Arnold Bennet said, “Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” That’s exactly how I felt this morning as I stood at The Vine Church and shared with them our transition to a new ministry context. I have said in the past, and still believe, there is no other church like The Vine. Our family has never been as loved and treated as well and fairly anywhere else. Ministering at The Vine has been the greatest ministry experience of my career – 20-years now – and I say that without hesitation.
At the same time, life with God is always about forward movement and through tears, smiles, grief, and joy, we have decided to take the next step on our journey.
Beginning June 1, I will join the staff of EcclesiaHouston as Teaching Pastor. Ecclesia was started by my friend, Chris Seay. Chris is the Senior Pastor, a gifted leader, thoughtful communicator, and dedicated servant to Ecclesia and Houston. In the past few years, God has blessed Ecclesia with contiunual growth and as the church moves from 4+ services they are also moving to multiple campuses across Houston. In addition, the staff and pastors at Ecclesia are wonderful people who I look forward to partnering with. A committment to incarnational and embodied teaching led the church leadership to seek out an additional teaching pastor. At Ecclesia my role will be to coordinate the visions for the preaching/teaching by providing leadership and creating content, as well as developing content for spiritual formation for the staff and church. It’s tailor made, we think, for my gifts.
In addition to changes in my ministry location, there will also be some changes here at The Palmer Perspective. To support my new duties, I will write here less. My first book, Unarmed Empire: In Search of A Beloved Community releases this fall. You will be able to find details here, but a good deal of my article writing will now be done as a Featured Writer at Missio Alliance. As you know, my podcast, Not So Black And White With Sean Palmer and John Alan Turner is produced in partnership with Missio, and I believe some of the best content for Christians is being produced there. I’m honored to be in partnership with the great women and men writing, podcasting, teaching, and shaping missional churches.
On behalf of our family, I ask for your prayers. Not only is there a great deal to be done with any move, we are moving into new territory in multiple ways. While this time is exciting, leaving a place and people we love also comes with its share of grief. When we moved to Temple, we prayed for God to give us a deep love for this community. God delivered. We know that we are leaving something special and good, and as Arnold Bennet says, there are drawbacks and discomfort. But we leave with great expectations, feeling affirmed and loved, and trusting that “Aslan is on the move.”