Dreaming About Something New

Michelle at Tetons

Rob and I have served in ministry together at Granger Community Church for 21 years. The first ten or so years, we were side by side in the trenches…I worked just as hard as he did building and equipping middle school and high school students, college students and young adults, as well as leaders to become fully devoted followers of Christ, taking their next steps toward Christ together. We lived in a small apartment on one salary. GCC got a two for one deal for many years when we came and served together–But we loved it. We were fully alive when we were serving together. Some of the most amazing days of our lives happened in those ten years. We saw God work in marvelous ways, we saw floods of students give their lives to Christ, families drawn together, etc. It was beautiful.

Rob’s job shifted from youth and young adult ministry about then, and he became Pastor of Life Mission. It was during this time that we travelled to India for the first time and fell in love with people that changed our lives, rocked our worlds, and challenged everything we believed in. They gave us hope for the Kingdom of God, that it truly would forcefully advance there and around the world. We made several trips to India together, then as a family in the next few years. Rob and I got to write our book, “Share the Well” together, truly a dream come true for both of us – Me, to sit at the feet of women church planters who have survived unbelievable things to carry their cross and follow Jesus. Rob, teaching Church planters new strategies on reaching their world for Jesus. I wrote a blog post about how I feel when I am in India, I remember saying I feel most “alive” there, serving men and women considered to be “Untouchable” in India, but truly royalty in our eyes.

We have had some amazing, astounding moments serving together at GCC. We are forever grateful for what we have learned and how we have grown in the past 21 years. I was 19 years old when I joined Rob here–A mere 4 years older than my oldest daughter is right now. I literally grew up here. I’ve spent my entire adult life in the shadow of Granger Community Church. As the church has grown larger, Rob’s job has shifted, and then some more. With the church growing larger, the need for simple people like me to serve in junction with Rob has diminished almost completely. It’s been hard and sad and I’ve felt like a third string player for a while–Benched, or sidelined because I am not an astounding artist, musician, teacher, preacher, or whatever.

What GCC delivers on the weekend is world class. We have some of the finest artists and musicians in our area. It’s fabulous. It’s wonderful. I get it. It still makes me sad not to be able to serve with Rob the way we did for those first ten years we served side by side together. It has been hard for to watch this family I’ve known for twenty-one years turn from a “family” into a mega organization. It takes an organization to reach thousands for Jesus, I suppose, but nostalgic me misses the peace that came from knowing who I went to church with, knowing Rob’s coworkers, and selfishly, I miss being involved in all of it.

We both have felt an inward churn for a few years now, wondering if there is something else we could do, that would be together. When we got married, we felt called to serve together. It’s who we are. The largeness of a mega church is overwhelming to me as a solid introvert. The public-ness of our lives is overwhelming to our family. The celebrity culture of “Mega” puts Rob, our lives and our family on this pedestal of greatness that is odd to me. We are regular people, trying to live our regular lives, trying to raise our regular kids. We want to love Jesus and serve people.

We love Granger Community Church. It has been our home for twenty-one years. Rob and I feel it is time to venture out into something new together. We want to be reunited in the passions of serving Jesus that originally united our hearts. We don’t even know what that means yet. We are so grateful for the love and support of GCC and the many staff who are truly family to us. We know it is time to move on. It is time to begin a new phase of our marriage and our lives together as a family.

We appreciate your prayers of love and support as we go through this painful transition time. It truly feels like a death to us–a death to a life we’ve had here, a great life. A death to be born again into something new.

We appreciate your love for our children. If you don’t really know our kids extremely well, please, please, don’t hug them, kiss them, talk to them, console them, or even touch them. They will be fine. Any extra emotional vibes they get from people they don’t know well will just freak them out. Each of our girls have amazing leaders in their different small groups or church classes. They will be well loved and cared for in those environments. Change is hard. It is difficult for all of us.

Know we love everyone on the GCC staff. We may not see eye to eye on everything, but what family does? Love has grown this church, and love will continue to grow it.

Ask me questions in private. Message me through Facebook or my blog. I may take awhile to get to responding, but know you matter to me. A lot. Most of all, you matter to God. He’s got this; and I’m sure glad He does.


16 thoughts on “Dreaming About Something New

  1. George Nicholson says:

    I am so excited for you and Rob. I know we’ve never met in real life but you two DO minister together to me via Instagram. Your courage to answer the call is inspiring. Press onward.

  2. alan hirsch says:

    You guys are ‘regular’ heroes. Thanks for all your amazing work in people’s lives over the last two decades. Well done!

