Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Resignation Letter

June 30, 2008

Dear Christian Life Assembly Board and Church Family,

Fourteen years ago, I wrote a letter to a handful of people, quoting from the Steven Curtis Chapman song, The Great Adventure. The lyrics say, “Saddle up your horses, we’ve got a trail to blaze through the wild blue wonder of God’s amazing grace. We’ll follow our Leader into the glorious unknown. This is life like no other. This is a great adventure.” What an adventure it has been. From a handful of people to hundreds of families who call Christian Life Assembly their church home, plus thousands of people who have been impacted by this ministry.

Along the way, two phrases have been carved into my mind.

First, one is too small of a number for greatness. Nothing great is accomplished by one person. I want to say thank you to this church family for rising to the challenge of greatness time and time again. From setting up and tearing down for over seven years to raising funds to hire our first youth pastor to relocating through two lease spaces to giving away over 1,000 turkeys or 500 backpacks to the construction of our current facility, this church has always been built by hundreds of hands, not just mine. For that I am thankful.

The hands that helped me more than any other during this time were those of my wife, Amberly. She held my hand and held my heart as I planned and dreamed with her about the church that God could build through us. There is no person on the planet I would rather be married to. We came her—just me and her and a U-Haul. We leave here with three children, a whole lot of stuff, and more good memories than any album could contain. I am so glad she was my partner on this adventure and I want to say publicly that I love her and thank her for her partnership. In two weeks, we celebrate 17 years of marriage, 14 of those will have been spent serving you together. I cannot imagine any better combination.

In addition, I am so thankful to the families who joined us in the beginning and are still with us today—the Bradshaws, Walkers, Watrous, Legans, Kruegers, Millers, Svaldis, and Coffmans. When we met in the Bradshaw’s living room at 4915 Lakewood Drive, none of us could have imagined the adventure that lay ahead. It is more than unusual for the founding families to be around five years later, but here we are together 14 years later. Originally, the Bradshaws only offered their home, but did not plan to leave First Assembly for this new church. I am so glad they didn’t stick by that offer. Along the way Ron became a trusted board member and Gloria served with distinction as secretary, children’s pastor, and accountant. She served longer than any other team member and for that I am profoundly thankful.

Along the way, I have had the joy and privilege to serve with many great board members. Our current board of Russ Hixson, Nathan Schaad, Dave Shanks, and Garry Bockholt has been a delight. I have also enjoyed serving in the past with Ron Bradshaw, Gary Buffum, Mike Cluney, Cris Coffman, Gary Cook, Steve Davidson, Dave Leeper, Mike Phillips, and Steve Svaldi.

Life is better together!

Along the way, I’ve stood by these families and you as we’ve dedicated your babies, married your children, and said final good-byes to some of your closest family members and friends. I want to say thank you for inviting me into these most sacred moments of your life. They will be memories I will always cherish.

At the same time, I am also thankful for the many people our church has helped launch into ministry. The heart of a church isn’t always judged by how many it seats, but how many it sends. We’ve had a powerful role together of launching people into ministry. Our church provided the first ministry assignment for Heath and Ali Adamson, Jonathan and Erica Barthalow, Steve Scheperle, Rob and Michelle Purcell, Vanessa Schaad, and TJ and Kimberly Cristobal. Each was launched into ministry at this church.

In addition, we were able to raise up Matt and Tonya Stuva, Tony and Tammy Andrews, Bryand and Jaci Acuna, and Lee and Kelly Havemeier who are now all involved in ministry in Iowa and around the world. You have a role in their ministries because of your unselfish commitment to serve Christ together.

Not only that, but you released me to be involved with church planting and leadership development all across the state. Because of our partnership, there are over 12 new and revitalized churches with people worshipping God each week. There are also scores of pastors who have been trained for a more effective ministry because of your partnership.

One is too small of a number for greatness.

The second indelible thought is that those who quit remember the ordeal, but those who endure remember the adventure. Amberly and I will certainly look back and remember our time at Christian Life Assembly as an adventure, not an ordeal. I want to say thank you to all of the staff members, board members, and church family who have taken the adventure with us. You made the journey worth it. I cannot tell you how much I love you and how much I will miss you. I pray that as you open your hearts to a new pastor, you’ll always reserve a place in it for me and my family. The greatest honor in my life has been to have you call me Pastor. One day I may finally get that doctorate, but the title I love more than any is Pastor. I hope you’ll always think of me as your pastor because I will always think of you as my church family. Our church family is simply expanding to include the people of Bethel Temple in Hampton, Virginia. If they love and care for me and my family half as much as you then I will be a very blessed man.

