Like most of you I’m still trying to process the last week. There really are no words to articulate the cyclone of emotions and grief that I’m still working through. We as a family have lost an Apostolic Father, leader, friend, and beloved Pastor. While the sting of loss is real and needs time to be confronted and dealt with, we simultaneously have to keep our sight fixed on Jesus. We must continue on in the vision God has given us. It’s the only way; it’s what Craig would want.
I don’t want to pretend to know what the next days, weeks, months, year will look like, because James 4:13-15 explains the folly in that. Instead I want to provide a guide in what to expect, and some biblical principles on how to respond as we move forward as a church in our mandate for revival in Appalachia.
Let Grace abound. We all grieve and process differently. Some will need space, some will need a shoulder to cry on. Some will need to stay busy, others won’t be able to accomplish the most simple church activities. All are ok. People will say the wrong thing, try to use scripture rationalize, and not have the right words. Truthfully we don’t need anyone to get it right, but we do need each other. Let’s commit to be there for one another, and to provide an allowance of grace for each other’s faults and humanity. Colossians 3:13
Let your commitments and the Word be your compass. I find when my emotions are running high, and things around me don’t make sense, I’m prone to make a few bad decisions. This is another chance for us all to lean even further into Gods word, and the things he has called us to previously. I think we all can agree that making decisions when your tired, stressed, or hungry is a bad idea. Well the same can be said while dealing with grief and high emotions. This is not a season for whole sale change. This is a season for re-anchoring in the word of God.
We are still called to the Appalachian Awakening! Each one of us has a place in it. While we did lose the physical presence of one of the greatest visionaries we will ever know. We did NOT lose the vision. As stated before it would not honor Craig, or the Lord for us to give up now. In fact, to honor we will we need to pick up the mantle that was handed to us. As Josh Muse beautifully stated Craig handed us the baton. How selfish would it be not to receive it and continue running? We do not have the right to stop the race. Let us all use this time to focus in on how that looks for each of us. This is opportunity for all of us to step up as Christian leaders and grab hold of the call. Remember all of heaven is cheering us on and that includes Pastor Craig in the cloud of witnesses.
If you find yourself stuck or having a hard time processing, myself and the First Church staff are available. I love each of you deeply and look forward to continuing the race with you.
To Jesus be the glory power and honor.
Love Pastor John Cahill