Dear EBCToday I’m back in my office at Edgewood from being in San Jose for the past week. I’m here preparing for the message I’ll preach this weekend – my final message as a pastor of this amazing church. Ironically, it was nearly 5 years ago to the day that I preached for the first time at Edgewood. Befitting, that I should be concluding my ministry here at the same time.

There are so many things I want to say to each of you that I find it difficult deciding where to begin. For five years you have loved me, encouraged me, honored me, and taught me at least as much as I ever taught you. I’ve seen so many of you come to Christ during my time here. I estimate that I have had the privilege of baptizing somewhere over a hundred of you into our church family, and more importantly, into obedience as a follower of Jesus. I’ve preached hundreds of times to you. And I’ve seen faithfulness in you that any pastor would love to see in his church family. You’ve listened, learned, grown, and taught me a great deal about my journey in the process.

In less than a month, my family and I will say goodbye and move to San Jose, CA. Leaving you is painful for me, to say the least. May you continue in the things that God has worked in your life, and years from now, I pray that we will continue to celebrate what God is doing in the Quad Cities, the South Bay, and around the world. Though a 2,000 mile gap will soon exist between us, my heart still beats for this place and this family of friends and believers who have been so good to us for the past five years.

So about this weekend…

I’m preaching for the final time before we leave. It’s been over a month since I last preached here at home to you. So most of you already know that I have no intentions of holding back or pulling punches. But I am far less interested in impressing you as I am in blessing and challenging you to reach your full potential in Christ. Among many things that I am praying for God to do this weekend, I am asking Him to draw people to Himself – to allow me the privilege this last time, to be part of seeing Him use this church to impact people’s stories for eternity. And that’s where you and I come in.

Please don’t miss this weekend! I want to preach God’s Word over you one last time. But also, don’t come alone! Bring someone with you who needs a touch from God. I’m very confident He plans on attending, and wants to do something in your friends’/family’s lives.

I’m not making this weekend about me. I’ve got far more important things to talk about than myself. So in advance, I want to tell you that you are a good church. You’ve been good to me and I wouldn’t have traded my time with you for any earthly delight. I’m a better pastor, leader, and follower of Jesus for having worked with you.

To the many of you who have been directly part of working with us in our Singles Ministry, Saturday night service, LifeGroups, and so on… look what God did! You were too good to try easy stuff – you did things that were worthwhile. And look how God blessed your faith! Look at what we got to see and do together!!! It still doesn’t seem real to me that we made it where we are now. But God has been gracious to us. And we got to play a part in His work of drawing people to Himself and making disciples. You are precious to me. And working with you has been the honor of my life. Some of you hold special, irreplaceable spots in our hearts. You know who you are. We couldn’t have made it without you. Not by a long shot! Thank you, friends.

If you don’t normally attend Edgewood, and especially if you don’t normally attend any church, join us this week. I believe God is going to do something greater in our lives than any of us could hope or ask for. I can’t wait to see you there!

Blessings,
Pastor John

PS – services are Sat. 5pm, and Sun. 8 & 10:45am