All Things New

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?…

For the past several years, Justin has been the Worship Pastor at Southlake Baptist Church and we have lived in the DFW area. We have loved our ministry time there, and are grateful to the church, staff, and our friends. We grew as people, parents, and ministers, and made lifelong friends. We thank God for SBC.

But Justin and I have waited with bated breath for a chance to to “go public” with some pretty big news. We will be moving over Christmas to the Northwest Houston area to join the staff of Community of Faith church. We will both be joining the staff, he as a member of the Worship team and I on the Communications Staff. This opportunity came out of nowhere, and as it has unfolded it has become clear to us that the Lord is moving mountains to get us there. For example:

Justin playing with the Worship Team at COF

Justin playing with the Worship Team at COF on his interview trip.

  • Within weeks of talking to one of us about a job, a position for the other one opened up.
  • Our house, in the first 12 hours on the market, received 2 offers. (Shout out to Christy Horne for her help – having her as our real estate agent is one of the wisest decisions we have ever made).
  • COF was the answer to prayers we prayed quietly about the kind of church we wanted to serve at in ways we never imagined.
  • Some of our closest friends serve at this church, ready to provide a support system for us.

We are incredibly excited. Let me share a few things about this church that match our hearts and passion. First of all, the Pastor and his wife are former missionaries, and the church was actually planted to fund ministry and missions around the world. When you walk in the door there are huge prints of pictures of the people they are partnering with around the world, and almost every leader in the church has traveled with the church and has a global perspective on ministry. Second, the staff considers themselves missionaries serving NW Houston and the world, and it is a value of the church to involve staff children in ministry at every level. Our children will grow up with the idea that international missions are completely normal and necessary to the local church. Third, the church has a laser-focused vision and refuses to spend time or money on anything that does not support that vision. Fourth, the Pastor and his wife are some of the most authentic, visionary people we have ever met and we love the idea of following the Lord with them.

Jen shooting Mark and Laura for Christmas TV commercial.

Jen shooting Pastor Mark and Laura Shook for Christmas TV commercial.

This will be, by far, the biggest leap of faith our family has ever taken in our journey of following Christ, and we appreciate all the prayers you can think to lift on our behalf. We truly feel this is the Lord’s leading, and we feel peace and a sense of excitement about what He is doing in our lives. We look forward to continuing our relationship with all the people in our world, possibly from a larger distance, but from hearts near to the Lord and to each other. We wanted to tell our church in person, but because of the weather and the timing of our announcement, we won’t be able to share it as we had planned. So we wanted to write this letter to spread the word from our heart to yours so you will hear what the Lord is doing.

It is a new day for us, and we have many emotions. Some sadness about leaving the people and places we love, some anxiety about new roles and transition, and much excitement about what is next.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:3-11

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