Sunday, June 08, 2008

New Adventure for the Schoenlebers

As a part of the message this morning on Isaiah 6:1-8, SAYING YES TO THE WILL OF GOD, I made the following announcement:
My brothers and co-laborers,

It is with a conflicted mass of sorrow and joy that I offer the elders my resignation from the role of Senior Pastor of New Song Church effective September 30 or at a time prior at your
pleasure.

As you well know, I have been asking a series of questions for almost 8 years, “Is God calling me away from New Song Church?” “Am I the best fit for the needs of our church?” “Are my gifts being fully utilized for the glory of God?” “Should I be spending more of my time training and coaching church planters and working to accelerate a church planting movement?”

These questions, combined with the growing realization that I was not serving New Song as well as it needs to be served, have convinced me that God is calling me to a new adventure. I love you men and this church and don’t want to be a hindrance to anything God desires to do here. At the same time I have become convinced that not working in the “blue flame” area of my gifts makes me a hindrance to the great work to which God is calling New Song.

Over the last year and most particularly, over the last three months God has brought great light to my heart on my need to resign. Just before I went to Britain to train church planters with DCPI in mid April, I made the decision. It was an exhilarating experience training church planters in London. During all of the sessions there, I had multiple “Eric Liddel” moments when I felt the pleasure of God. In the evenings, I would return to my hotel room and weep for two hours as I contemplated coming back to New Song and telling you, my brother elders, and the congregation, that God was calling me away. And yet, even through my tears, I felt the pleasure of God. This is His will and I must say yes to him.

In late April I told you verbally. Now you have it in writing. And so I ask you my brothers, to accept my resignation with joy and I plead for your prayers as I seek to fill in the details of what God is calling me to do next. You, as always, have all my prayers as you continue to lead the bride of Christ at New Song. To God be the glory.

Still serving Jesus,

Senior Teaching Pastor
Marty Schoenleber
(letter delivered to elders on June 2, announcement made on June 8)
On Tuesday night we will have a question and answer time for the congregation where I will share more of what we believe God is calling us to as a family.

For all who read this blog, I want to ask you for your prayers for the family of New Song, especially its elders, as together we seek to plot a course for the glory of God. Pray too for my wife and children as we make this transition. We are excited about what God is calling us to, at the same time, deeply saddened to have to leave my church family at NSC to answer the greater call of God in my life.

God is sovereign and holy and his judgments are righteous altogether (Ps. 19) and every surprise and trial of life is an opportunity to say YES to God at a deeper level than we had before. William Bordan (Bordan of Yale) said it this way: "In every situation, say no to yourself and yes to Jesus."

No matter where it takes you, no matter what it costs you, no matter how it challenges your comfort zones, say YES to Jesus because 2 Chronicles 16:9 is still true.
"The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that he may strongly support those whose heart is completely his."
Jesus will support your heart in every "YES" your heart cries out for his will. He is supporting mine right now.

10 comments:

Tim said...

Marty, as hard as it would be to leave New Song, this move is something that makes sense to me, an outsider. Last year at Trinity when you spoke of expanding the facility I remember thinking what a great idea for New Song and what a horrible fit for you. I'm sorry to see you leave them but I believe that this will be a better fit for you gifts and calling. God bless you for your obedience to his call. I know New Song will find a perfect senior pastor to lead them forward too.

Yours in Him,
Tim Etherington

ChosenRebel said...

Tim,

Thanks for your encouragment brother. How are you doing? What's happening in your neck of the woods?

Anonymous said...

You go Marty!! Live all out for God!! We believe that you have been a wonderful Pastor to us. In our deepest and darkest times and needs, You and Stephanie have been there for us. You gave us unconditional love and time. You have helped our family endure some hard times and you have given us confort and advice. Our hearts are breaking at your decision however,
God has given you great gifts of church planting and we are truly thankful that you came and started New Song, God has blessed us through you. We have learned much by your teaching His word. You and Steph have been a living testimony to my family and I. You even help move the chairs between services. You have served us and New Song Church well. You are a true servant of the Lord. You 've visited the sick( me ), counseled the hurting ( our children ), baptisted new believers (Jeffrey), and prayed for us, lots!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for being closer than a brother. You will definitely hear "Well done my faithful servant."
Jan, Ken and Jeffrey

Tim said...

I was talking with Josh Lourden last night. Told him about your plans. He did the same thing I did. Pause. Think. Nod. Yea, that sounds right.

Are you going to be with DCPI or what?

Me? Not much. Graduated in Dec, working, recovering from seminary, paying bills, teaching at church, preach occasionally at a friends church. Haven't started looking for a ministry position yet. Talking with the church in California that I came from. Waiting for Jesus to make the way clear. Like he did with you!

Craver Vii said...

Change can be scary for many of us, but God is still on the throne. He is not shaken, and my faith must rest in Him. May the Lord be pleased to use you mightily wherever He leads!

I will miss you a whole heap. My Mrs. has been weeping at the thought of losing you. And you know that there is a certain youngster who unabashedly calls you his favorite pastor!

Anonymous said...

Marty
Thanks for meeting with all of us tonight and sharing some or your heart. You've made the right decision and God will honor that.
I will have the cd available from tonight available for Sunday morning for all that want it.

Mary Ellen

Steve, Anne, Asher & Baby Girl said...

Marty,

I am excited for you! I am sure that this is the leading of the Holy Spirit. I was just talking with our new church planting director yesterday. We talked about living in that dangerous place where only God knows what is around the corner. It is a beautifully terrifying place to be. I love it here! It will be fun to see what the LORD has in store for you. God will supply all of your needs according to his good pleasure. You have my sword friend.

ChosenRebel said...

Craver: Thanks for the smile.
Tim: thanks for passing on info to josh.
Mary Ellen: you are a great servant of God. Thanks.
Ken and Jan: Love you guys.

All: Keep your eyes focused on Jesus the author and perfector of faith.

ChosenRebel said...

This in an e- mail. It includes a sound clip from message on Sunday.

Brother Marty,

I write this with a broken, but joyful heart. May the Lord continue to
give you great joy as you serve the ministry He is calling you to.

It has been a great pleasure to have been taught by you week after week as you apologetically and expositionally brought the word of God to my
heart. I am jealous of those who will be under your leadership and
tutelage. We will miss you greatly. You will be in our prayers.

Just to let you know, I partially posted today's sermon in case you
wanted to pass it around. It's a 14 meg audio file of the announcement:
FountainheadGraphics.com/marty.mp3

Thanks.
nathan

Rachel Algernon said...

Pastor Marty,
You have been a great example of a person who has a desire to follow Jesus with all of his heart.I also want to commend Stephnie for her dedication to Christ and her willingness to care for me when I felt broken. You too, Pastor. I pray that you and your family will be blessed by follwing God's will for your life and that you will shine in blue flame for Christ.
Sincerely,
"Rachel Algernon"-you know who I am...