As many of you know, we have many amazing people that call Emmaus their home. By using their particular gifts and talents, these people serve faithfully, day in and day out, and are making a huge difference in advancing the Gospel in Santa Ana and beyond!
With so many talented people, it is hard not to be tempted to hold on to everyone trying to keep every person to fulfill their unique purpose right here at our Emmaus church family. However, the reality is that our sovereign God is constantly moving and moving people on to new ventures.
Recently, our beloved Kelly and Michelle McCoy decided to accept a full time ministry position and serve God as college and young adults pastors at a church in the LA area. Kelly and Michelle have been entrepreneurs for several years running a professional DJ'ing company and a Wedding Photography business. While maintaining their businesses, they faithfully gave so much of their time and talents to lead the Emmaus communications team which does everything from social media content to planning our Sunday experiences. To say the least, they have played a major role in the launching of Emmaus Church! Not only have they greatly blessed the church, but they have played a beautiful role in our family's life, joyfully loving on our children and becoming dear friends of Nancy and I. To be honest, we are saddened to see them move on, but we also know that God will continue to use them in mighty ways! Therefore, we would like to make this goodbye a little more "bitter-sweet" by sending the off according to how Scripture teaches the Early Church to send off beloved co-workers:
We see in the Book of Acts, that after Paul called for the Ephesian elders, pastors, and leaders and spent time encouraging them, praying for them, and teaching them, he left them to venture into a new place that God was calling him into.
Paul had built an amazing relationship with his leaders over his three or so years there, but he was now leaving and continuing in his great Gospel adventure! And at the very end of the goodbye scene, we get a glimpse into something kind of crazy: gospel goodbyes.
And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.
(Acts 20:36–38 ESV)
There were tears. There was embracing. They were sad that they wouldn’t see Paul again! But, they recognized that the gospel was moving forward. It wasn’t just a goodbye, it was a gospel goodbye! Full of memories and tears and joint experience, but they knew Paul was pressing forward in his journey.
While gospel goodbyes are essential for the growth of the church of Jesus and crucial to the mission we are on, it doesn’t make it any easier. Yet, truth is, godly people hold one another with an open hand. Godly people who are about the Gospel, say goodbye often, and say goodbye confident in our union together as the family of God. Confident that we will celebrate again. We WILL ultimately all see one another again at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. We will be with God together. For all time.
That said, we would like to send Kelly and Michelle off with a Gospel Goodbye on Sunday May 15th, 2016 by praying for them at the end of service and thanking them wholeheartedly for their faithful service! Please join us in blessing this amazing couple in two weeks.