Six years ago I was sitting in my home in Chesapeake, VA watching the closing date on my house rapidly approach. God had called me to step down from my position at our church without telling me where we were going. After lots of interviews and even turning down some job offers, I was on the house phone with a church in Chicago – the last on my list – when suddenly my cell phone began to ring. Not recognizing the number, and in the middle of a conversation, I let the caller leave a voicemail.
When I hung up my wife asked me how the interview went. “OK,” I replied. “I’m not sure. It could possibly be a fit. They’re talking about flying me out.” She then told me I needed to listen to my voicemail because a church on Long Island had called me. Long Island? I didn’t know anybody on Long Island, and I certainly hadn’t applied to a church there. The message said, “Kevin, this is Roger Erdvig. You don’t know me, but I heard that you are searching for a new ministry position, and I would like to talk to you about an opening we have for a youth pastor.” Within just two weeks or so we had flown to Long Island twice and two days after closing on our house we were en route to work at Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle. The rest is history.
For a while now my wife and I have felt God was moving us on from SGT. Back in November I had some conversations with Pastor Zarlengo about the restlessness in my heart, and I decided it was time for me to resign from my position. For the sake of my family and seeing that the senior class (the kids who were in 7th grade when I arrived) had the experience of only having one youth pastor during their youth ministry years (A rarity! The average American youth pastor lasts less than 2 years), I committed to finishing out the school year.
I want to thank my leaders, students, and the SGT church family for the incredible friendships and memories you have provided us with. Some of my most cherished memories are: raising up an incredible team of caring adult youth leaders, getting our students outside the walls of our church and seeing so many of them step up as servant leaders in our own community, beginning youth small groups (today there are 14 different small groups), leading 11 missions trips, winter retreats, connecting the youth of SGT to the Long Island youth network in a deeper way, all of the one-on-one conversations, and the opportunity to grow as a husband, father, and leader through all of the ups and downs.
At the time of this writing I am exploring a few options, but I am still not certain exactly where we will end up. Here we go again! I would appreciate your prayers as we seek to walk the life of faith and enjoy the adventurous life of following Jesus. We look forward to staying in touch.