An Open Letter to the People of Servant Church: An Announcement

 
 

Dear sisters and brothers of Servant Church,
I don’t think anyone has been to more Servant Church worship gatherings than I have. I’ve lead music at over 400 of them. Most Sundays I’m the first person there. I unlock the doors and turn on the lights. Often I will stop in the middle of the sanctuary and look around, thinking of all of the possible futures that could unfold when you arrive.

Over the next couple of hours, I go about my business as as a building becomes a Church. I’ve often been too busy or self-absorbed to notice the magic that God is working around me; but in retrospect, it’s been one of the great honors of my life to serve and sing alongside you each week.

In 2014, Mosaic, a sister church of ours, folded into Servant Church. Because I was on staff at both, my full-time pastoral job became half-time. I was forced to look for other work, and in 2015 I stumbled into the software industry. I quickly found my niche. In that niche, many of my gifts and talents are, to this day, being put to use building software and websites that feed the hungry and clothe the poor.

Working a highly-demanding full-time job, combined with the 10-15 hours that I typically give Servant Church each week, has left me spread thin. Too thin.

After much deliberation, prayer, and conversation, it’s become clear that it’s time for a new season of my life.
It’s time for a season where I only have one job.
It’s time for a season where I don’t leave my wife alone with two young children for most of the day every Sunday.
It’s time for the Kentopps to load up into the car and drive to church together.
It’s time for my incredibly patient wife to have her husband by her side when she walks into worship.
It’s time for my boys to celebrate the Eucharist with their dad.
In short, it’s time for my time at Servant Church to come to an end.

My last Sunday to lead music at Servant Church will be in early 2019, probably around the end of February. Between now and then we have work to do! We must wait together through Advent, and celebrate that God came near to us at Christmas. After the New Year we will probably have some special times set aside to drink, reminisce, and sing together. I will cry and cry, but if I’m I’m being honest, I will be very relieved in the end.

As for what comes next for you, my sisters and brothers of Servant Church: I don’t know. I’m not worried. I trust Kelly. I am so thankful that God gave her to us last year. I trust that, under her leadership, you will hear the Shepherd's voice no matter who sings into the microphone.

As for what comes next for the Kentopps: we don’t know. We probably won’t be around Servant Church on Sundays anymore. However, we certainly hope that we will continue to see you in the backyards, playgrounds, music venues, bars, and eateries that make up this fine city of ours.

Finally, it’s important to me that you know that I love the work that I do at Servant Church. I truly believe that making theologically important, liturgical music is my life’s calling. I am not done. You can plan on hearing more recordings from The Gentle Wolves over the next couple of years. Maybe someday I’ll be doing it regularly on Sunday mornings again, but there are no plans for that in the foreseeable future.

Friends of Servant Church, I love you. I am thankful for our remaining time together and will cherish each song we lift.

Your brother,
Richard