This weekend, Andy and I said farewell (but not goodbye!) to our church family At the Well. Andy began leading there shortly after we got married so they’ve seen us through 5+ years and many situations including early marriage, pregnancy, having a kid, and numerous ups and downs. It was at At the Well that I experienced my first real death – the kind where you see the person laughing and radiating love and light one day and learn that they are gone the next. It was also there that I first experienced real community that was welcoming, loving, and understanding.
Our family would have gladly stayed at At the Well for a very, very long time. It’s small enough to be non-intimidating, it’s big enough to blend in and slip in and out, it’s welcoming, it’s kingdom focused, etc etc. My friends at At the Well have allowed me to be myself and haven’t judged me for my personality quirks and my occasional lack of enthusiasm for small talk and engagement.
Despite all that, a few months back (probably 4 or 5 months by now), we heard of an opening at Pathway Church. A friend of Andy’s who was on the worship team there mentioned how awesome it would be to be able to work with him. A few more situations arose in the coming weeks that made Andy feel like he was being led towards Pathway. We talked late into the evening many times about what it would be like to leave our current church and whether or not we felt called to pursue other options/churches. Finally, we decided Andy would submit his resume and let God take it from there.
Long (LONG AND STRESSFUL) story short, Andy submitted his resume and was swept up in months of interviews, more interviews, evaluations, and so on. This church does NOT take hiring new people lightly and for that I am grateful. It was about halfway through the process that I realized I really, really wanted Andy to get the job. I loved (love) our current church and all the people in it but I do truly believe Andy is gifted to take on more responsibility and oversee a larger operation than the position he was in. We had talked about the reality that he can’t solely be a worship leader forever. At some point he will need to move into a position where he fosters in new talent and steps back a bit. (Side note: not now, honey. You still have many, many prime years left ;)).
I’m very proud to say that Pathway Church found Andy as talented, honorable, genuine, and gifted as I do. In the end, the position he initially thought he was applying for was given to an incredibly talented guy already employed at Pathway and a new position was created and offered to Andy. He’ll be the Worship Director at the Westlink campus while also overseeing some aspects of the Goddard campus and any future church plants. He’ll lead the majority of the weekend worship experiences at the main campus.
It was tough to experience our last Saturday night at At the Well. I’ve grown to love so many people there and appreciate the various stories and families that make up the church. I can definitely say I’ve never experienced a group of people so willing to get their hands dirty and make a difference. A group of At the Well moms has taken a local woman’s ministry under their wing and assists in getting women out of prostitution and into safety. One group of people meets downtown once a month and feeds hundreds of homeless and struggling families a hot meal. One family came over and helped my mom and I super duper deep clean our old home to prepare it to sell when Andy and I were moving to a new home. Most families there will drop everything they’re doing to assist in a crisis whether or not they know the person in need. It’s an incredible group of people.
My family has been blessed to experience the community of At the Well and I hope that I can carry the lessons I’ve learned into our new church. It will be bigger and more intimidating than I’m used to and I’ll have to make an effort to find friends and plug in. However, I’ve been trained well the past five years to identify areas of need and get my hands dirty. I love you all and know you’re going to continue to do amazing things in our community. Thank you for loving my family so well and being the kind, generous, genuine people that you are.