Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wheaton Here I Come!

     Nearly one and a half years ago I posted an article on my blog that detailed a season of change the Lord was bringing me through and it's only now that I'm able to excitedly share with you the what has become the culmination of that season. First, let me remind you that I had decided to significantly curtail my film viewing (which was quite extensive) and blogging saying, 
"I know that God has greater plans for me and I move forward in excitement. My heart has been captured by the vision of the power and importance that the local church offers to the world. My eyes have wondered at the power of Christian discipleship and it's ability to give life to the dead, sight to the blind, and freedom to the oppressed. My mind is constantly overtaken by the challenge of Christian leadership. My ears have heard the call of my Savior to enter into a new season of devotion and sacrifice like I have not experienced before. Will I leave all that so I can continue to watch a film every night?" 
     I am pleased to tell you that this season of change has led me to return to school in the Fall of 2012 and continue my education at Wheaton College in pursuit of a Masters Degree in Christian Formation and Ministry.
    I honestly did not know where that season would ultimately take me, but I can tell you today that outside of my initial commitment to Jesus Christ, entering a season of stronger devotion and sacrifice has been the best decision of my entire life. In fact, through this season I've learned that stronger devotion and sacrifice is not really a season at all, but simply what a growing relationship with the Lord looks like. As I began to scale back my consumption of entertainment (Tivo, Netflix, cinema, and television), I found myself spending that time in prayer, reading scripture, and spending more time in my field as a minister.

    About a year ago I began to feel the Lord confirm to me that ministering wasn't going to be just a couple year experience for me, but would become my life's direction. Alongside of that, I felt the Lord confirm that he was calling me to the specific ministry of discipleship in the context of the local church. I firmly believe that the local church is great hope of the world, and that discipleship in the local church is the means that God desires to use to save and transform this world. I felt that in order to fulfill this calling I needed to gain even more knowledge and training in discipleship by returning to school and pursuing a further degree. Since I am still single, and lack a ministry degree, this is the perfect time in my life pick up everything and go back to school.
     So last year I began to pursue the possibility of further education and applied to a college near Chicago called Wheaton. I found out last December that I was accepted. It was the final step of confirmation that I needed. I decided to pursue their Master's Degree in Christian Formation and Ministry with a concentration in Bible and Theology, which basically boils down to a degree in discipleship.


     I understand this means I will not be able to continue in my role as Ministries Director at Mosaic International Church. So it's with a heavy heart that I will be resigning my position in the middle of June in order to make the transition to Wheaton and to the next stage of the calling the Lord has put on my life.


     I will be eternally grateful to Pastor Mario for his discipleship of me in Chi Alpha, inviting me to join the launch team of this idea for a church he had called Mosaic, and ultimately asking me to join him as a full-time minister. Ministering in Chi Alpha and Mosaic Church is not and has never been 'just a job' for me; I've had those kind of jobs before. No, ministering underneath Mario and in the congregation of Mosaic International Church is better understood as joining a family and I think anyone who has worked with Pastor Mario will attest to that. 
     My transition this summer will be difficult for me because it will be leaving the place and people I have come to call home and family. However, I am confident that the Lord is directing my path, and calling me into another new season. This august would mark my ten-year anniversary here in Tallahassee and in many ways it feels like the last decade of my life (Fall of 2001-Summer 2012) has been a time of maturation, preparation, and confirmation. A time of maturing into adulthood, preparing my heart and mind as a minister and follower of Jesus Christ, and confirming a calling to discipleship in the church.    


     As I look towards the near future of my life I sense from the Lord that if the previous decade could be summed up by the word 'confirmation'  (of my life's direction and purpose), the next decade will be summed up by the word 'fulfillment'. I look forward with hope and joy to the training, sharpening and maturing I still have yet to do while at Wheaton; to the time that God reveals the place of ministry he has prepared for me after school; to meeting the woman that will be my future wife; and, Lord willing, to creating a family. Of course, I'm getting just a little ahead of myself here, I am still in Tallahassee after all.


     Yet, as I've grown to know the Lord, I've begun to learn that within Christ, it's perfectly natural to begin to imagine and desire these things. Several years ago, I had no idea of my life's direction; mired in debt, undisciplined in my habits, and with an incomplete degree, I felt completely hopeless about my future. It's to Christ's glory that I share with you now my excitement for the future and implore for you to trust the Lord with your life as well. 



 "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." -Romans 5:1-5

1 comments:

Tim said...

Kyle,

I am SO excited for you my friend. God has some awesome things in store for you and I cannot wait to see what they are :) Keep fighting the good fight 1 Timothy style! You rock man.

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