It’s been a crazy past month or so in the Honeycutt household! Yesterday, I made the announcement that I will be joining the team at The Journey Church in Boca Raton, FL as their new Community Pastor. This is a fantastic opportunity to do what I am called to, while giving my wife a break in her work schedule. Heather, Nelson, and I will be moving in late July/early August.
Now, if you would’ve told me two months ago this is what would happen, I would have told you you’re nuts! Here’s why… after spending almost six years in Hartsville renting apartments and houses, we wanted to “put down roots”. We thought we had found our dream home… a beautiful 4000 sq. ft., five bedroom house at Lake Robinson. The owner, a lady we knew from the early days of TLC, had called us out-of-the-blue to ask if we would like to check it out. This was despite us not indicating publicly on Facebook or otherwise we were looking for a house (but we actually were).
After seeing the place, we were excited, but knew it was out of our price range. The woman sat down with us and we talked numbers. She gave us her bottom line figure, and it was right where we need it to be! We even took our parents over afterwards to show them what we thought would be our new home. Heather always wanted a “house on a hill” and I always wanted to live on the lake (or the beach!). After getting realtors involved, we got the offer paperwork drawn up and the process started fairly quickly.
But then, something happened. The home inspection came back! The house has some issues and were going to likely be pretty pricey in getting them addressed. We told the realty company representing the owner that those issues would have to be taken care of before moving forward. They rejected that with a “take it or leave it” reply. Well, guess what? We left it!
That scared them and they would later come back offering to make the necessary repairs. But something happened that week, where an opportunity presented itself. The pastor from The Journey Church called to get an interview lined up for a position suited to my gifts and passions. This same church talked to me last spring for a different position, but I ended up having to pass on it due to circumstances happening in our church at the time, as well as personally with my mother-in-law’s health (that was a crazy season!). After visiting their office last year, I knew that this was a great church that I’d love to work for, however.
The house owners ended up making most of the repairs to the home. Some issues weren’t going to be solved completely however, but they were willing to take some money off the purchase price to further entice us. At this point though, we were no longer interested. I will say, the work of our realtors – David Thompson and Deborah Gandy, was second-to-none and I highly recommend them for anyone looking to buy/sell in Hartsville!
So we were in a period of limbo. There was a lot of “funky head stuff” going on as far discerning everything that was happening. The conversation grew more serious with The Journey, but even then there were no guarantees. Here we had passed on our dream house and weren’t entirely sure what to do next. Hartsville has been quite the experience for us these past six years, as we faced head-on the joys and pains of church planting ministry.
We were willing to be “lifers”, staying here and continuing to minister in Hartsville with The Living Church. This seemed to be what we wanted (and due to how everything lined up, what we thought God wanted too). However, what we want and what God wants doesn’t always match. To clear matters up, we look to God’s Word.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says…
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
In the midst of this season, we simply placed our trust that God would sort everything out. And He did! He gave us complete peace about making the move to Florida, even if it meant leaving everything we worked so hard for behind.
Two Sundays ago, Pastor Jason called with an offer and I accepted. We were now “Boca bound” which brought much excitement, but some heartache along with it. Thankfully, we had God’s leading throughout this roller-coaster season. I now ask for your prayers for my family going forward as we detach (as much as we can) from Hartsville and make the Boca Raton community our new home and ministry focus.
I also request prayers for The Living Church during this transition. There’s no clean cut, easy way to leave a church you’ve pastored for six years. Not only that, but TLC will need to make a decision in the next week or two regarding its future.
During our time here, TLC has seen over 86 decisions for Christ and 75 people baptized. That’s awesome! This was without ever having a large budget or a permanent building of our own. Our church has made a great impact on this city and we have no regrets as we move forward. We came in ready to serve the people of Hartsville with the love of Jesus and we know this was God-led. No matter what happens to The Living Church from here, it has been a great success!
Over the next 5 weeks, I’ll be doing a lot of “untangling” which will consume much of my time. Even when you’re used to moving like we are (five times, mostly in-town, since we’ve been married) it still is a chore. This also means coffees, lunches, and dinners with church members, friends, city leaders, etc. to have some semblance of closure. I hope that for those struggling with this move of ours, that they too will find peace.
I will always love Hartsville because it’s home. Growing up, I used to think I’d never be back here after graduating high school, until God opened my eyes and gave me the vision for TLC seven years ago. This is a wonderful town with beautiful, full-of-life kind of people. I thank God for the opportunity I’ve had in being a pastor here! I also thank so many others who helped build TLC up and supported me in the process. Too many to name!
Thank you, Hartsville. You’ve been good to us and I know you’ll continue to prosper.