By now, I hope you’ve gotten up to speed on all that is happening in the Lovejoy family. While it was quite a news flash for most people, it certainly wasn’t for us. As a matter of fact, our decision to launch Courage To Lead has been brewing for a long time. We are anxious to dive headlong into a new ministry venture, to make a new house our home, and to meet new friends. HOWEVER…. We have also been grieving. Closing this chapter of our lives doesn’t happen easily or without heartache. We have planted a church, raised 3 children, baptized over 2000 people, made lifelong friends, and lived incredible lives in Cumming, Georgia. I feel like I’ve planted trees and watched them grow over the last 16 years, and now I will miss seeing their leaves change each season.
- People stopping us in restaurants and stores because they recognize us. If they didn’t like us, they would avoid us. Taking time to say hello is a validation of their warm feelings toward our family. Our family has felt incredibly loved and valued.
- Strangers telling us about the personal spiritual decisions they are making. They tell us in the church lobby. In emails. In Target. At the park. In our neighborhood. When they see us, they excitedly share of an upcoming baptism or an answer to prayer or about a friend they’ve invited to church. Celebrating what God is doing in the lives of people spurs us on
- The privilege of influence that comes with our title. Being the pastor’s wife means people often seek me out for wisdom and guidance simply because they assume I have more spiritual knowledge than they do. I’ve taken that trust extremely seriously. I’ll miss planting myself in one spot in the church lobby and talking with people as long as they need me. I’ll miss leading the other women on our ministry team. I’ll miss teaching at Girlfriends. My title gave me a specific platform. What an honor to be chosen by God to lead in that way!
- The way our security team cares for our family. It sounds ludicrous that we would need security, but then again we live in a world where messed up people do messed up things. Our security team has our back. Over the years, we’ve had a few questionable characters who needed a little attention, and our team acted with confidence and grace. When I leave the church lobby after each worship service I always chuckle when I hear one of our security crew say into a headset, “WOODSTOCK IS IN FLIGHT” or “SNOOPY IS HEADED TO THE HOUSE.”
- The Saturday night debrief. I enjoy seeing our ministry team in action. In these meetings they critique and challenge every aspect of a weekend service. Their goal is to provide ministry in the most excellent way possible. We have always strived for conservative theology and progressive methodology. I feel a kinship with our pastors as we plot and plan together. I love being part of that fraternity
- Messing with the parking team. I enter through the exit, park improperly, and have weekly battles with orange cones. When the team directs me to drive a specific direction, I roll down my window and tell them I have different plans. I recently discovered that one of our pastors gave the team a photo of my car with instructions to let me do whatever I want. It’s not nearly as fun messing with them if they aren’t going to play along, though. I’ll miss seeing them throw their hands in the air in defeat when they see my grocery-getter zipping down the drive.
- Sitting on the front row. I have a front row seat for everything that happens at MLC. Baptisms, salvations, rescued marriages, salvaged relationships, healed addictions, new hires, leadership lessons, conferences, building projects, special events…I have a front row seat for all of it. I’ll miss that blue chair and the great view it offered
- My Life Group(s). Participating in our small group ministry has afforded me not only spiritual growth but my closest friends. God uses those friendships to sustain and entertain me. I will miss eating, laughing, praying, and growing with my brothers and sisters.