On Sunday evening I made an announcement about my next steps and, if you missed it, here is the audio as well as the written transcript. The audio also includes an update from Steward Team member, Alison Knox. [audio mp3="http://www.abluedoor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Elizabeth-NewSeason-3-22-15.mp3"][/audio] Tonight I want to bring you up to speed on some exciting new developments in my journey. I’m really excited about what is ahead, but it is bittersweet as it means that I will be transitioning out of my staff role at Open Door.
For the last several years, the Lord has been stirring something new in me. He has been awakening me in a fresh way to His Spirit and His heart for His people. A few years ago, here at Open Door we were walking through the book of Acts in a series called Seismic. During this series we took several weeks to look at the Holy Spirit. This was a very transformational time for many of us, and God used that series and many people at Open Door to really rock my world. We were all challenged to both look for the ways that God was speaking to us in a moment-by-moment by way, and then take a risk in responding to His voice and invitation. This experience with Open Door sent me on a journey of wanting to step into all that God has for me, with a renewed faith that “with God all things are possible."
The Lord has been doing a great work in me personally and as a worship leader. I have felt challenged to step out and take risks as a worship leader, relying not just on what I’ve prepared and my own skill, but responding to what God wants to do in the moment. As the Lord has been stirring up all these new things, I have felt a desire for further training in some areas. I have sensed the Lord inviting me into a time of receiving - of learning more about Him and being further equipped for ministry. I have felt God leading me on this journey, and I have decided to move to Redding and attend the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry this Fall. It is a 9 month program focused on both personal spiritual growth and ministry training, and I’m really excited to see what God has in store during my time there.
This program begins in September, but I will be wrapping up my time at Open Door on June 7th. This will provide me both a window of time to transition, as well as time to step into an overseas ministry opportunity. I will be spending 6 weeks in Spain serving on staff for a discipleship program for U.S. college students. This program is part discipleship, part immersion into the community, and part Arts component. I will be serving alongside Cari Jenkins, a dear friend of Open Door. I am really excited to be part of this unique opportunity and see all that God does during my time there.
I know this will naturally prompt some questions, so I want to clear the air and let you to know that I’m not leaving because Jer is leaving. Yes, Jer has been a friend of 17 years, a dear dear ministry partner, and like a brother to me. I have utmost respect for him. But the bottom line is that God has been stirring a lot in me for the last couple years, and it feels like He’s giving me the green light now. I don’t always understand God’s timing, but I know that God is so much bigger than what we can wrap our minds around.
I also want you to know that I think Dave is an incredible leader and I have absolutely loved working with him for the last 9 months. He is a fantastic human being and pastor and I’m sad that I won’t be here to see all the amazing ways that God uses him stepping into the future. I know that Open Door is in great hands.
This community has meant the world to me over the last 6 years. I have been shaped, cared for, and loved by all of you in extravagant ways. Open Door has been a place of healing, restoration, equipping, and now will be a place of sending. I am forever grateful to each and every one of you. I am excited for Open Door and this next season. I believe that God is birthing something new and beautiful here. I believe that the East Bay will continue to be profoundly impacted by each of you as you step into His calling on your life. And I believe that more and more of you will be raised up and sent out to do Kingdom work in other parts of the world. I am proud to be part of this community, and part of the ongoing story that God is unfolding around us and through us. This is not goodbye. I have two and a half more months with all of you, and I look forward to continuing to walk alongside you all as we seek God together.
If you have any thoughts or further questions about this next chapter for me then I'd love to talk with you so don't hesitate to reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org).