Word is beginning to spread and messages are filling up the inbox. I appreciate all the sentiments, thoughts, and prayers. Instead of responding individually I would like to give an update publicly.
Yes, I’ve resigned from the pastorate of Isaac’s Keep. No, I’ve not resigned from the faith.
I’ve been privileged to plant and pastor The Church of Isaac’s Keep in historic downtown Canton for ten years. God blessed our church in unexpected ways and I am so proud (the kind like your momma has and not the kind in the Bible that makes you bad, thanks Avett Bros) of the fruit it produced over those years. I look at the lives we served and the fruits of those lives and I have nothing but deep deep gratitude. God blessed us with an enormity of harmony and joy in our church community and we kept the gospel central to it all. No, we never peaked beyond 100 attendees but it was through that struggle (Is God Enough?) that what mattered most became cherished and moved us beyond ourselves and our own stuff. The relationships, marriages, families, businesses, ministries, arts, and culture that came out of this little church in Canton, GA, of all places, was simply God given.
Isaac’s Keep plowed, planted, watered and/or fertilized into lives that would produce fruit like The Waterproof Bible, Hide and Seek Day Camp, Sykes Marketing and Design, Grace to the Nations, Redeem Haiti, Them Two Birds, J.Becker Electric, Jarvis Street, the music and art of Evan Redwine, Reformation Brewery and the lives of individuals who work ferociously everyday in family life, government life, hospital life, corporate life to push back the darkness in our world with the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We’ve given sacrificially to missionaries from Papua New Guinea to China to Clarkston, GA. We’ve seen prodigals come home and elder brothers changed by the love of the Father. God accomplished all of this in ten years, that’s right, in just ten years with a church under 100 folks. We never had a youth program or Sunday School or a worship stage set design or much of a web presence. But we had the gospel and we had real community. Honestly, I believe more than ever it’s a messy picture of what is needed for the future of the church in America.
Am I sad it’s coming to end? Of course. Parts of me would love to recapture and replant and do it all over again. Parts of me say no way in hell do I want to go through it again. Such is the gospel life. It’s not easy. It’s not always pretty. It plows deep and leaves scars. I have failed many times. But here at the end of this field I look back and I see a garden of beauty and delight. I am so thankful to have served my part in this body and all I can say is I will always love every single human who has played their part in this body. Thank you Isaac’s Keep for restoring in me my first joy and love. Thank you Lord for working in us and through us in ways that made us marvel at you. You have given and taken away, praise be the name of the Lord forever and ever, amen.
Now let’s celebrate with the time we have left in Isaac’s Keep fashion. If you’ve been a part of The Keep be on the lookout for a day of celebration and please consider joining us.