What’s Next for the Bartons?
There are some things in life that you really don’t see coming. I am in the middle of one of those scenarios.
As of March 18th, I will no longer be on staff at Mission Community Church. It’s been an amazing 5 years on staff… truly amazing. I have grown so much over the past 5 years. I have learned so much. I have had some real great times and some hard times. I have rubbed shoulders with some true heroes of the youth ministry world… Our volunteer leaders! I have learned from some of the smartest guys that I’ve ever met. I’ve had times of great confidence, and times of great doubt. Most importantly, I have been able to lead and serve some of the best people in the world… Jr. High Students! These students will never know how much I have been truly blessed by them.
So… Why leave?
There are few times in life that I can truly say that I felt God has made something real clear to me. In October I had one of those moments. I was at a conference in San Diego minding my own business… enjoying the weather… enjoying some great friends… Then I went to a seminar about Christianity in a Post-Christian World. While listening in on the seminar the speaker, Brock Morgan, he mentioned in passing that they were hiring a Jr. High Pastor… He said it in passing though, I don’t even think it was a part of his actual content… I thought nothing of it… at first. Over the next 24 hours, I found myself thinking and stewing about the fact that they were hiring a position that I consider to be my sweet spot, Jr. High. I was thinking about it a bunch, to the point that I felt like if I did not at least pursue a conversation with Brock, that I would be blatantly disobeying what God was putting on my heart.
So… I saw Brock a few times throughout the next day, but still wasn’t sure about this whole idea of approaching him about the position. Finally I did… And he agreed to have breakfast with me the next morning. We chatted for about an hour, mostly about ministry stuff… then at the very end of our conversation I mentioned the job to him. He told me to send him my resume… Um, excuse me? Resume? That’s when it got real for me. I didn’t have a resume put together. I hadn’t thought once about leaving Mission, about getting a new job, or even looked to see “what’s out there”. To this point, I hadn’t even told Liz about my thoughts or the fact that I had breakfast with a guy about a job.
Fast forward… Over the next 3 months we had many conversations with Brock and this new church. We even visited them over a weekend. And… Here we are… Following where we believe God is leading us.
My family and I will be moving to Connecticut.
I keep hearing about it being cold there… I don’t believe it. Besides, what’s cold? When Arizona people say it’s cold there, that could mean it dips below 65 degrees for more than a 9 days in a year.
I have taken a job as the Jr. High Pastor at Trinity Church in Greenwich, CT. I am very excited to join the team at Trinity and bring the gospel to the people of Connecticut.
I have so many emotions that come with this huge change in life. I am super excited. I am scared. I am very sad to leave people I love. I am hopeful about this new opportunity. I am nervous about moving my family across the country. I am excited about moving across the country. I believe I am a bit naive about how hard change can be. The word that keeps coming to mind is bittersweet.
So… I have about 6 weeks of time left here in AZ. I am hoping to spend a majority of my time with friends and family. Call, message me, comment here…. Let’s grab coffee.