Lance Brown Called to New Ministry
About a year ago, Lance Brown, our intrepid and energetic Minister of Renewal, told me that he was feeling called by God to expand his ministry in the Middle East. This ministry, which was launched by Chapel Hill, combines the first Celebrate Recovery program ever in the Arab world with a lay counseling program, also unheard of in Arab culture. Working with Christian churches in the West Bank, these initial efforts have exploded, expanding into Egypt as well.
These initiatives were demanding more and more of Lance’s time and energy and he wanted me to share in a discernment process with him about his future. The timing was awful, frankly. We were in the midst of a huge transition in leadership and I really needed Lance to hang tight for another year to allow our new leadership team to get their feet on the ground.
That has occurred, thankfully, and Lance’s sense of call has only intensified. In December, we returned to this conversation and Lance told me that he would be leaving at the end of May. What follows is a letter from Lance:
Dearly beloved Chapel Hill brothers and sisters in Christ,
For quite some time I have known that God was calling me to minister beyond Chapel Hill. Pastor Mark and I have been discussing this for quite some time. We decided that, while there’s never a good time to make such a move, this might be the best time possible. So, I will be leaving the Chapel Hill staff in late spring. I sense God’s call to invest more heavily in the ministries that you helped us plant in Israel and Palestine and potentially across the rest of the Middle East.
There will be time later this spring for me to share with you more extensively what God is doing, but at this point I just want to say this: Serving my church in this way has been the greatest gift of my life. Chapel Hill will always be my church and I will always feel blessed by your friendship and support.
God has wonderful things in store for ALL of us!
As all of you know, Lance is enormously gifted in a variety of ways. The Session has decided to fill this position with an ordained pastor. A Pastor Search Committee has been formed to seek an Assistant Pastor of Mentoring and Renewal. This team includes elders and three members of the renewal program and they are already hard at work. We will keep you posted on their progress.
Meantime, please pray for Lance and Susan as they lay plans for this exciting new chapter in their lives. And pray for Chapel Hill, too, that God will lead to us just the right person to carry this important ministry forward.