Well, its now official. Many of you have known for a while, but we are moving! The Middleton family is moving up to Washington D.C. for one year. We applied and got accepted to an internship program at National Community Church pastored by Mark Batterson. We will be filling the church planter in residence position in their internship program. Amy and I are very excited and very sad at the same time.
We are leaving behind our best friends on the planet, an amazing church and campus ministry. To keep this from getting way to long on my blog, here is an incredibly abbreviated version, call me if you want the long version.
A little over a year ago, Amy told me she felt like there was transition coming for us. I should have known better but I disagreed:) Around January, after praying for a few months about it, I also started to feel that there was transition coming. At this point there was a lot of dialogue among our church staff about what the future would look like at Every Nation Tallahassee. For a while we thought we were going to stay in Tallahassee for a while longer and had talked pretty extensively with our Pastor about what that could potentially look like. In March P. Ron (the senior pastor of Every Nation Tallahassee) and I sat down and he told me that around October he also felt like it was time for us to transition. This was huge for both Amy and I. It was very important that our spiritual authority was on the same page as us.
At this point we weren’t 100% sure if that meant staying in Tallahassee or moving away but we were leaning towards moving for several reasons. One, if we are going to do any moving , we want to do it while our boys are young, so the effects are minimal on them. Secondly, we’ve been talking about planting a church for years now and always knew it was in the future, but were waiting to discern the times and seasons for our family. After talking with many people and praying, we felt like it was better to do it sooner rather than later. We also felt it would be a little early for us to go out and plant now. The failure rate in church planting is so high we wanted to get some other tools in our belt before we actually left and planted. We believe the internship at NCC will help prepare us and expose us to some different ways and ideas of doing church than we have had and felt that experience would be very valuable. Thirdly, God confirmed to us supernaturally 3 additional times that this was the right move for us.
After our year is up in D.C., our plan is to go plant a church with Every Nation. We both absolutely love our ministry. The vision, and values of our ministry is what beats in our hearts and we can’t wait to be apart of Every Nation in a different role. We have loved being campus ministers and we can’t thank the leadership of our ministry enough, they have truly made it an amazing ministry to work for. While up in D.C. in our spare time we are hoping to have enough time to serve at our ENCM chapters up in D.C. We look forward to connecting with some of our Every Nation family up in D.C. in addition to making lots of great new friends at NCC.
We are leaving our ministry in better hands at FSU. Donny and Janna Fisher have taken over and are now serving as the campus directors at FSU for ENCM. There is not a better couple for the job. They are some of our closest friends in the world and will do an amazing job. We pray they, along with Susan Reed and our future staff, Bella Chung and Derek Kasdorf will take our campus ministry farther than we ever did. We also are leaving behind our amazing students and student leaders. Trust me, we already miss you. I’ve already written several blogs that will be published in the next few days about transition and some of the lessons we’ve learned.
Amy and I are so excited to be living the adventure that God has put us on. Ministry has taken us places we may not have otherwise gone. We are so thankful to have spent the last 10 years of our life in Tallahassee at our church and with our staff, its been an amazing 10 years and we could not have asked for more.
Lastly, we are not sure where we are going to plant a church, and are currently praying through that. We are open to suggestions:) We would love for many of you to come with us to relocate to that city when we figure out where it is. If you are interested in supporting us financially or through prayer, we would love to talk to you about this next season of our lives and how you could be apart. God bless and stay classy Tallahassee.