Foreword by Valerie McIntyre
C3 Europe Regional Director and Pastor of C3 Fulham
As a pastor, we never like seeing any of our best people move on. But after living in New York, and now London, I know the reality of big city living – the possibility for your members to change locations is high, if not inevitable.
I’m also a business owner who has ‘launched’ a lot of careers. Same thing, you never want your employees, especially your stars, to move on to new jobs, but part of my job is to help grow people to be better than they are when they get to me. And growth means just that – sometimes you outgrow your surroundings.
We have a fine couple and their children leaving us at C3 Fulham to move back to Australia. When they moved to London it was for life, but you never quite know where life will take you. On his last Sunday, Cliff, the father of the tribe gave us a little ‘sermon’ at our pre-service prayer time. For all the pastors out there, who hate to see people go, here’s a an encouragement that they are leaving with more than what they arrived with – love is worth its weight in gold.
The last couple of weeks, as we’ve been packing up. I’ve been thinking a lot about our time here in the UK, what God has taught me, and how much I’ve changed in that time.
If it’s ok, I’d like to just share a couple of those things. Hopefully some of it might be of some use and encouragement to you, or, if you’ve heard it all before, you can just nod along smugly.
God gives us dreams and goals. But God is viewing our lives from an entirely different perspective that we are. We see it from the present, able to look back over the past but peering blindly and sometimes fumbling into the dimly lit future, trying to make out what it is coming up next. God sees our life in its entirety, looking back from the end all the way to the beginning. We see the temporal. God sees the eternal. So we shouldn’t be surprised when his priorities seem to be different to ours.
I came to the UK with hopes of furthering my career as a composer but, 9 years later, I’m leaving with so much more than that.
Life is definitely not a destination.
Life is all about the journey, and the journey is all about the people you’re travelling with. And the most exciting and memorable times are the unplanned pit-stops along the way.
I’ve had highlights (and lowlights) career-wise. But what I will remember and cherish the most is not a set of career accomplishments but the memories of the people we’ve journeyed with. The people who stood with us in the tough times and celebrated with us in the good times. The relationships that have been forged in the fire as we’ve shared this chapter of the adventure together. C3 Fulham has been our family. You are brothers and sisters, and I consider it a privilege to know each and every one of you.
The older I get, the more I believe that God puts visions and passions in our heart more as something to motivate us and get us moving – because it’s easier to steer a moving ship – than a literal picture of the exact future. When we get there it always seems to be different to what we expected.
So, I want to encourage you. Relax! Chill out! You are in the right place, your destiny is today – right here and right now. Whether you are doing well, or whether you’re doing it tough at the moment. It’s all part of the grand adventure. Savour the moment because it’s gone all too soon, forever relegated to fond memories and amusing anecdotes.
It really is so easy to get caught up in chasing that promotion or that dream job and forget to appreciate the amazing things God is doing right here and right now.
Be careful not to hold onto your dreams tighter than you hold onto God!
Life is all about the journey, and the journey is all about the people you’re travelling with.
And, since it feels like I should finish with a profound quote:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller, 1986
To find out more about C3 Fulham, visit www.c3fulham.com.