A New Chapter

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Today some big news for me and my family finally went public to our church family, and now I will share it with you…so glad to finally let the cat out of the bag!

 Dear Cloverdale Church Family,

 I have some bittersweet news to share with you; I have accepted a call to be the lead pastor at Oregon Trail Church of God in Caldwell Idaho.

About six months ago I was approached about this possibility. Maureen and I have prayed and agonized over this decision. I am excited for what God will do through me and my family as we enter this new chapter of our life and ministry. At the same time, I am sad to resign my position at Cloverdale. For the past 13 years and 2 months you, the Cloverdale family, have walked with me through many milestones- memories I will cherish for my lifetime. I truly love you all and am thankful that the relationship between Oregon Trial and Cloverdale will not only continue but grow stronger with this change. As the Seidels make our move to Middleton, we ask that you keep us in your prayers as God continues to work out the details. We won’t be too far, just the other side of the valley, so we will still see you around at times. Thanks again for all the love you have shown and continue to show me and my family.

 In His Grip,
Pastor Brian

As I mentioned in the letter, this is has been a long process for me and Maureen, and one that we were not seeking ourselves.  Perhaps some future posts will come with more details of how God worked on us and many others as we sought His will.  But, I will say now that we are excited and anticipating God’s continued leading and blessing through this transition and next chapter of our life and ministry.

Good…but not easy

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I just finished my first week officially in my new position at Cloverdale.  The past month has been one of transition as I gradually handed more and more off to our new youth pastor.  For the first time in my adult life I am not a youth pastor and it does feel weird.  I am very confident this entire thing is good, but it also has not been easy.

There have been several months of prayer and lots of conversations with those closest to me through this entire process.  However I realize for those outside my inner circle this change has come as a surprise.  I hope this post can answer some questions if you have them.  Or if you are seeking God about a change in your life I hope this can help in some way.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 10-11 (NLT) For everything there is a season…I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.

Having been in the church my entire life I have seen a lot of pastors change positions and/or churches.  Especially the last 15 years being closely involved in the youth ministry world, I have heard a lot of people say “I just know it is time to change.”  That has never made sense to me…until now.  I still have the same burden for teenagers to fall in love with Jesus and I want youth ministry to win as much today as ever before.  However, I knew my season as the youth pastor at Cloverdale had come to an end; I either needed to change roles on our staff or do youth ministry in a different church.  I trusted God to give me the right answer, and I feel he did exactly that.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 (NLT) A time to grieve and a time to dance

Now that the transition is actually happening I feel like I am grieving and dancing all at the same time.  I am happy to see the good side of all these changes, but it also hurts in many ways.  Remembering all that God did in this past season calls for dancing.  Realizing all that could have been done better is humbling.  And handing off what feels like a part of you to someone else is gut wrenching.  Knowing God is leading this brings a lot of comfort, but I still am grieving as well.

Psalm 30:11-12 (NIV) You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

As the season changes in my life and ministry, I realize that it is important to grieve to bring a proper close to that chapter.  I committed to do youth ministry until God told me to do something different, and now that He has it is time to grieve, to celebrate, and move on.  I gave my all to this past season, and I will give my all to the next one.  I am excited to see what God has in store!

My Next Step

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beach footprintsPerhaps you have noticed, but this site has been pretty quiet for the last few months.  While the site was quiet, the rest of my life has not been.  I had lots going on in just about every area of my life, and I needed to take a step back to seek God and work through everything privately as I figured out what my next step would be in my ministry journey.

I have spent extended time alone with God on a spiritual retreat, enjoyed a great vacation with my family, had numerous conversations with the leadership of my church and my inner core of confidants, and prayed A LOT.

This last weekend everything went public to our church, and now to you.  On August 1st, I will for the first time in my ministry career, not be a youth pastor.  I am staying at Cloverdale and taking a new position as Associate Pastor to Families.

I am excited for a new challenge.  I am excited that I don’t have to say goodbye to the Cloverdale family.  I am excited to see God work in new ways.  I am excited to still contribute to the youth ministry world from a different perspective.  I am excited that I can once again be at peace and fight for God with everything I have as I fulfill his will for me.

From this point, I hope to jump back in with writing and speaking as well, so please keep checking back, reading, and listening.  I’m excited for the future, and I’m honored to share my journey with you!