The past year has included a lot of seeking and soul-searching. A lot of prayer. A lot of counsel. I want to serve God well. I want to serve Granger well. And I know that I can't do that apart from a life that's in tune with a growing understanding of what makes me alive and where my life bears fruit.
We use an acronym at GCC — SHAPE — as a shorthand to express our conviction that people should live out of their Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences, and after leading our Creative Arts team for a couple of years, I began to wonder if that role fit my SHAPE. I was also feeling a growing pull toward the kind of work that's done in teaching — studying, reflecting, writing, creating. It has been an honor and a thrill to spend the best hours of my day working alongside my teammates in Creative Arts. But that has often meant that teaching prep got the last hours of my day.
I brought all of this to Tim Stevens and Mark Beeson last spring, and they listened, prayed with me, and offered counsel. They also helped me connect with a life-planning retreat facilitated by a trusted advisor that yielded a lot of insight. Eventually we brought the rest of the Senior Management Team into that conversation. And not too long ago, we landed on what we believe will be the right next steps for me and for our Creative Arts team.
I'll be moving into a new role focused on my work as a teaching pastor for GCC. I'll remain on the Senior Management Team, but no longer leading Creative Arts will mean spending more time in study and preparation and will also create space to work on writing, video, or speaking projects that serve the Church at large. (If you think I could serve you or your event as a speaker, let's talk! More info on the speaking page.) Once this transition is complete, this blog will be one of the primary outlets for that work.
I'm excited to take my next step. And I'm thrilled about the next season for Creative Arts. Sean Bublitz, who currently leads our production teams, will be moving into my current leadership role over that team. He will be terrific. He has shown huge passion and vision since joining us in 2011. And we're pumped to have Ben Lunsford joining us to fill Sean's current role. Ben comes to us from Hillsong NYC where he has been leading production efforts since the church launched there. Ben will be making the move in May, and I'll be handing off to Sean not too long after that.
I came across these words from Frederick Buechner awhile ago, and I've clung to them fiercely in this process of discernment. In the season ahead I hope to get better and better at finding my own words, but for now his seem to be the sharpest, clearest description of what I intend to do in the next season of my life:
So let him use words, but in addition to using them to explain, expound, exhort, let him use them to evoke, to set us dreaming as well as thinking, to use words as at their most prophetic and truthful, the prophets used them to stir in us memories and longings and intuitions that we starve for without knowing that we starve. Let him use words which do not only try to give answers to the questions that we ask or ought to ask but which help us to hear the questions that we do not have words for asking and to hear the silence that those questions rise out of and the silence that is the answer to those questions. Drawing on nothing fancier than the poetry of his own life, let him use words and images that help make the surface of our lives transparent to the truth that lies deep within them, which is the wordless truth of who we are and who God is and the Gospel of our meeting.
Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale