So . . . What About Bob?A lot of people have asked similar questions since the announcement was made that we would be moving out of paid ministry at Southwest. The confusion is understandable—our plans at that time of last month’s announcement were undefined—but the Lord’s been answering our prayers for clarity and direction. We’d like to share where we believe he’s leading us.
First, let us briefly explain again why Bob will be transitioning out of his staff position by the end of the summer after more than a decade in fulltime ministry, nearly seven of them here. Our hearts have always been for the harvest. As students of culture, we’ve observed a shift in how and where people seek answers to their spiritual questions. Because of this, we’ve developed some core values for the ministry to which we’ve been called. Three of them are as follows:
· We must be missional. We are compelled to discover fresh ways to communicate the gospel to those outside of our traditional church culture, much like a foreign missionary must learn how to communicate the good news in ways that make sense to those in his mission field. We must go where not-yet-Christians are.
· We must be incarnational. We must fully enter culture as Christ’s representatives. It’s critical that we are a legitimate part of culture, doing our best to remove all barriers to the gospel other than the gospel itself.
· We must become church-planters. We must plant churches among people groups who are not currently being reached. Specifically, we are passionate about reaching people who might never consider walking through the doors of a traditional church.
That said, we are excited to see how the Lord is orchestrating this transition for us. We’re prayerfully pursuing Bob's entrance into the nursing program at West Texas A & M University in order to become self-supporting. He is already enrolled in summer classes, and we expect it to take just over two years to earn this second bachelor’s degree which is very much in line with his lifelong interests and background. It will also give us greater flexibility to move wherever God leads in the future. Caron will be working fulltime in order to support us during this transition, and we are thankful that she’s already been hired to teach math at the middle school next year where she previously taught social studies. Our home is on the market, and we're downsizing as fast as we can.
In the meantime, we hope to begin planting churches wherever the fields are ripe. We envision starting simple, easily reproducible churches in homes, for instance. We trust that God will show us how and when and where—we will follow His lead.
We appreciate the love and support we’ve received from so many of you. Thank you in advance for your continued prayers and friendship. We are also immensely grateful to the elders, ministers, and staff at Southwest for their love and shepherding. It is an honor to be their friends. And mostly, we are thankful to the Lord for His transforming work in us and in His church.
With the Love and Affection of Christ, the Guillos