Thursday, August 20, 2015

Before I Chris Kirby

Before I Go…

…I would just like to take a moment to formally say thank you for allowing me, Jill, and the kids to be part of the family at Southeastern. It’s hard to believe it’s been over 8 years since we made our move north to become Hoosiers. We will never forget our time here and will always be grateful for our experiences.

…I’d like to express how grateful we are for the many blessings that have shaped our family during our time here. Our family has grown from 3 to 5 and our children have been treated with love and compassion from so many people who have taught them in classes, played with them in the playroom, hung out with them on youth trips, babysat for us, or cared from them in the preschool. Our kids know nothing different than being Hoosier (we’ll never let Jack know he was born in ‘Bama! J). They think that winter is supposed to be long, very very long, and be filled snow and bitter wind; bedtime in the summer is way too early because the sun is still up; hills aren’t a part of everyday life; racecars aren’t supposed to have fenders; and that every kid must have a really amazing children’s museum to play at on rainy days.  They are excited about moving close to family but we are definitely going to have our work cut out to make a new home that matches their love for Indy!

…I want you to know that I have learned so much about ministry from being part of successes and learning from failures here. We’ve spent a lot of time and covered many miles with our group in vans on our way to serve, grow in faith, building community, and just having a great time together. I’ve been given nicknames from teens, made up silly songs and stories with the group, played some games that were tons of fun (and some that weren’t! ha), and shared some tears along the way. Most importantly, we have been able to witness young people give their lives to Christ. We’ve had teens go through transformation and maturation in faith that have born witness to the greatness of Christ. We’ve seen teens try new things and blossom as they gained a sense of identity in the Lord. It is awesome to be in the positon as a youth minister and get a front row seat for God to work in powerful ways in young people!

… I want to give a special thanks to the young adult small group we were able to meet with for several years. We shared meals together, had spirited conversations, helped each other out when a need was present, and were able to experience true Christian fellowship with a group that we call family. So many of the young adults at Southeastern are talented and have so much to offer. I hope that they will choose to exert themselves in selfless ways to the ministry of Southeastern and that the church will recognize the potential of the group.

… I have to let the staff know I couldn’t ask for better partners in ministry than Greg, Joey, and Dale. Each of these guys display obvious hearts for the Lord and bring such unique gifts and passions to the table. I hope that they will continue to shine in their ministries and help Southeastern and North Central be lights for the Kingdom in Indianapolis. Also, Debbie and LeAnne both exemplify such sacrificial hearts for the church at Southeastern. They do so on the job and in their efforts that are outside of job descriptions. I can only hope for such a strong connection with the staff at Tusculum and know that I have learned what it means to work as a team from my time at Southeastern.

… you should hear that I’m appreciative to the shepherds at Southeastern. Over the 8 years  I’ve been here there have 12 different men I’ve worked with for some length of time. Several of the men served the full length of my tenure. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that they strive to lead Southeastern in a humble way and with the good of the congregation at the heart of their decisions. I can also say they strive to treat staff fairly and with dignity. I still remember the day we accepted the job at Southeastern in May of 2007. We had hesitations about leaving the south and our families. One of the elders, I believe it was Brian, talked to me on the phone and assured me that the good of our family would be a top priority at Southeastern and to only take the job if I felt it would be good for us personally.  That compassion toward our needs sealed the deal for us to move north! I hope that they will continue to lead with humility, prayer, and boldness to follow the leading of God!

… that we are excited to move into another season of ministry, but it also comes with sadness about leaving. However, we pray for a bright future at Southeastern. We hope that you will passionately present Jesus to those who don’t yet know Him, grow in your faith together as a family, and strive to honor God in everything you do. Be a group of disciples who take seriously the charge to bring justice and mercy into your community while walking humbling with God. Don’t just keep the doors open, run out of those doors with passion to reach the world for Jesus. We believe that the best days for Southeastern can be in the future and not the past if God is in the middle of everything here.

… you should know this one last thing: Be sure to stop and see us if you’re ever passing through Nashville. We’d love the chance to see anyone from this family we’ve called ours for almost a decade. We love you and will miss you!

1 comment:

  1. Chris, what a wonderful testimony from you regarding the church family here in Indianapolis! We will pray for your continued growth with your new family in Nashville and you will always have a home in our hearts here! God bless you and your precious family as you follow His will throughout your lives. In Christ, Patty