I’m fine with change. It’s transitions I’m not crazy about. Both youth ministry and nonprofit organizations tend to deal with a lot of it, so YOKE sits at a unique intersection. It seems like just when you get the team right where you want it, another transition is lurking around the corner and you have to adjust all over again.

We’ve had to deal with some transitions again recently, but God has been whispering encouragement to our hearts through the process. The picture above was taken recently at camp and features me along with my two former program directors, Eli Cockrum and Sarah Scheafnocker. I was not ready to lose Eli, but Sarah brought some gifts and talents to our team that I never could have anticipated. I hated for Sarah to move on, but her doing so made space for Madjoel to step up and thrive in a role she had helped prepare him for. Obviously, both still love middle school students, have a passion for YOKE, and want to stay involved (read more about Eli in this month’s camp update).

I heard from two other former staff members this week, each of whom had made the decision to move closer to family during the Covid-19 pandemic. They’re both still involved in nonprofit work, one in Chattanooga and the other in Memphis. These former office mates who now live on opposite sides of the state each got engaged on the same weekend. I look forward to meeting their significant others at their upcoming weddings.

My recent conversations with each of these former staff members reminded me of a few things:

  1. God is faithful. Dealing with each of these transitions was tough. A couple even felt like my master plan was falling apart. None of them, though, caught our God by surprise. And in each case, God had made provision for God’s mission to continue.  Deuteronomy 32:4 says, “He is the Rock; His work is perfect; for all His ways are just. He is a God of faithfulness and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.”
  2. Though our location and job title might change, our vocation does not. I think of vocation as what God created and called us to do. This removes that false “sacred/secular” dichotomy in our work lives. We can take advantage of any office, title, or job description to build God’s Kingdom. All of these friends are doing just that.
  3. The work of making disciples forms a network of lasting relationships. Though these former colleagues have moved on, it still brightens my day to hear from them and how God is using them in their current contexts. I learned so much from each of them during our time in proximity, and I’m thankful for each opportunity we have to reconnect. Working with YOKE has provided this blessing to me in abundance, and I’m very grateful.

Thanks so much for your partnership that makes all of this possible. We’re glad to have you on the team!