Senior Pastor Matt Heard’s Announcement
Woodmen Valley Chapel
September 22, 2013
A couple of weeks ago, the Elders and I were talking about various initiatives that will help WVC move into its next season, its “new song” of ministry. Near the end of the discussion, I brought up something that Arlene and I (along with some trusted close friends) have been praying about, weighing and considering for several months: my transition away from Woodmen into a broader teaching, speaking and writing ministry in which I’ll focus on strengthening the body of Christ from a different angle than I have fulfilled at Woodmen. Together, the Elders and I talked and prayed about it and this week they have given me their blessing.
Therefore it is with a sad heart because of my relationship with you, but a hopeful heart because of the way God, in His sovereignty, is leading, that I announce my resignation as Senior Pastor of Woodmen Valley Chapel.
Leaders have seasons in particular roles and twelve years is a long season. But it’s also been an amazing season of enjoying the privilege of ministering alongside and journeying with you! Goodbyes are hard, especially after so long with people you love, and that reality makes this the hardest, most excruciating decision I have ever had to make. At the same time, I have a deep conviction that this is God’s best for both your future and mine.
Decisions like this involve both a “pull” and a “push.” In this case, the “pull” is to a wider sphere of ministry involvement in what we refer to as the broader “Capital C” Church and is one that has been growing on my heart this past year. The “push” is the realization that Woodmen needs a new, hands-on leader to shepherd WVC into the future. It is time for Woodmen to head into its “new song,” a future built on that which has gone before, but also one that launches Woodmen into even greater possibilities of ministry and influence on both a local and global level – and that thought brings me a deep smile.
It’s incredibly hard for me to leave a role in your lives that I, under God’s enablement, have absolutely loved fulfilling for so long. Actually, one reason I have dreaded taking this step is not questioning whether I’m obeying God but a desire to avoid the sadness that comes from looking into your disappointed faces – faces of people I love.
Now, I’m not going to be gone tomorrow, but nor do we want this transition to be too long. That begs the question, “Well, then, how long are you going to be with us?” That depends on what level you’re referring to. We’re not planning on leaving Colorado Springs. Officially-speaking, I’ll be on Woodmen’s staff until the end of January. From a preaching standpoint, I’ll be teaching every weekend until the end of October. After that the Elders have asked me to teach several times over the next year, but we haven’t decided about particular dates, when my final service is, etc. But soon I want to step out of the way enough to allow a transition plan to take root right away so that a search process can begin.
Again, at the core of this decision is my conviction that it’s time for us all to move into a new song, a new season of Kingdom impact. I have absolutely no doubt that Woodmen Valley Chapel’s “New Song” will involve Exploring, Experiencing and Expressing His Grace in ways that will be beyond your greatest dreams.
Please know I have been incredibly humbled over the privilege of serving these past dozen years of ministry alongside you. Thank you – deeply. I will continue to fervently intercede for you and will love you and this church for the rest of my life.