The Best Is Yet To Come!

Odds are that my family is a little different than your family. As a teenager I rode a horse most afternoons after school and trained it to follow me around like a puppy dog. I loved nothing more than wearing my worn in cowboy boots, and the sound of the click of my heels across the old boardwalks at Circle C Ranch when I worked there as a wrangler.

While my friends were growing up watching Star Wars, Superman, and E.T.. Instead I was watching Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Support Your Local Sheriff, and the Apple Dumplin Gang. Seeing a theme here?

I loved westerns, loved the idea anyway, and even thought one day I might own my own ranch and break and train horses for a living. My absolute favorite movie was the story of the Gunfight at O.K. Corral, later repackaged as the movie Tombstone. This story was different, because there wasn't just one hero, but a team of 4 that won the day.

The idea of team is important to me. My time playing sports, times performing in professional music ensembles, and certainly my time in the Marines has reinforced this theme in my life. Scripture regarding team leadership resonates incredibly well with me too. "And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ," Ephesians 4:11-12.

Renewal Church was formed with teamwork and interdependent leadership at its core. Any success we have seen has not come from my own mediocre talents, but from the strong team of leaders we have had in place right from day one. We have had some like Dick Murphy who have been a constant throughout, and others like Adam Schnitzer, Scott Lackey, Kyle Moore, and Doug McClinsey who have served for a time then moved on. In all, it has been an honor to serve with these fine men. Interestingly, I wouldn't have seen myself as the one to transition away from the team but that is exactly what is happening.

This Sunday, March 6th, will be my final Sunday at Renewal Church as the Lead Pastor. Of course, this will be capped off with good old fashioned potluck meal after the gathering. Hooray! This means that God's team is going to be adjusted once again. Pastor Dan Davis will take over the reigns as Lead Pastor at Renewal, and I have been voted in and have accepted the position at Randall Church as Lead Pastor. Because Randall is the sending church for Renewal, I will still be very much connected to what happens at Renewal, but Pastor Dan will be the one holding the steering wheel from this point forward.

Practically speaking neither Dan or myself will take the pulpit for the two weeks following, in order for us both to ensure a healthy professional hand-off, as well as minister to our families before jumping in to the next chapter. At Renewal, the pulpit will be filled by John Fischer March 13th and followed by Joe Laduca March 20th, and at Randall the pulpit will be filled by Keith Tyson March 13th, followed by Ed Kuffel March 20th.

Good Friday, March 25th, and Easter weekend will be a new and fresh start for myself at Randall Church as well as Pastor Dan at Renewal. For both of us, the process of forming a healthy leadership team begins in earnest. Leading God's people is the greatest honor a person can have!

If you have been around church life for any significant amount of time, you know that pastoral transition can create significant upheaval. But hopefully you have also learned that as Jesus said to disciples in Mark 10:46, "It shall not be so among you." Change melts some churches like wax. But it doesn't have to! There are many other examples of fine churches that become healthier, stronger, and more rock-like, through the heat of a pastoral change. 

Pray for myself and Erin as we transition to find our place at Randall, and lead through a time of healing and re-dreaming the dream. Pray for Pastor Dan and Crista as they explore the exciting new responsibilities and stories of life change that lie ahead at Renewal. Commit to be in prayer for not only the next few days, but for the next few years.

Time will reveal the true fiber of these two churches, but I will tell you what I think. We will come through these pastoral transition stronger and more vibrant than ever, because God has an incredible plan for his people in North Tonawanda and Williamsville. In fact I believe that the BEST is yet to come for our churches! I'm so honored to serve with you, and I can't wait for what's ahead in 2016!! I LOVE what God has called us to, and am honored to serve as part of the team!!!

Thank You!

Milo Wilson


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