Josh Harris, the senior pastor of mega church Covenant Life Chrurch, has just announced to the church of his resignation in order to go into seminary. Harris has been on staff at the 3,000 member church before he was handpicked by the church's former senior pastor C. J. Mahaney as the next lead pastor 10 years ago.
However, serving as senior pastor, Harris wasn't spared from the church's internal difficulties and the dwindling attendance. Nevertheless, Harris is not embittered by the experience. Rather, he saw his tenure as God's blessing. "I recount this story not to criticize C.J. We've all learned a lot and would do certain things differently now. I want you to know I'm grateful for the way God used C.J. to lay the foundations of this church in the gospel. We've had our disagreements, but I never want to forget all the ways God has used him to be a blessing."
"People can look at the last few years and say, "It's so sad that Covenant Life has gotten smaller." I don't view it that way. God's kingdom hasn't gotten smaller. I think he's been scattering us for the sake of kingdom advance. New churches have been started. And I say God bless and grow every one of them. And there are hundreds of former members who are attending other established churches across this county. And I say, "Lord, use them to bless and grow those churches and give us all a kingdom mindset that yearns for the glory of your name alone in this city!"
God is doing something wonderful. But it's been hard because the change isn't fast enough for some people and it's too much for others. But at the end of the day, our Father is transforming and refining his beloved children.
He doesn't waste these kinds of challenges on his kids."
It was not the church or its leaders or its problems that made Harris leave. Rather, Harris felt that his resignation and his call to study at a seminary was all God's leading. Harris together with his family will be enrolled at Regent College in British Columbia, Canada for their Masters degree in Theology.
"When are we moving? Our family's plan is to move in June. So I'll be serving on staff through mid-April but here in our church community through June. (Josh Cooley has informed that I have 17 years of Discovery Land volunteering to make up for!) But through mid-April I'll be working closely with our teaching team and leadership team to make the transition smooth. I'll be here on Sundays, but much of what I'll be doing will be behind the scenes helping with the search process for the interim teaching pastor. I'll be working with the elders to make this transition as smooth as possible."