By: Pastor Josh Droke
A time of transition always leads to a lot of questions, and a church is no different. People ask all kinds of questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how. Most of the questions seem to fall into one of two categories: “Are we going to be led well?” and “Are we going to be okay?”
And we can all say “yes, of course we will,” because we know that’s the right answer. But sometimes the right answer doesn’t stop the questions from swirling around in our hearts and minds. So I’d like to take a moment to answer both questions, to give you the reasons why we can answer both questions with a resounding and confident “yes!”
As a church family, we will be led well because we have are led by a team of men (our Elders) who are fervently seeking God’s heart.
They are doing everything in their power to make sure we are following where God is leading us, to ensure that we continue to be a multi-site church of healing. This group of men is committed to making sure our church family pursues wholeness, and that each individual member of our church family is loved and valued.
We also have a staff of God-fearing, Christ-following, grace-giving men and women who are committed to serving the church with all the gifts God has given them. In the day-to-day activities of the church, the Elders have asked me to lead the staff and the East Hills campus. I can’t promise I will be great at everything I have been asked to do, but I can promise to do my best to balance family, ministry, and community and give you everything I have to give. I can also promise that whatever ministry you are engaged in, at either campus, you are in great hands with the staff and volunteer leaders we have in place.
In short, yes – I believe you will be lead well through this transition.
My wife Wendy is entering her 15th year as a math teacher at Kelso High, and we are in our 11th year of living in Cowlitz County. We love this community and that our kids are growing up in it. We’re not blind to the problems of our city, and I for one still despise all the gray weather, but we are so aware of how blessed we are to live here. Most of all, we are blessed by the people, by the relationships we have here. We are blessed to be a part of this church family. Since the day one of my wife’s former students brought us to Saturday night church almost eight years ago, we have found East Hills to be a safe place where we can experience, growth, healing, and hope.
Kelso School District has a motto: “We are Kelso.” It’s a phrase that children in our community are raised with and many take to heart: This place is what it is because of me and my contributions to it. Good or bad, we are Kelso.
In the same way, I think any of you could stand up and say “we are East Hills and The Grove.” “We are the church.” This place may have wonderful leadership, but it is every individual in this church family, following after God’s heart, that makes East Hills and The Grove a serving, loving, welcoming, healing place. More than any sermon or song, it is you – your outpouring of grace and hope on those around you – that makes us who we are.