Our Return to Ministry

Earlier today it was announced publicly that Ashley and I will be re-entering ministry. I have agreed to become the pastor of Revolution Church in Decatur and Ashley is now the Director of Ministries for the church. While I will also maintain my current position at the company for which I work for an indefinite period of time, Ashley has resigned State Farm and will be working "full-time" for the church.

Here are a few things we want people to know about this transition:

> We made this decision after an extended season of intentional prayer, thought, and advice. 

When Ashley and I were first approached about this opportunity several months ago, our initial reaction was an immediate no.  Ashley felt an even stronger reluctance than I did.  We had reached a place in life where we were content to live life "outside" of ministry.  However out of respect for our friends Dave & Dana Anderson, we agreed to pray about it.  To make a long story short, God changed our hearts and desires to the point we believe with confidence He is leading us down this path.

We have sought extensive direction and insight from a number of people we respect and trust - many of whom we believed would tell us that we should remain out of ministry.  I talked specifically to people I believed would discourage me from making this move. To my surprise, God used these individuals separately and without knowledge of other concurrent conversations to speak clarity and affirmation into our lives.

We were not looking to re-enter ministry. We did not seek it out. If anything, the opposite is true. And yet it is clear to us God orchestrated a number of events behind the scenes that have placed us at this time for this reason. As I reflect on what has happened in the last few years, this opportunity is beyond anything we could create.

We are excited to take this step because we believe God is in it

> We have created structure in our lives to safeguard our hearts, lives, and marriage.

Without revisiting all the details of our well-publicized history, Ashley and I only agreed to take this position with certain guidelines in place.  It is essential to us to make sure we embark on this journey with one heart and mind and that we prioritize our relationship with God and each other above every other component.

We are excited to take this step because we are taking this journey together.

> Our mindset regarding ministry is different than it ever has been.

My perspective on life and ministry has been radically altered in the last few years.  What appeared to be matters of first importance to me in my previous ministry experience do not seem quite as important now.  Our focus has shifted. We are more gospel-centered than ever.

We are excited to take this step because the gospel has changed our outlook

> We will not focus on the past but upon the future.

Anyone who knows our story knows how our selfish and sinful choices mark our lives. And while we will not hide our story, neither will we allow our past to be the platform upon which we move forward. We will not be defined by our past. We stand as living testimonies of God's radical grace, forgiveness, redemption, and healing. Our identity is not found in what we have done but in who He is and what He has done on our behalf.

We are excited to take this step because our story is marked by His grace

> We have considered deeply the biblical qualifications of this step.

Should a person who has committed a public sin in their past be allowed to return to ministry after a season of restoration? If so, how long is long enough? How soon is too soon? There is no definitive answer to these questions in Scripture. And while there are a number of factors to consider, we believe God does not want us to sit on the sidelines any longer and we are confident He is behind this transition.

Bottom line: some will agree - some will disagree. I have read and studied every possible argument for and against a person returning to ministry with our history.  There is no consensus among evangelical scholars on what if anything permanently disqualifies a person from ministry.  Thankfully I had studied and processed this issue long before my own decisions disqualified me from ministry years ago.  We have no desire to persuade those who disagree with our position.  Grace is bigger than second and third tier issues that tend to divide the body of Christ.  We are taking this step with a clear conscience and a heart of peace believing God is leading us to take this step.

We are excited to take this step because we are not qualified based on our merit but on His

> The next several months will bring both change and challenge.

As we prepare to lead this amazing group of people God has placed in our path, we want to focus our attention as a church on one primary objective: getting healthier.  Just like Ashley and I, the people of Cross Point/Revolution Church have been through a lot in recent years.  We believe our primary focus at this point is to entrench ourselves in the gospel of Jesus Christ and to get healthier.  Naturally with new leadership comes some change, so change will happen with time. But we will not change just for the sake of change. We will change for the sake of focus. We want to be focused on who we are in Jesus and what God has called us to be in this community.

We are excited to take this step because we get to serve alongside a community of Jesus followers. 

> Dave & Dana Anderson are our friends and are fully supportive of this transition.

Dave and I are different type people. We lead differently. We preach differently. We make decisions differently.  Simply put, we are uniquely created by God to be who He created us to be.  That truth does not make either of us "better" than the other. It makes us each a pivotal part of God's beautiful body in our own unique way.  Dave asked me to consider leading Revolution Church because he believes God is behind it.

Simply put, Dave and Dana believe their season as the primary leaders of Revolution has ended.  They are not quitting. They are simply taking a role in the church of continual faithfulness, support, and encouragement. Neither Dave or Dana will be on staff at the church.  Their attitude is simply "use us where you believe we can best be used."  I have to say I have met few leaders in church life with the type of servant heart Dave Anderson displays.  He will be the first to tell you that he is a sinner and has made some leadership mistakes along the way - just as we all do.  He is not perfect and neither will I be perfect. And that is why we need Jesus. I respect Dave and Dana and am thankful God brought them into our lives.  They are our friends and will continue to be so. You can read about Dave's decision here.

We are excited to take this step because we get to lead genuine and sincere Jesus followers. 

As we enter this next season of life, we do so with great humility and reservation.  I am more God-dependent and less human-focused than I have ever been.  My heart's desire is that God will use Ashley and I to point people to Jesus.  Hear me clearly: it is all about Jesus.  It is His church. It is His message we will proclaim and live. It is to Him we will sing. It is to Him we will point people. It is Jesus alone who can bring grace, healing, forgiveness, hope, joy, peace, fulfillment, and redemption.  It is Jesus alone who brings true and meaningful life.  So expect to hear a lot about Jesus.  As John the Baptist declared so boldly, "I must decrease. He must increase."

We are excited to take this step because we believe the gospel is the greatest news on the planet and we get to be a part of making that message known. 

If you are currently or were formerly involved with Cross Point / Revolution Church or have been involved in our lives and would like to contact us or if you have questions, please e-mail me personally at devin.hudson@gmail.com.

We look forward to taking this journey together. 

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