way TGN seeks to mobilize missionaries is through their Residency Program. The Residency is a year long internship that equips believers for a lifetime of ministry. It is designed to train and cultivate young ambitious leaders into Gospel driven servants who lead the Church. My main role will be to coach and manage the current 26 Residents and to develop the program for the future to make it the best it can be. I will be writing job descriptions based on each Resident's giftedness and the church's needs, I will be teaching them how to raise their financial support, I will be discipling them spiritually, providing feedback on their performance, and helping them get the most out of the Residency program. 

The other part of my job will be supporting TGN and the church plants administratively and helping the new church plants learn how to raise financial support. TGN also has a "Church Planter Training" program specifically designed to develop young men into Christ centered pastors to plant new churches. A large part of my role will be organizing the “Church Planter Training" curriculum into a formalized process, so that everyone receives the same training regardless of what church plant they are serving under. I am really looking forward to all of these opportunities and projects that will help further the Gospel!

I am saddened to be leaving Cru staff, I'm heartbroken to not get to work full time with my beloved college girls, but I am confident knowing that this is where God is leading me. If you know me at all, then you probably recognize that this new job sounds perfect for me! I loved working full time with students, but it was relationally exhausting and I struggled with the lack of structure in my schedule. As TGN Coordinator I will be able to capitalize on my strengths, I will thrive with the structure, and I will be personally developed by the pastors at Midtown to be a better leader and to deepen my love for Jesus. 

 Of course, even though I'm not on Cru staff, I will still be fully supportive of the Greek Impact ministry, and will attend many of the conferences, events, and retreats alongside John. I've spoken with each of the young women that I disciple and told them that I truly view them as friends and hope to continue our friendship even though we won't be meeting formally for discipleship. I still hope to care for them spiritually as much as possible. 

So what about John? & How does this affect our Ministry Partners? 

John is planning to stay on staff with Cru for at least another year. He is looking forward to the beginning of next semester and is excited to share the Gospel with new freshman! After serving this past year on campus, he is even more passionate about reaching fraternity men with the good news of Jesus. At the end of next year we will reevaluate both of our positions and see where God wants us.

It is our hope that you will continue to support our ministry financially, and that you would pray for us as we make this transition. Our hearts and our mission have not changed, John will be sharing Christ's love with college students, and I will be mobilizing young people to share the Gospel all over the world! 

Financially, our needs have not changed and we still need your support. My new job with The Grassroots Network is also a fully support raised position. If you are a member of Midtown, I will be contacting you to see if you would consider moving your giving to my new ministry. It is our hope that about half of our supporters would continue to support John and the other half would move to support me through TGN. 

If you have ANY questions or concerns at all about this transition, please contact us. We would love to speak to you personally! Also, please don't hesitate to let us know how we can be praying for you.

Thank you SO much for your love, for your prayers, for your generosity, for your friendship. We are so privileged to have you behind us as we take the love of God to a world that is desperate for it!

Humbly & Gratefully,
Kelsey & John

PS. Here is a fun pic from our end of the year camping trip! Our students had a blast shooting clays & bonding around the campfire!