I have resigned from Saddleback and I’m no longer the discipleship pastor / regional campus pastor. Misha and I are convinced that God has closed this chapter of our lives to begin another one.

I’m very grateful to Saddleback: I ministered there since May 6th, 1995 (with the exception of a 10 month run at Newsong church and attempting to plant a church) and have not regretted a single day. I’m thankful for the countless opportunities I’ve received to serve, lead, and learn.

Since rumors sometimes abound I feel like I need to be clear: I’m changing out of obedience to God’s calling, I’m not leaving Saddleback because of sin or discontent.

I will be working for Group Publishing as a publisher/editor in their youth ministry department. I’m looking forward to dusting off some old skills and working in youth ministry again. I’ll be responsible for building a project from scratch, and acting as a general editor on some youth ministry books/resources. I’ll get to work with Doug Fields again, and I’m really looking forward to that. There’s other stuff, but that’s the highlights.

I confess, from my point of view, God’s timing is strange! About a year ago, I was moved to leading the 301 team (mobilizing people for serving). Four months ago, I was moved to the 201 team (spiritual maturity) and I figured this was where God had me long term. Discipleship is a great fit for my skills and passions. It became clear that God’s thinking was different from mine.

Misha and I had a difficult time making this decision and we a lot of time thinking and praying.; and talking to close friends for advice. “Leaving” the people we love is tough. I put leaving in quotes because we’re not moving our family anywhere and we’re still going to attend Saddleback. Tom Holladay asked if I’d keep teaching the Foundations Class, a task which I’m eager to do.

So what’s the real story? Is there anything more?

Here’s the only thing left to be said: I’m not leaving Saddleback, I’m going to the next thing God has for my ministry and leadership. There are no hidden arguments or discontents or problems or conflicts.

If you have any questions (or want to buy me an iPad as a gift) please don’t hesitate to contact me.