Pastor Mark, Crystal Munson, and Pastor Jamie at the Munsons' rehearsal dinner (January 2000).
"What's next for you?" If I had a nickel for every time somebody's asked me that question in these last few weeks, my answer could involve retirement on a tropical beach somewhere (not that I'm interested in retirement). It's an honest question, of course, and I appreciate all of the love, prayers, and encouragement that my family and I have received since I announced my transition a few weeks ago. Today marks the last day of my official employment with Mars Hill Church, so I thought it would be an appropriate time to answer the question. Here's what's next for me… The next three months will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to rest, write, think, plan, and enjoy my family. Since I first began working at Mars Hill over 12 years ago, I haven't taken any long vacations so I'm very much looking forward to an extended Sabbath. In October, I'm teaching at Pastor Larry Osborne's Sticky Teams conference along with Pastor Mark. I'm also working on writing a leadership book. But for the next few months I'm especially looking forward to getting good at the little things, like meeting my kids at the bus and taking my wife out for lunch. "Chaperone" was never on my list of things to accomplish in life when I was younger, but I'm really excited to help out on my daughter's school camping trip this fall. In all of this I feel a little spoiled but mostly very, very grateful. As for Mars Hill, the Munsons plan on sitting in the front row at Ballard every Sunday to learn, grow, and worship Jesus with our church family. I'm still a pastor serving at Mars Hill Ballard and on the Board of Directors. In fact, tonight I'll be officiating a wedding. I love this church, and I love the fact I get to continue serving here. Just to be clear: I'm not moving to Montana to plant a church (as some have speculated, much to my amusement). The words of gratitude and encouragement we've received over the last few weeks have been extremely humbling and fortifying for my family and me. We're blessed to have so many people in our lives. Thank you for the grace and kind words you've shown us. Beginning in January, I'll start a new chapter of employment, which I'll share more about as we get closer to that day. I'm excited. Prayers appreciated. The bottom line is this: A few things are changing but most are not. Like I said in my letter to the church at the beginning of this month: I love Jesus, I love my family, I love Mars Hill, I love my friends at Mars Hill, I love what Jesus is doing here, and I'm as fired up as I've ever been to see his mission move forward in our cities. I'm all in, and I encourage you to be the same. Love you, friends.