As many of you have probably heard by now, Dana and I (and our family) are transitioning into a new season of ministry at SkyPointe as members, rather than leaders. We still look forward to doing bible studies, training biblical counselors, and planting new churches as missionaries “sent out” from the SkyPointe Community. We believe this is the Lord’s timing and are looking forward to actively supporting whatever pastor the Lord determines to continue to lead SkyPointe to even greater heights!
I remember starting off as a small group bible study in our living room with only six people, and when we reflect on what the Lord has done over these past 13 years, it’s truly exciting and humbling. This has been the privilege of our lives and something we will forever treasure! As I said above, we plan on remaining as a vibrant part of the SkyPointe community and are excited for what the future holds. I know the Lord has (in eternity past) prepared the heart of the new pastor and look forward with great anticipation to see what the Lord will do next. At present, the elders are actively praying and seeking the Lord’s heart for who this individual will be. Therefore, I thought it might be helpful to clarify our perspective, and then in a later article articulate the calling, character, and role of a pastor.
Here we go:
1) I’m not mad, confused, upset or “burned out.” I know the rumor mill goes into warp speed whenever something like this happens, and human nature is to “speculate” on the answers to a thousand “why” questions. To add some clarity, I’d like you to know this decision has been “simmering” below the surface for at least 18 months now. I’ve always struggled with “worthiness,” and while I understand fully NO ONE is “worthy” for such a position in a purely-legalistic sense, there is definitely a higher calling for a pastor.
I believe I can best be used for the kingdom in a support and teaching role at this point in my life, rather than a pastor/elder role.
2) There isn’t an individual or event that has prompted our decision, but rather an amalgamation (I’ve always wanted to use that word) of events, conversations, emotions, prayers, etc., that has led to this decision. SkyPointe Church has been Sovereignly-protected (I believe) from much of the conflict and drama most churches battle. Our people have been amazing, loving, forgiving, and passionately-committed to serving the Lord. While I would not say there have not been difficult times / people / situations in the past, I can tell you these occurrences have served to solidify our role and calling rather than undermine it. While there have certainly been failures on my part, our decision to transition out of leadership is not prompted solely by these failures, but rather a comprehensive viewpoint and belief that our season of leadership is shifting. I believe this is a very positive process for the people of SkyPointe, and all those the Holy Spirit will reach through this amazing church family.
3) This has been a humbling time of self-reflection and re-orientation. One of my greatest regrets has been spending so much time on “ministry” and not focusing upon my primary ministry of my personal relationship with the Lord and my own family. My family, as every pastor could attest, has paid a high price for my ministry efforts and time. It is only by God’s grace that He’s held us together as a family and continues to fill us with warmth, passion, grace, forgiveness and love for one another. Like I mentioned on my website, I’m the richest man alive to have a family like mine. I look forward to attending church services WITH my family and holding hands with my wife as we listen TOGETHER to the Word being taught.
4) We believe the timing is right for this transition and had much time to think about this while I was away on Sabbatical. I was in an elders’ meeting several months ago when the Sabbatical was recommended, and it helped us to rejuvenate and rebuild, under the loving leadership of the Great Shepherd! At the time of that meeting I was hurting and angry because of some recent events and my attitude was not good, nor my focus appropriate. The past several months has given us the time to gain clarity, give and receive forgiveness and grace, and begin the process for the next phase of our lives. With the elders’ permission, I will continue to teach on Sunday mornings and serve our folks until the new pastor is installed. That process, which in many churches can take many months or years, will hopefully be completed in the next two months. Upon installation of the new pastor we will give the necessary space required for the new pastor and people of SkyPointe to become acquainted and form deep bonds of love and commitment my own family has experienced. We then plan on returning to help as members to continue to build this amazing body of believers!
5) As I mentioned above, our new role will include bible teaching, counselor training, and church planting. Additionally, for income and financial purposes, and because of my love for the field, I’ll be expanding my financial services practice which focuses on cash value accumulation through specialized life insurance policies. Many within SkyPointe have not even known about my background in financial services because of my refusal to “blur the lines” between Pastor and Financial Advisor. I also look forward to continuing to teach through my website, ScottCrutchfield.com in both spiritual and financial fields. I also plan, by the Lord’s permission, to continue to do (online) webex training on different topics and teach in whatever capacities the Lord makes available. When it comes to our role as church planters, this will be as missionaries sent out from the SkyPointe flock to start (by God’s will) SkyPointe – Mauldin, SkyPointe – Charleston, and maybe even SkyPointe – Buenos Aires! All these efforts will be to build the kingdom and the SkyPointe community.
I love you all very much and wanted you to know the “real” story behind our transition! Now go make disciples, support your local church, and take ground for the Kingdom!
In Humble Appreciation,