Transitions are hard. Let’s face it, any time that something changes with your family, with your job, with your friends, it can be difficult. And so often there’s a tendency to misconstrue anything difficult and hard as bad in and of itself. Yet, many hard situations in life often result in the most lasting joy — getting married, having kids, taking a new job — despite the difficulty they may bring.
My decision to transition out of my role as Campus Pastor of the Hillsboro Village campus of Ethos has undoubtedly been one of the hardest decisions I’ve made. First off, let me briefly say what this decision is not. This decision is not coming from a place of burnout, anger, or moral failure. There is not anyone at our Hillsboro Village campus that I was at odds with and there isn’t a rift between me and others on staff. On the contrary; I’ve only felt love, encouragement, and support from the Hillsboro Village family and from the Ethos team.
To put it simply, the reason for this transition is that I deeply believe that God is inviting me into a season of discernment and prayer to reimagine what vocation and ministry will look like for me going forward. This was a realization that I came to after discernment in counseling, spiritual direction, professional coaching, and a lot of prayer and conversation with my wife Virginia. God is inviting
All throughout college and throughout my seven years serving at Ethos, this church has blessed me over and over and helped me take huge steps in my journey with the Lord. I’ve had the rare opportunity to discern and discover my calling in an unbelievably supportive and affirming environment, and I’ve loved every moment of serving in the ways I’ve been privileged to serve. Yet, I know in my heart that this step away is right in helping me discern what God is inviting me to do next.
So after a lot of prayer and conversation and discernment, I knew that this transition needed to happen sometime in 2018. I just didn’t know when. And so I began sharing and talking with the leadership team at Ethos. I wanted to be honest and upfront about my journey, and also wanted to invite their input on this decision and determine the best possible timing for this to take
They agreed that the decision was the right one to make and that they would begin working on determining the timing that is best for me, my family, and for the family at Hillsboro Village. To be completely honest, I had anticipated the transition happening later in the year. However, after further reflection, the Ethos team came back to me with the recommendation that a quicker transition would be better both for me and the church. At first, that felt scary and I was unsure. Yet, after a lot of prayer and conversation, Virginia and I felt like God’s hand wasn’t just in the transition, but also in this timing.
A huge part of the reason for the quick timing, then, is about my genuine concern for the Hillsboro Village family getting the most focused leadership possible as quickly as possible. They deserve to start the 2018 year with the momentum that we all desire for that family. I knew that I’d be handicapped in my leadership if I knew that I would be transitioning soon. Also, when considering the church and the rhythms in which our church operates, I know it would’ve been much harder on the church for me to make this transition in May when college students and other members travel and leave town.
Despite my conviction of following God’s leadership in this decision, it is still incredibly hard. I’ve walked through so many joys and pains with so many people. That type of real, authentic, life bonds you together with people. But beyond simply my role in the community, I want to say thank you for the way that many of you have impacted my journey and story with God. You’ve left your fingerprints on me in such a deep way. To put it simply — I am who I am because of the community at Ethos. And it has been an honor and a privilege for me to have been able to hopefully play a small part in the journey that you are on with God as well. I’m so thankful that your journeys with God are going to continue, that mine is going to continue, and that although our paths are changing in this next season that there’s also so much beauty in what God has done in the last season.
There are so many specific people to thank and I hope to do that privately over the coming months. The team at Ethos has been so encouraging to me and Virginia, and have helped support us in every way I could imagine whether financially, spiritually, or emotionally. They have walked with us every step of the way during this discernment process and I’m so grateful.
I don’t have a new position immediately lined up, but I’m confident that God is stirring in me a purpose and a path that He will reveal to us. I’m confidently hopeful and excited to dream about what God is inviting me into next and how he wants me to direct my energy to the kingdom. While next Sunday (12/10) is my last Sunday, I promise to pray for this body of people whom I love so much. If you feel led, please pray for me and for Virginia in this transition as well.
We, as an Ethos Church staff, invite you to join us in loving on Larkin. Share some stories with him about how you've been blessed or seen God move through him over the years, encourage him, and of course, pray for Larkin & Virginia! If you'd like to email some encouraging words to Larkin, email him .