This past Sunday, Pastor Alex and his wife Jaclyn announced that they will be leaving our church family to follow God’s leading to plant a church in Delaware County. You can read what Pastor Alex shared with us on Sunday below. The Kranjec’s will still be with us through most of the Summer, but it is not too early to pray for wisdom, courage, and provision as they “step out of the boat” and follow the call of God.
May 21, 2017
Dear Church Board and Calvary Family,
For the last seven years, I have been honored to serve the Calvary family; first as a volunteer, then intern, then Media Director, and finally Worship & Creative Arts Pastor. Today, I resign my position as Worship & Creative Arts Pastor, effective on my final day, August 20, 2017, and ask for your sending and support to follow Jesus on a new assignment.
Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Eight years ago, amidst a growing and successful ministry in Kansas City, the Lord led Jaclyn and I to return to Pennsylvania, He led us to Calvary Church, and now He goes before us on a new assignment. When we came here, I could never have imagined what the Lord was going to do in and through us here at Calvary Church. Calvary has always been a special place for Jaclyn and I. Jaclyn grew up here at Calvary, and our relationship began here back in 2004 when a friend invited me. We were then married at Calvary in 2007, and upon returning in 2010, we found a loving church family where we would grow as leaders, develop ministry, start a family, make great friends, and have the pleasure of leading you in worship alongside an amazing team of worshippers!
Calvary will also be remembered as a place that God resurrected my call to pastoral ministry. As I mentioned above, I served here initially as a volunteer. I was back in school for communications/media and had a vision for my life that did not include being a pastor. Becoming a media intern here was a last-ditch effort of mine since I couldn’t find anything else in the industry. The internship ultimately led to a part-time job, which opened the door for the full-time worship and creative arts position I currently occupy. Over the last five years, through the wonderful opportunities here at Calvary, God would affirm my calling to pastoral ministry and reignite a passion to communicate the gospel and build healthy disciples.
That passion would take a significant turn in June of 2015. Sitting in a room of local pastors, discussing the planting of new churches in the greater Philadelphia area, the Lord spoke clearly to me. I remember texting Jaclyn, “do you think God might be calling us to start a church?” She had no knowledge of the conversation I and those other pastors were having, but her response was a resounding “YES!” That began a two-year journey exploring, training, counseling, praying, and dreaming around this idea of starting a new church.
In my most recent message to you, I shared about how the Lord has broken my heart in regards to reaching the lost. It was during a church-planting assessment where I struggled to answer a question regarding the lost becoming disciples as a result of my life. We began to see the great need that exists, and were broken by the little we had been doing to meet that need. Friends, there is an overwhelming need to reach the unchurched of the greater Philadelphia area.
There are over 1.5 million people in our region that consider themselves “none” in regards to religious affiliation. In addition, out of a total population of 4,076,000, only 692,000 call themselves evangelical or protestant. That means there are at least 3.3 million people (83%) that are not actively engaged in a Spirit-filled, life-giving local body of Christ. I believe that planting new local congregations is the best way to continue to meet the growing need and fulfill the Great Commission. As missiologist C. Peter Wagner wrote, “Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.” I also join Tim Keller in belief that new churches bring life to existing churches. He called new churches the “research and development department for the body of Christ in a city.” As the new churches succeed, they inspire courage in existing congregations to innovate and take risks themselves. In addition, the new churches are blessed by the covering, resources, and networks of established churches. New and existing churches can work together to reach the unchurched of our region and fulfill the Great Commission!
This journey has not been without its share of challenges, doubts, and fears. Frankly, the last two years has been a fight against my comforts and preferences. In the midst of one of our most challenging moments, our dearest brother, Rick Kilfeather, unaware of our journey, sent me a detailed, written version of his story. As I read his story, the Lord spoke clearly, “I am restoring your eyes of faith.” Hebrews 11:6 states, “without faith it is impossible to please God.” I had become consumed by the impossibilities, the weaknesses, and the obstacles that were before us. Viewing life through the lenses of fear, doubt, and unbelief had clouded my vision, and caused me to live in disobedience. It even led to some physical issues. Instead of having faith that the Lord who called us had gone before us, we choose the safety and comfort of the familiar. I recently read this quote from author Bob Sorge, “Better to obey and step out of the boat and sink than stay in the boat when He is calling.”
Reminded that delayed obedience is disobedience, we re-committed our hearts to this calling. Just as we did that, I was approached by an area pastor who wanted to discuss the possibilities of partnering with us to start a new church in Delaware County. When it seemed like there was no way, God opened up a door and made a way.
So, what’s next? In just a little over a week our family will be moving to the Haverford area of Delaware County. Beginning in September we’ll start actively working through the process of starting a new church in Delaware County, with the goal of a September 2018 launch. In the coming months, we’ll share more about that process, and how you can pray, support, and get further involved. I’ll remain in my current role until our last Sunday, August 20. In the meantime, we’ll continue to enjoy leading this congregation and do our best to help prepare for the upcoming transition.
It has been a joy and blessing to serve this congregation, and I believe these seven years have been paramount in shaping and forming who I have become. I want to thank you for your support, love, care, and concern for my family and I. I pray that as a result of our ministry, Calvary Church has been able to see, savor, and share in the glory of God in a greater way. I trust God for our future, and the future of Calvary Church. He will never leave us or forsake us! I look forward to continued relationship and partnership as we labor together for the gospel in the greater Philadelphia area.
Pastor Alex Kranjec