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Earl Marshall

On Changing Tribes

Well we finally made our decision or as I like to say, we “LeBroned” (some will understand).  After an interesting journey Brenda and I are looking forward to starting the process towards planting a church with Harvest Bible Fellowship in Canada.  We are not clear as to where that will be but we are looking forward to what God has in store for us.  Actually this has been exactly how our decision making journey has taken place, one step at a time, without a clear destination.  It has been a deep trust building time in our lives.  I am thankful for what God is teaching us during these months.

This means that we will be changing “tribes” even while we stay in the same family.  For the past thirteen years we have had the privilege of being part of the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada.  Brenda and I are thankful for the many colleagues that we have through our association with FEB.  We have been impressed with the care that we have received from the leaders of FEB during this time of transition and we are encouraged with a renewed direction and emphasis on church planting within this group of churches.  We leave this tribe grateful.

We are excited about beginning our journey with Harvest.  We are encouraged by the deep commitment to God and the mission of the church among the leaders of Harvest churches.  Brenda and I are looking forward to a new beginning.

We are grateful that in both of these church movements (FEB and Harvest) there are leaders who have “kingdom of God” mindsets.  We all love our tribes, as we should, but we also love the family, God’s family and its diversity.  Max DePree says, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.  The last is to say thank you.  In between the two the leader must become a servant and a debtor” (Leadership Is An Art, 11). As I see it the reality is that within God’s family there are many different tribes.  My hope is that Brenda and I have served the FEB tribe well and encouraged the nest generation of church leaders even as we are indebted to those who have poured into our lives while we have done so . . . men and women like Roy Lawson, Paul Kerr, Gerry and Liz Benn, and our scores of friends whom I won’t mention because I would forget someone and never hear the end of it 🙂  All we have left to say is “thank you.”  Thank you for your prayers on our behalf.  Thank you for investing in us your God given wisdom.  Thank you for teaching us to be passionate about God and His word.

Now it is our hope, desire, and our commitment to do the same in our new tribe even as we celebrate what God is doing in other tribes.  Go Harvest!

 

2 Comments

  1. Earl
    I wish you the best as you step into this new and exciting season of your life. It takes great courage to make a new start. I admire you for it. I’m hoping our paths will still cross even though we are now in different “tribes”. I wish you God’s peace and strength for the new journey ahead.

  2. Hi Earl
    We have never met, I am from the same tribe and family that you mention in your blog. I wanted to thank you for this metaphor. It helps look at our Christian-isms in the right perspective. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. May you be blessed as you serve.
    Bless you brother
    Jeremy
    ps. I almost let this go by, without welcoming you to the tribe. So here’s to you and Brenda. Welcome!!

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