There is no compelling reason for this change of ministry other than the clear voice of God that spoke to my heart during our time of prayer and fasting this February. In a moment more clear than any I can remember, the Lord told me, “Your time here is almost up.” I have dreaded this day, feared this day, and pushed this day as far into the back of my mind as I could. But now that which I feared has come upon me. I must be obedient to the heavenly vision and resign as pastor of Christian Life Assembly, effective July 31, 2008. The board will share with you the transition plan that we have discussed together and that I believe will help our church move to the next level. I stand ready to assist them in any way necessary through this time. They are good men, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. They will prayerfully submit the next nominee to you at the appropriate time and after the appropriate process. Please pray for them and give them the room they need to work through the process in confidentiality.

Well, we come to the end—not only of this letter, but the end of our season together. As we do, let me remind you of something I have mentioned several times before. My name’s Glenn. I’m your friend. And, I hope I’ve helped.

In His Hope,

Glenn Reynolds
Christian Life Assembly


Anonymous said...

It has been our profound honor to serve under your leadership these past 14 years. You are our friend for life and a compassionate pastor that has significantly impacted our lives for eternity. We love you, Amberly, and your children dearly and will always keep you in our prayers. We know the people of Bethel Temple will love you and embrace you as we have and we look forward to continuing to see God's hand at work in this new chapter of your lives. Thank you for always giving us your best and for launching us all into this great adventure.
With deepest affection,
Dave and Jan Walker

Anonymous said...

Even though we have only sat under your ministry for three years; we have known of you for the 14 years you have been in the area. Your heart for ministry; desire to see people grow in their place in the kingdom and love for people in general has spurred us on for the Kingdom of God.
We pray you will be pleasantly surprised and blessed by the people of Bethel Temple. But I am willing to bet you will have to hunt to find lemon cookies and caramels in Hampton!! :-)
The Bockholts

Anonymous said...

All I can think is that God used your words to reach me 6 years ago when I knew nothing about Him. God used you to counsel us when our marriage was falling apart. You were our pastor who dedicated our family. You were the pastor who stood beside us in our ministries and encouraged us in our lives. Thank you so much for all of the memories, all of the teaching, and all of God's love that you have shown us. You and your family will be truly missed. We wish you all of the blessings this life can hold and lots of crowns in Heaven.
The Kings

Anonymous said...

I thank you for what you have helped me with in the past , I didnt always see it your way , but I learned alot on how to be humble and understanding.Thanks and enjoy the new journey.Maybe I will come see you.Maybe not !

Anonymous said...

When we came down from there was no doubt in out minds you were going to be our Sheppard. Pastor Tom guided us here, without exception we were blessed. The bessing will live forever in our hearts. as will Amberky, Grant, Corbin, and Morgan.
Monty & Vicky

Anonymous said...

To our brothers and sisters at CLA,

Since we learned of God's plan for Pastor Glen and his family to join with us in ministry, we have been praying for all of you during this time of transition. Our congregation knows and understands many of the emotions you must be experiencing. We will continue to pray for you as God brings about His perfect plan for CLA. We look forward to hearing about God's mighty workings in your midst. We love you!

Anonymous said...

Pastor Glenn and Amberly,

It's been an awesome adventure over the past 14 years. Growing-up at Christian Life Assembly was never dull. So many fun, exciting, and poignant moments of my life are rooted in our church. You have stood beside my family and me during our worst and best times. The best part of our journey together has been the past four years of working on staff with you.
I have grown and learned so much. I will miss our Tuesday Team Meetings, you and Pastor T singing horribly, and going out to lunch with Amberly while you are at Presbyter meetings. You are incredible leaders, mentors, pastors, and the best of friends anyone could ask for. Thank you for adding so much to my life, for pouring so many resources into my husband and me, and for loving me. I will miss you both so much. I know this is a part of God's plan for you and our church and I am excited to see what He has in store for Christian Life Assembly and Bethel Temple. You are the best and I love you all so much.