  3. Isabel says:

    So I guess this means u are “moving on”. I have to tell u. I have been afraid to go back to my church because I am scared of that “lonely” feeling again. It took me yrs to “break in” then I started to volunteer (even that felt hard) but I made friends. Those friends have now moved on 2 other churches and I am scared 2 go back to that “mega” church and feel that loneliness again. I totally understand what you are saying. Please keep in touch w me and let me know what u r up to. I may move to the mid-west. lol I love u guys.

  4. tony sheng says:

    excited for you and your family….and with you guys in prayer for clarity and a great transition!

  5. Lisa says:

    Beautiful and real! Thanks for sharing your heart. Praying for you all!

  6. Clint Mettler says:

    I am thankful for you and Rob. I will be praying for you and your family as God takes you all to the next……

  7. dolores hardy says:

    I cried in church tonight. I do wish you all the best in your new adventure and know that your life
    together as a family will be awesome. But I’m selfish
    I don’t want you to leave-Rob is such a great teacher and a wonderful individual. You’ll be missed by the church family and even tho I don’t know you personally Michelle your goodness and love show thru your family and the church family. Good luck on your new journey.

  8. Jeanne says:

    Dear Michelle,
    I don’t attend GCC, but am close friends with someone who is very involved in the ministry there. I am a pastor’s wife at a small church and I am also an introvert. Why God calls introverts to the role of pastor’s wife is a mystery to me. I’d love to meet with other introverted pastor’s wives to share thoughts on that subject, but they probably wouldn’t come to the meeting. 🙂
    I am happy to hear that you will be headed into some sort of ministry that will enable you and Rob to serve alongside each other again. Ministry can be a challenge to the best of marriages and being a team is essential if we want to continue to forge ahead.
    I can’t wait to hear where God calls you next. Please know you and your family are in my prayers.
    A co-laborer for the Kingdom,

  9. Martha Varga says:

    What an amazing sharing of your soul, with me a stranger to you, but a sister in Christ! Blessings will abound I am certain. Sometimes less is so much more!

  10. brian says:

    Rob and michelle
    Love you both dearly. So happy to have had the opportunity to be a part of that family with you. I understand your feelings and know for certain that wherever your journey sends you next, it will be equally amazing. No matter where you are in a large organization it takes courage and faith to move outside those walls and explore new possibilities. I hope that your new journey will be as fresh and as exciting as it was those first days at GCC.
    Much love and mahalo for your impact on those around you.
    Brian Davis

  11. Steve Wise says:

    Praying for you. Rob helped me in dark time. I’m thankful for his friendship.

  12. April Olson says:

    Thanks for sharing your heart with us. Following God and stepping into scary is a wonderful, beautiful thing and has always been where I’ve seen Him the most.
    I will be praying for your family. I’ve told Josh how awesome your girls are and that I want our kids to be right with us as we serve and love others- thanks for modeling that for us and so many families.
    I can’t wait to see the people God takes you to as you get to share Jesus together.
    Grace and peace to you.

  13. Amy Franklin says:

    My husband and I will miss you dearly!! Rob definitely spoke some amazing messages and we were so thankful that he allowed the Lord to speak so much truth during his time at GCC.. good luck in your next adventure!

  14. Jennifer Karasek says:

    Michelle, Your blog entry this past weekend was so moving. Thank you. I must admit that I cried thru the church service. Not out of sadness but mostly out jealousy. That sounds weird, I know. I really love Rob’s insight and enthusiasm and will definately feel the void from not hearing him preach. But jealous for your all out committment to each other, God, and willing to go to any length to follow him, even when its not easy. Wish I had known you personally. You both are amazing!

  15. Deb Harris says:

    My prayers will be with you & Rob. I know you will be blessed by following God’s leading. My husband & I had to make a similiar move many years ago. Many will not understand but in your heart you will know that this is right. My own children have recently made this same decision. While it hurts to have them leave the area, I know they are where God wants them. Deb (Sami M.’s mother) =)

  16. Dolores Huffman says:

    Prayers go out to both of you in your continuing ministry wherever it is. God always has a plan always and it will play out for all of you. I moved away from Granger in 2006 and what I missed most was being able to attend GCC even though I did not attend as regular as I would have liked too, I felt the love and faith that GCC brought to all. But I could see the change coming that you are speaking of. There are so many that need a place like GCC and it puts the ministry team in a quandary when there are so many to be reached. You just keep getting bigger and bigger. I certainly don’t have the answer, but I know GCC Always holds a special place in my heart! Prayers for your family in wherever you go.

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