At our February Session and deacon meetings we attempted to say goodbye well to those who have been officer’s at Uptown and are now being sent with the church plant. You would have been proud of your elders and deacons. I was honored to be in on these times with both of the groups. It was hard to saying goodbye to Drew Peterson, Chris Ferguson and Tyre Green, but during these formal set aside times the elders and deacons did so with love, sadness, joy and with faith.
I thought it would be encouraging to share portions of a letter written by now former elder Tyre Green to the session of Uptown Church resigning as an elder at Uptown in order to be sent with the church plant. What an encouragement to be able to look in and see how God uses Godly men to lead his church. What a blessing to you at Uptown knowing you have Godly men leading your church, and for those being sent you too should be encouraged that so many wonderful servants are being sent.
Enjoy this letter, I hope it encourages you to pray regularly for your church leaders.
Please accept this as my letter of resignation from the session at Uptown. With it, please accept my heartfelt gratitude for all you have done for me and my family. In our 15 years at Uptown, the Lord has used you in countless ways to deepen our faith in and love for Him.
First let me thank you as a fellow elder. For me, the opportunity to serve alongside you has been a great joy and blessing. My time with you has helped me to value caring for the body of Christ. The thing that rings true of all my collective thoughts and memories of being with you brothers over the years is: these are men that love the church! I think about Jesus’ refrain to Peter, “If you love me, feed my sheep”. Thank you for teaching me how to love Jesus better!
When I think back on my nine years on session, I am flooded with various images: praying for members who wept openly in their time of need; joining many of you in situations when we were called to counsel, rebuke and pray; rejoicing time and time again at God’s provision for Uptown and His faithfulness to our members. I have been asked numerous times over the years what it was like to serve on the session. Inevitably I talk about how much I respect each one of you and how they should be encouraged that Uptown’s session seeks to honor and obey the Lord.
I also want to thank you as a member of Uptown. Our family has enjoyed countless worship services, Sunday schools, sermons, retreats, life group meetings, prayer triads, VBSs, etc. I appreciate how you lead Uptown and its ministries with a sense of humility and urgency. Our family has been fed well.
Brothers, let me encourage you to continue to serve with humility. Be reminded of Tom’s study of the vine and the branches at our retreat a few years ago. “Apart from me you can do nothing.” I pray your humility will flow from your desperate need of Christ.
I leave you with I Peter 5:2-4: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”