Vanessa Schaad
AKA Shanese

Staci Spragg said...

I'm so BUMMED! This is not an upbeat happy little comment. I'm only able to deal with this because I know God has great intentions for you and you have listened to HIM.
Two years ago when Pastor Palmer resigned from First Assembly I was devastated. I didn't think I could find a preacher/teacher/pastor who would compare to him in the DSM area. You proved me wrong and I enjoyed every minute of your fabulous presentation skills and teaching ability. So, now we've found you, only had 2 years and you're leaving.....did I say I was bummed?
I pray that God heals our sad hearts by sending the new Pastor whom He's already prepared for us.......SOON!!! (sorry, I didn't get much in the patience department)
Love and miss you guys already,
Staci Spragg

Anonymous said...

I will miss you terribly. It's because of you that my family is saved. I wish nothing but the best for you and your family. I send with you my heartfelt thanks and prayers for everything wonderful under the sun. I'd say go with God but you always have and always will. You've been a true sheppard to your flock and I appreciate all that you have done for my family.
With much love,
Nicole Beckett

Anonymous said...

Pastor Glenn, I have been graciously blessed by God to find His Holy Presence through your guidance. Your ministry and mentoring have changed me. I am now beginning a whole new life. Coming to the Lord, I now recognize that faith and spirituality, my essential life-giving core, were the emptiness I have felt for so long. One year after accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior at your call, I will be baptized to publicly receive Jesus as my Savior.

Christian Life is alive through you and your team. Our Church is about the people, about progress, not perfection. Jesus is in the body of our Church and we honor him in all that Christian Life does. Of course, we manifest our learning’s in our daily lives, too. Through God’s blessings and grace, when we fall, we can pick ourselves up and try again.

I knew from the very first that with the effect your sermons, messages (and ok….. your personality) had on your congregants and visitors - you were destined to reach so many more souls. I almost didn’t join, because I feared losing before ever beginning. God pushed anyway and there I was!

I love Amberly and saw myself in her as I got to know her. People with a great capacity for feeling seem to find each other. I thank her for publicly sharing part of her life’s story in efforts to help all of those in need. She is the best part of you and you would not be leading without her. You both model a loving spiritual marriage with a life-long commitment. Happy 17th Anniversary with so many of God’s blessings received and so many more to come.

I ask God to provide and guide you and Amberly, Morgan, Corbin and Grant on the next part of your journey. God has placed on my heart - that through your leadership abilities you will be able to create a new church culture between many churches – greater than DSM or VA. You are called to find new and innovative ways to reach people and build on the work you have begun here with your leadership and development of other leaders for ministry or service.

The Evangelical Church can continue to be about the people only as long as it finds ways to reach the people. Please don’t stop trying to connect and push through barriers. You have a gift of connectedness - remaining a faithful servant to all believers who are called to serve the Lord.

God keep you in His loving embrace all the days of your lives.

Diane Wolf

Anonymous said...

I can't believe this time has come. It's Monday morning of our final week with Pastor Glenn and I can hear his voice coming from his office down the hall. The same voice that I heard a little over two years ago when my family and I were invited to join the ministry team here at Christian Life Assembly. It has been his voice that has been a constant guide leading us through our first two years of ministry. Pastor Glenn, your friendship and leadership has left a mark on my life that is irreplacable.
Your character and integrity have been a consistant example to me and many other pastors who have had the privilege of spending time with you. I have heard men compliment your leadership and watched them follow your example but I have been blessed to know you not only as a pastor and a leader but as my friend. It has been a great honor to serve with you. Your friend,
Pastor TJ Cristobal

Anonymous said...

Where do I begin? You have been not only a pastor to me, but a mentor, advisor, and friend. I know for certain that I would not be where I am today without you and your family!

It astounds me to think of how quickly time has passed. It seems like only yesterday that we were meeting at Lakewood... my, how things have changed!!! I love all of you and will miss you terribly, even though I know and understand God's timing is perfect! You will be a blessing to many as you have been to our family.

I could go on and on with all the fond memories I have of you, Amberly and the kids, but perhaps that would seem a bit like a eulogy. After all, you are not dead... just moving on. :)

Much Love,
aka Superkel :)