"...To prepare God's people..."
By Pastor Chris Bobby
I am writing today to let you know that God has placed before me a tremendous opportunity to make an impact in the world for His Kingdom.
"It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God." • Ephesians 4:11-13
As many of you know, prior to my becoming a pastor, I was a high school science teacher. Teaching is my passion and my joy, and is without a doubt a God-given gift that has changed the direction of my life. In 2014, however, I began to feel God tugging on my heart, preparing me to follow His lead somewhere yet to be determined. In 2015, Grace Chapel felt the devastating loss of its founding pastor, and in the midst of this time of heartache and turmoil, I felt God's call to step forward to help lead His church in ministry as a full-time pastor. The last 5 years have been an amazing journey as I have watched God heal His church and restore His people. My faith has grown and developed in unexpected ways and I have been blessed to have developed so many friendships as we have overcome the challenges of life together through the growing and maturing of our faith. Yet, while this has been an amazing experience that has profoundly changed my life, I have begun to feel God tugging on my heart again, indicating that another door and another opportunity to serve Him was about to be revealed.
Recently, God has turned the page in my story and has begun the next chapter in my life. God has revealed that my next opportunity to serve Him will be to return my roots as a teacher. This month, I have been offered and accepted a teaching position at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, Ohio. As a private parochial school, I will be able to teach and minister to young men and women in a Christ-centered environment in a way that I never could as a public school teacher. God will use what He has developed in me here at Grace and the gifts He has given to me as a teacher— to pour in to and to develop these students that they might grow into a deeper understanding and knowledge of Him, becoming a champion for Christ in a world that so desperately needs to know His goodness and love.
As I step back from full-time ministry here at Grace Chapel, I want to remind and encourage you that we are each called to be ministers of the gospel (2 Cor. 3:6), to continue pursuing a growing relationship with Him, and that serving God and others is a lifelong calling of each of us— even when doing His will takes us to unexpected places.
Holly and I love our Grace Chapel family. We encourage each of you to also take a step in faith and to participate in ministry as much as you are able and to take advantage of every opportunity God provides. I guarantee it will be an experience that will change your life.
You have each been a tremendous source of strength and encouragement to us and we look forward to seeing God work in the next chapter of your story as well.
Yours in Christ,