Ministry is a wonderful profession.

I wouldn’t exchange it for any job.

Professional sports is tempting, but they’ve never called so I won’t worry about it.

I’ve made great friendships in my years as a pastor.

Relationships are a primary part of my job. Getting to know people, helping them find their place in the local church, and introducing them to other people of similar age / stage of life.

One of the most difficult parts of this ministry thing is when relationships change.

I remember the first time I cried when one of our students graduated and moved on to the Coast Guard. It surprised me how deeply connected I was to this student. I felt like his big brother, I suppose because spiritually speaking, I was.

As time has gone on and I’m now considered a “veteran youth pastor” dealing with relationship changes is getting easier.

I don’t ever think it will be easy. Easy seems to be missing relational connection. It lacks emotion.

Today is November 1st and we’ve said goodbye to some good friends and ministry leaders at our church.

Shawn and Shelley Seeley, who met, were engaged, married, graduated college, took ministry positions, bought their first house and got pregnant with their first daughter all while attending NWLife Church are moving on to a new opportunity.

They were our middle school pastors and led of school of ministry.

It’s both bitter and sweet. I’m happy for them, but I’m going to miss them.

Shawn works hard. He cares deeply about people. He loves to see people grow and do more than they thought they were capable of.

He is a servant. He wants to come alongside and work together to see people and the ministry succeed. He is thorough and wants to do the job right.

Oh, and did I mention he’s also an Iraqi War Veteran? He is. He served our country and nearly lost his life doing it.

Shelley is a fantastic middle school girl’s life group leader.

She built trust and relationships with our students and encouraged them to grow closer to God and serve His church.

She has never met a task or skill she’s not willing to try. She plays drums, piano, can draw, write and even sing a little bit.

Shawn and Shelley together are a great ministry team and our team will miss them.

They have gone above and beyond the call of duty here at NWLife.

Their generosity is an example for everyone in our church (not just our students).

They are on their way to serve alongside other ministry friends Nate and Miel Lindseth in Gig Harbor, WA.

The Lindseths are blessed to have you on their team.

Thank you Shawn and Shelley.

You’re leaving NWLife better off than when you first came.

We love you.

We send you with blessing.