I wrote this letter to my church plant today. I’m not much for secrets, or beating around the bush, and this is obviously going to play heavily into my personal narrative going forward, so it makes sense to share it with you, too.
So, this is going to be the hardest thing I’ve had to write in a long time. Bear with me if you would.
I’ve been able to speak with most of you face to face about the struggles that PCC has been facing. Ive never tried to hide any of the challenges that we have had to encounter, and if i did, it was out of negligence on my part, not out of wanting to hide anything. It has been a bold proposition that a rag-tag group of dislocated disciples of Jesus could start a church from scratch without funding or support in one of the most unchurched urban centers in the U.S., in one of the worst recessions in modern American history. Often we have found ourselves in over our head, over our skis and over scheduled in our lives. I think its easy for us all to understand that the cards have been stacked against us from the beginning.
And yet, here we are, a few years down the road, and I am proud to say that we have done something positive in the community. Despite all of the challenges, you revealed Jesus to people, you restored community with people, and you renewed life in Phoenix. I have been humbled to not only work along side you in this, but to watch each of you take that mantle, and allow the narrative of God to work within you.
And that is what makes the next step of this journey so difficult. It’s at this time that I have decided that the grand experiment known as Phoenix CityChurch is at its end. There are a number of reasons for this that I won’t get into in this correspondence, but if you have specific questions, I want you to contact me so that we can talk about them if you would like. At a bottom line, common sense level, we have hit a space of diminishing returns on our efforts, and to push further into that bears the consequences of potentially destructive side effects. After being in ministry for twelve years now, I feel as those the healthiest route for all of you, as well as for Katie and I, is to close this chapter of our church experience. Let me be clear, nothing that any of you have done has caused this decision, your faithful diligence and love for the Kingdom of God is clear to me, and to those around you. The simple reality is, when you are planting something, some of the seeds just don’t take. It’s true with crops, and its true with church plants.
Let me also offer you this; this does not end my relationship with any of you, and I pray you feel the same. You are all my closest friends, allies, and family. I love you and I want only the absolute best for you. You will have to forgive me if even after this I mimic the actions of your personal pastor; I have been honored to serve you in this church plant, and I probably won’t stop trying to. I also pray that the relationship that you have with each other does not diminish to extinction. That, however, will take effort on all of your parts. If the relationships you have built through PCC are worthwhile, you will continue to fight for them, and I hope you do.
This Sunday, around noon, I’ll be at SunUp Brewing. If any of you would like to come and hang out, and have an informal “Wake” for PCC, I’d love to have you. We can share some great memories, or just enjoy our time with each other. Let me know if you think you might come. That will be the last PCC gathering. In between now and then, we will be taking down the site, the social media, and the email addresses.
Again, Thank you for the trust you placed in me over the past few years, I cannot describe how humbling it has been. I am sorry that I couldn’t get us to where we had dreamed, but I am sure that the story is still in the process of being told, and that there is always something ahead of us to work towards.
From the depths of my soul, I love each of you so freaking much.
May grace be lavished upon you, and from your life. May peace be a constant companion to your soul, and your gift to others.
P.S. This was heavy, please enjoy this video.