May the peace of God be with you!
One of my courses in seminary was taught by a minister who was also the pastor of a large, successful church. One day I and my classmates were shocked to learn that our teacher had just announced his resignation from his pastorate. I will never forget what he told us in class that day:
“I love the church, and I enjoy my work as a pastor. Nevertheless, it has become clear to me that I have finished the work that God brought me here to do. I am proud of what the church has been able to accomplish during my time here, and now it is time for me to step aside so that someone new can come in to take the church to the next level.”
After more than six years at MCC San Jose, I find myself in a very similar position. I love this church, and I love the ministry that we’ve done together. MCC San Jose has blessed my life more than I can possibly express. I know the church is much stronger than when I came here, and I am grateful for everything that we’ve been able to do together.
I believe that it is now time for MCC San Jose to move to the next phase of its life, and I believe that the church needs a new senior pastor who can build on the foundation that we have established together.
I will be having an open meeting with the board and the staff after church this Sunday, February 7, to discuss next steps for the church. Everyone is invited to attend. Our church faces serious financial challenges going forward, as do many churches these days. At the same time, we have an amazing congregation, a great reputation in our community, and a history of doing extraordinary work.
I will be continuing to serve as MCC San Jose’s senior pastor through April 4 so that I can help the church explore its options going forward. Please join me in praying for strength, wisdom, and discernment as we move through this transition together.
Michael Patrick Ellard,