Heeding God’s Call…

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This might be one of the hardest things about being a career pastor. (an announcement I made a month ago)

I get reminded that ministry is seasonal every time I’m in the room at GoshenCRC were elders and deacons meet. In our almost 90-year history, we’ve had 12 pastors. Typically, we’ve called a different pastor about every 7 years. And it’s worked well. It keeps pastors fresh, and church leaders leading.

We LOVE Goshen CRC. It’s a healthy, growing church making a difference in our community. And now I’m on my 11th year here. It’s been a wonderful decade of rewarding challenges, growth, and ministry. You all have become our family.

But as the Sutter family started hitting the 10-year mark, we started praying a courageous prayer, asking, “God, show us what’s next for the Sutter family?” – “Do you want us here, or is it time to go on to a new kingdom assignment?” (And praying is easy, but saying, “God, we’ll go where you send us”... that’s hard.)

We’ve taken a call to pastor Boynton Beach Community Church in Florida, and we’re looking at transition sometime this summer. It’s a good church with wonderful people and potential. I can use some of what I learned here to help them, and it’s a good place for the kids (and for you to visit).

For Goshen folks, I don’t expect a lot to change here. Most of the wonderful things that happen here are decisions and work done not by me but by our core leaders. For now, I’m thankful that I’ve had our elders to pray for and support us – I’m so grateful for them. They are some of my closest friends. We’ll miss everyone dearly.

But, especially if you’re new, you should know that this is a normal, healthy season in church life. Most of our church leaders have helped lead through the transition process before. Please pray, please be patient as we figure things out. There will be opportunities for you to be a part of decisions that take place in the future (feel free to talk to me, or Scott, or we’ll have a lot of discussion). But, I think what’s next can be a really good, healthy season, and I’m convinced the best days of Goshen Church are ahead of us as we follow God, give Him glory, and show God’s love to people.


–Pastor Sam