a potter shaping clay into a bowl

Whether we love or hate it, things change. Bottom line, no life stays the same forever. As it is for every human, transition is challenging for ministry leaders and their families. Standing Stone shepherds often walk alongside pastors, missionaries, and parachurch workers as their roles and responsibilities morph, as their life circumstances change, as their call to ministry expands in the hands of the Master. Today’s story is about a pastoral couple who God shaped by changes that were both exciting and uncertain.

Terrance and Jalynn had served at the same church for ten years. They had seen God move in the congregation and community. They had started their family there and had deep connections. Things were comfortable. Ministry was thriving. When Terrance began to sense God calling them to step into something new, it was difficult to understand. Why mix things up now, God, when things are going so well?

It was our joy, as Standing Stone shepherds, to help Terrance and Jalynn process. We held space for them to talk through what God was saying to them and doing in them. There were some tears. There was uncertainty. Was this call to change really from the Lord, they earnestly wanted to know. Taking the time to transition well allowed this pastoral couple to discern the will of God.

Yes, He was asking them to step out in faith.
Yes, it meant leaving somewhere they loved.
Yes, it would require faith and sacrifice on their part.
And YES, He would go with them.

On the other side of this transition, we look back with Terrance and Jalynn and marvel at all God has done. This season of transition wasn’t always easy, but it shaped Terrance and Jalynn in powerful ways. It restored to them a sense of adventure in following God in faith, beyond what’s comfortable.

It was our joy to shepherd this ministry couple into greater health and flourishing. Thanks to every giving, praying or serving partner who enables us to strengthen God’s church by caring for its leaders, leaders like Terrance and Jalynn.

Weekly Encouragement

Three different times in His Word, God uses the metaphor of a potter and clay to describe His work in our lives. In Isaiah 64:8, the prophet uses this image to respond in prayer:

You, Lord, are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter.
we are all the work of your hand.

Like a skilled artisan who forms and reforms the clay until it matches the design he had in mind, God shapes and reshapes us. He often does this through seasons of change and transition.

We might assume that, if things are going well, there’s no reason for God to alter our circumstances. Why not “leave well enough alone”? We cannot always see how change will restore to us something we’ve lost, something we may not have noticed went missing in the first place.

Terrance and Jalynn eventually saw that the more comfortable and successful ministry had become, the less they needed to rely on the Lord. Their transition enabled them to be formed, like clay in the Potter’s hand, into a vessel of greater depth and capacity. It required faith and the humility for Terrance and Jalynn to say, like Isaiah, “we are the work of your hand, God.”

Perhaps it would be helpful to take a moment and ask God to reveal any ways He might wish to form or reform you today? Are you willing to be changed and restored by your Heavenly Father, the One who knows exactly how He designed you? May we all lean into God’s work in our lives together.


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