Pastor Harvey's Letter of Resignation
The proceeding letter of resignation was given by Pastor Harvey to Living Stones Church on February 17th. We are grateful for the impact that Pastor Harvey has had on Living Stones and beyond, and we look forward to seeing what God has in store for him and his family. If you have any questions that have not yet been answered, please feel free to find a pastor during one of our normal Sunday services.
Dear Living Stones,
As you may know, I have been out for the last five months because of health issues and my Sabbatical. I want to thank you for the generous sick time and sabbatical as well as your labors in prayer for me and my family. As I have been out, I have had ample time to pray and seek God about my life and calling. I began to sense that God was inviting me to pray about my future ministry. I have been doing ministry for 21 years and I began looking at this sabbatical as a time to seek God for his will regarding the next 20 years of ministry. Before sabbatical began, I asked some of the Living Stones elders and some trusted advisors to pray with me about this future.
As we prayed, I began to understand that the next 20 years of ministry will be different than the last 21. During this time, I began to understand that God was calling me to continue preaching the gospel as well as invest in church planters. While I have been away and considering these things, leaders in Acts 29 (our church planting network) began asking if I would be willing to plant a church again, but this time plant in a major US city. They told me about a group of people who are looking for a pastor and a group of church planters in that city who need an experienced leader. So, I began to talk with Rich Plass and Jim Cofield of Crosspoint Ministry who are pastors to our pastors here at Living Stones. I also sought council from pastors who are trusted friends around the world to seek their advice and prayer. I also meditated on Psalm 37:4 which instructs us, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” So, I delighted myself in God and I believe that he began to give me the desires he wanted for my life.
So today, under the releasing and blessing of the elders of all five Living Stones Churches I am resigning my position as Lead Pastor of the Reno Church and Lead visionary of Living Stones family of churches to plant a church in another city and state. In the coming weeks, when the proper process takes place, details will become available to all. I am grateful for our time together and it has been one of the great honors of my life to be your pastor. Over these years, I have grown as a Christian as I have observed the love you have for one another and the mission increase through you. I acknowledge that through the years, I have made many mistakes and I appreciate your patience with me as I have learned to be a mature pastor and leader. I am filled with gratitude when I think about the community that I have here and the indelible mark that you all have left on me and my family. You have loved us so well. You have been responsive to the Word of God as you heard it preached. You have supported the work with your prayers and finances and you have sacrificed to see the mission of God go forward. Only the ages will reveal your faithfulness to Christ and His mission.
I want to make it clear that I am being sent by the Living Stones elders at all five Living Stones Churches to do this work. I am asking you to send me as well with your blessing, prayer, and support. I assumed that I would retire at Living Stones and lead us to see “a fundamental shift in the spiritual climate of Northern Nevada.” I was not expecting this change, but through the last several months I have shifted under the multitude of council in my life as well as the affirmation and blessing of the Living Stones Elders.
The reason I am confident that I can do this is because of the godliness and quality of the Pastors and staff of Living Stones. I am passing the mantle to men and women who will take this church to places I never could. I am a starter, an entrepreneur, and a preacher, but I believe that the men who will pastor this church into the future are better equipped to lead a large complex organization like Living Stones. I leave you with many tears and a broken heart. I have invested my entire adult life into this church. I love you all deeply. And now I believe that our Lord Jesus is calling me on to follow him into the unknown. I go compelled by the Spirit and sent by the church. I plan to maintain relationship with this church as I leave under her authority to plant the gospel elsewhere. I hope to come back and preach as well as continue my mentoring relationship with its pastors. I want to end my letter with instruction from the Apostle John as he instructed a church in sending out church planters in 3 John 5-8:
“Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers…who testified your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”
May it be and may the Lamb of God receive the reward of his suffering.
Your Pastor and fellow servant in Christ,