a letter to my family

Greetings Central Church Family,

A few months ago I remember hearing the song Oceans by Hillsong. If you’ve ever listened to Christian radio for five minutes you know what song I am referring to. And I immediately loved the song, but I was also struck by the words of the bridge,

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”

Was this where I was living? Was I willing to follow where my faith was without borders? You see, Central Church has been an amazing place of service for us over the past almost seven years. And when we first came here it was a huge step of faith. I never dreamed in all my life that I would come to Michigan. It get’s cold there…and they don’t have Chik-Fil-A, yet…But Central Church welcomed my family and I in a way befitting the family of God. As we have served here we have learned what it means to rely upon a church family even when you can’t be close to your real extended family.

Now back to the trust without borders part. Last week the congregation at Odessa First Church of the Nazarene in Odessa, TX voted to call me as their Senior Pastor. This is a huge faith step for Crystal and I. But we take it in full confidence in God and because of what this church has showed us over the last seven years.

A quick note to my students and their families. This decision does not come lightly. In fact, this is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do…and I am still not sure it makes sense. But then again, neither does stepping out of a boat in a raging storm. But we know the God we love and serve sometimes calls us to make decisions that don’t always make sense. So please know, this decision is not meant to hurt you or your families. We love you. And we will forever carry Central with us in our hearts…and there is always Facebook.

We also look forward to spending the next few weeks with you and the time of reminiscing and story telling that I am sure will ensue. But please know this isn’t an easy decision for us. It is however, a reflection of trust in the God we all still serve. And this isn’t really good-bye…it’s just we’ll see you soon. Thank you for allowing us to serve you. Thank you for loving my family and I.

Grace and Peace

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3 responses to “a letter to my family

  • Jason Youngs

    Man, that congregation made a great choice! I know you are taking this on to boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray for you and your family for protection and that you’ll have a humble heart where all the glory and honor goes to Him! Blessings my friend:)

  • Beth

    Yea! Somewhere warm! Godspeed Arp family!

  • Sandi Stewart

    Rick and I will miss you so much. Thank you for reaching out to our grandkids when they needed it. Although they aren’t following the Lord, all of the seeds you planted will always be there and they can’t make them go away. We wish you and your family the very best. Maybe when you get to missing the cold and snow, you’ll come back to visit us in the winter. lol Love you guys so much.

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