In just a couple of weeks, we will have a special evening service that you will want to attend. On August 19, we will honor Pastor Rob Emanuel. Pastor Rob has faithfully served Life Community Church for 14 years and has invested in the lives of hundreds of students. He has been a loyal, dedicated servant, but most importantly, a dear friend to me who has demonstrated a heart for God and for students. We will have a night of appreciation at 6:00pm that night and afterwards, we will be a special time of fellowship at the Life House. Bring your favorite snacks, foods and/or desserts for everyone to share while we fellowship.
Because we have known of Pastor Rob's upcoming departure from LCC, I have been praying and working hard to find a youth pastor for many months now - as well as a children's pastor to help lead that ministry to the next level. I have contacted and received resumes from pastors of some of the largest churches in the country. I’ve also corresponded with John Avant, the president of Life Action, as well as Ryan Loveing who oversees their ministry teams. I’ve spent countless hours contacting, talking, interviewing and having meals with potential prospects, but many felt they were where God would have them be, while others simply weren’t the right candidates for us. Even though the process has been difficult, frustrating and often draining, God’s presence and direction has been undeniable.
Pastor Rob and Pastor Dean recommended my son, Jake III, but because he is my son, I ignored it and didn’t give it a lot of thought. But a few months ago, God began to work in the life of my son, reminding him of the most satisfying and fruitful times in his life and ministry - his senior year at Wesleyan Academy when he was one of the student chaplains. There he began an early morning prayer time and spoke at chapel. He has also been reflecting on his ministry as an R.A. at Liberty University where he invested in the lives of many young men. His summer intern positions here at LCC and First Baptist Woodstock in Georgia and mission trips to the Dominican Republic, Africa and India also factored into his recent reflections.
As God was taking him down memory lane, Jake took a few students from Mosaic to Crossroads Camp for the week, and while there, God began to clarify and confirm direction in his life. When he returned home, he placed a resume in my box -- unbeknownst to me -- sensing God’s leadership to serve here at LCC as Youth Pastor. I spoke with our Pastoral staff, getting their feedback as well as the Personnel Committee. I interviewed my son for a couple of hours focusing on two questions: (1) How do you know God has called you here, and (2) What would be your direction and your strategy if you were serving here? After a couple of hours of conversation, I was convinced the young man who grew up in this church and was licensed and ordained to the gospel ministry by this church was ready to serve this church in this capacity.
Therefore, effective August 20, Jake J. Thornhill III will join our ministry team to serve as the youth pastor at LCC. I look forward to him sharing his strategy with the parents of our students in the near future. Before I began this process I spoke with Pastor Barry at Mosaic. I would never do anything to hinder the work there, nor would I hire Jake without Pastor Barry’s approval and blessing. Pastor Barry was in full agreement and thought Jake would excel at LCC. Jake has been meeting with a group of young men from Mosaic on Thursday nights in his home and will continue to do so even while he begins to serve full-time here at LCC.
Please pray for this time of transition and for the other staff positions that will need to be filled. Pray that God will continue to lead and send those who are called and equipped to serve here.
For the King and His Kingdom,