I’m headed to Iowa.

Not for vacation (Secretly, very secretly, all of you have dreamed about vacationing in Iowa), but for a new job. And, it’s really not an “I” thing. Emilie, Joe, Jack and Pearl will be going. So, we’re headed to Iowa.

The biggest reason for the move is that Em and I wanted to be a bit closer to our family. I suppose it has to do with the stage of life we’re in – wanting the kind of support/camaraderie that comes from a relatively healthy family as your kids are making their way through school.  That sounds like a nice thing to us right now. And, fortunately, we have a family that’s not only willing, but glad to be part of our lives. They’ve missed us the last 10 years.

For me, too, there’s always been this interest in business. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I grew up wrapping coins in my grandpa’s bank on Saturday mornings. Since college, I’ve been curious about the intersection between faith and business. And, having mostly pastored people who have a “normal” job, there’s this lingering question, “What’s it like to follow Jesus in their world every day?” Well, now I get the chance to explore that question.  And now I get the chance to find out who I am when I don’t wear the title, “Pastor.”

Oh, I forgot to mention I’ll be working at a wealth management firm. Believe me, you don’t want me managing any of your wealth right now! I might be kind and honest, but it’s gonna take a few years for me to learn the ins and outs of the business – and fortunately the place I’m going is A)really glad I’ve been a pastor and B)committed to developing me so that I know what the heck I’m doing.  It’s a firm that stresses generosity and that wealth is a tool, not the goal.

While there’s some hope and excitement related to the move, there’s also plenty of sadness. One way to describe what you’re doing when you plant a church is this: you create the type of church you’d like to be part of – and hope lots of other people find a home there as well. I think that’s been the case at City Church. We are leaving a place that is home . . . where we’ve been loved, where we’ve dreamed and prayed with others and where we’ve learned to follow Jesus a bit better (hopefully!).

I suppose the thing I grieve most is the loss of relationships – the sense of knowing and being known. I think most of you “know” me – at least I feel that way. I think I know many of you. And, its just so good to have that deep sense of being known.  It comes with time: meals, laughter, tears, conversations, baseball, praying, texts, coffee, singing. And in the doing of these things you create a future. You don’t know you’re creating it, you just are. And, then that future is . . . well, different. And, that’s sad.

I’m going to write another blog about the things I’ve loved about City Church and being a pastor in Long Beach. But, this one’s already getting long.

By Jason Brown