The following letter was given to the Administrative Council chair on March 21st and read to the congregation after the sermon, When God Speaks, on Sunday, April 3rd:
Last summer I was asked by an Anabaptist pastor friend of mine if I’d be interested in sending a resume to a sister BIC church in south central Pennsylvania. I had turned him down a month earlier regarding a new position at his own church, telling him that I was fully committed to my congregation, Christiansburg Mennonite Fellowship.
At that point we had been here for a year and half. I told my friend that I came to CMF intent on staying a long time. So, once again, I said that I appreciate your interest and I’m honored that you would think of recommending me, but I don’t feel released from my current position.
A few months later I was asked a second time if I’d be interested in sending my resume to this strategic BIC church next to Messiah College.
The interim pastor there was interested in presenting me as one of many capable candidates to the church board. My response was, “Have him listen to my sermons and check me out online, if he thinks I’m even a good fit, I’ll send my resume.” At this point, I felt in my spirit that I should at least be open to this possibility. So I was open, but I still carefully guarded my heart.
Soon after, with their continued interest, I sent my resume and a lengthy process of prayerful searching and discernment began.
As many of you probably remember, we were out of town the last weekend in February. We said that we went to visit some personal friends, and we did do that. But we also went because I was invited to visit the prospective church, not far from our friends. We met with church staff and board in the final stages of the search process. After visiting with the community there, we felt the Spirit at work as we opened ourselves up to his will.
What began in November came to a close two weeks ago. I received the call to become the next senior pastor of Grantham Church in Mechanicsburg, PA.
After multiple confirmations that God has been speaking to us, Lanna and I feel strongly that this is what the Lord wants for our family and ministry. Therefore, in compliance with the covenant of understanding between myself and the Ad Council, with this letter, I’m giving a 3 month notice that June 26th will be my last day as pastor of CMF.
Our time here with you has been edifying to us. We hope you feel the same and that you will share our longing to be disciples who faithfully follow wherever the Lord leads.
It would mean a great deal to us to have your support.
It is my desire in the next three months to give you my best in preaching, and continue encouraging opportunities for discipleship, which I believe in time brings about healthy church growth. In the time we have left with you, I’m more than willing to work with our district minister James Åkerson and the PLT in helping the congregation transition and discover God’s will moving forward.
I have been praying fervently that we will all sense that the Spirit is at work in this. I hope that you will also intentionally pray, reflect, and seek the mind of Christ moving forward as a church family. Please know that I don’t just see this as an opportunity for us, but also for you as you prayerfully consider your next steps in the life of the congregation.
We love you and we pray that over the next three months we can share in that love together.
If I have learned anything in vocational ministry, it is this: We are all impacted by God’s leading on a life. If he is moving in my life, I trust, and believe whole-heartedly, that he wants to move in yours, even through the changes to come with Christiansburg Mennonite.
Brothers and sisters, I would like to ask that you be awake to what he is speaking to your heart for the sake of the gospel, your discipleship, and the future of this church. Though my family will be moving on, I believe we were all brought together in order to edify one another. In time, I know the Spirit is able to reveal all of his good purposes to us, and I pray that he will.
Finally, this is my prayer for us: “Lord, help us all to respond in faithful obedience to your leading. Please give us the faith, hope, and love that we need in this hour, which your Spirit alone can give. For it’s in your name that we pray… Amen.”
Grace & Peace,
David D. Flowers
March 21, 2016