Of course change is inevitable for all of us. At times it’s unexpected or unwelcomed, but at times we get to be part of shaping those changes for ourselves.
However, I’ve been learning that even in the times we get choose or make a change for ourselves, it can still be a difficult process.
This week I shared with the young people I work with that sadly I wouldn’t be their youth leader next year. This is because I have recently accepted a job offer from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland to become their Discipleship Development Officer, and will be making this transition over the summer.
As you might imagine, I have had mixed feelings about all of this. I haven’t been seeking a change. I have loved the journey of the last 4 years. I love what I do. I was in no way discontent. And I’m gutted to step away from working with our young people, especially at this time.
The last few months in particular have been a special time of movement among our teenagers with many of them growing deeper in who they are, others stepping out in new ways, and many following Jesus in deeper ways. A hungry and passionate tribe of young people combined with a brand new halls complex just around the corner, means that in human terms it feels like a crazy time to be stepping away. The depth of relationships and trust built up over time make it difficult to walk away.
However, amidst my uncertainty and sense of sadness, the job that I have accepted has felt like both a new call and a fresh opportunity. It is a daunting role for me, yet is a position that I feel has the potential to be a help & significance for our denomination. I will be based centrally in Church House, but will have responsibility for working right across the denomination, helping to provoke, resource and support churches to make disciples. And I’m excited that a key focus of the role will be on the young adult age group. It feels like a challenge, but seems to be a fit with who I am.
I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked as part of the Staff Team at Carnmoney Church. I have learned so much and been sharpened in all kinds of way. I feel like I’m a more rounded person, a more passionate disciple and a better leader than when I came here. In many ways, without it, I would not be stepping into this job with the perspective that I now have for equipping disciples and leading young adults. And the silver lining of this change is that Sarah, Noah and I will continue to be part of the Carnmoney Church family, albeit in a different way.
I leave the role with so many fond memories. I think of dancing like crazy on youth residentials, laughing hard during yet another game of Empires, or singing together under African skies. I remember the profound conversations in packed living rooms, challenging individuals to step out of their comfort, and watching young people flourish in leadership. I’m thankful for the moments of honest conversation, painful tears and speaking into lives.
And now my attention for the next few months turns to finishing well. I want to keep leading with all the energy and passion I have, and to transition well for who and what will come next. There is always more to come!