Questions you may be asking...
Craig is leaving Paradox because God is leading him to. Is that what’s really happening?
The truth is, what’s happening has been happening since men and women have been able to follow the voice and leading of God with reckless abandon.
That voice, which has led countless other men and women in the same way, has been leading Craig. After many months of prayer and council, Craig has decided to step down as Lead Pastor of Paradox Church and transition to a different role at a different church this fall. He will continue to serve the kingdom, but in a different way.
What began a few years ago as a stirring in Craig has become a certainty that God wants him to keep doing what He told him to do 13 years ago: plant churches, preach, and lead. However, God has brought an opportunity to Craig to continue to fulfill, and even refine, his call, in a different role and context than as Lead Pastor at Paradox Church.
This was not an easy decision for Craig and was born of his love for spreading the Gospel and following God’s will, which has always been part of his messages from the stage. When God calls, we believe you need to follow, even when it’s hard.
Over the next few months Craig will begin handing off his Paradox responsibilities little by little, but he will continue to be a part of Paradox until the end of September. He will continue to serve through preaching, as well as through helping lead the church through this season of change and transition.
In November, Craig will begin a new role at Kensington Community Church as the Director of Church Planting. Craig will also serve as one of their teaching pastors.
Craig stepping down is a big surprise to me. Is Paradox going to change?
While we will all miss Craig dearly, we’re also excited for the new opportunities this is going to bring for Paradox. There are many things that make Paradox unique, and we do not see those things changing after Craig leaves.
Is Craig going to be gone for good?
Craig loves Paradox, so he’ll be back to visit from time to time, even guest speaking on occasion. But his new role of church planting will demand a decent chunk of time from him, as it is a full-time position. So you might not see him as often as you’d like while he gets his feet wet in the new adventure God has called him to.
What is the next step in this process?
Our mission is still the same: to reach people far from God and lead them to be fully-devoted followers of Jesus. The Lead Management Team is in the process of mapping out our next steps. Our goal is to have a clear plan outlined before Craig leaves, and we’ll be sharing that plan with you on June 23. Since Craig will be here through September, this will allow overlap between Craig and the new lead pastor to ensure a smooth transition. We understand that transitions are always difficult, but Craig has established his commitment to ensure Paradox undergoes a smooth transition before he leaves.
I hate change, and this is, well, change.
We completely understand and sometimes feel that, too. What we’ve been doing is digging deeper into our Bibles and rolling up our sleeves in our ministries. If there’s a need, we want to help fill it so that while our lead pastor position is changing, we are reminded of the great things at Paradox that are still here. We’ve always preached that Paradox is not about any man, other than Jesus. As much as we love Craig and feel like he’s family, Paradox will still be here, and most of the aspects of what makes Paradox a family are still here, too.
Is Paradox going to be able to survive this transition?
This is an honest question, and it’s something we believe many people are going to ask themselves over the coming months. Here is the reality: We serve an awesome God! Over the last 13 years, He has blessed us with an amazing lead pastor, but He has also blessed us with an amazing leadership team, hundreds of great volunteers, and a wonderful church home.
Paradox has always been about the Gospel of Jesus, and we believe God is going to continue to bless our ministry through our current leaders and the wonderful people that make up Paradox Church. Often times when a lead pastor leaves his role at a church, people follow the lead pastor on to his next church. In this case, Craig will not be pastoring a new church, so we are not expecting this type of separation. We do understand change is difficult for people, but we also believe this is opening a door for God to work through our current people in ways we never thought possible.
Do you think a lot of people will leave?
Some may, but we really believe that Paradox is bigger than any one person, so we also think very few will. Let’s all remember Craig’s challenge to wait at least 6-9 months before making a decision as big as leaving your church. Initially it may be hard to imagine Sunday mornings without Craig, but we’re convinced that very soon we will see that Craig was only a part of what we love so much about Paradox. Let’s lock arms in this season and grow in our commitment to each other. Let’s challenge each other to stay the course at the church God led us to, and if someone does leave, then let’s bless them and love them as they do.
I have lots of feelings and thoughts about this. Is there an outlet for me to be heard?
Absolutely. The temptation is to overwhelm Craig with all of our thoughts, but there are lots of options for you to be heard. We are all here for you. We are available to meet one-on-one to answer questions and concerns. Our doors are always open.
Here are the emails of the Lead Management Team:
The Prayer/Care Team is also ready to pray with you and for you as you go through this change with us. They can be reached at email@example.com.