A Day of Joy and Sadness

Today was a day of two extremes. In Macon we celebrated God's provision and a great new space. It is a day of joy. But in Milledgeville today is a day of sadness. Following the New City gathering in Milledgeville today, Pastor Andy Blankenship resigned from his position with New City.  On a personal level this has been tough. Andy has been a loyal friend. He has been a fellow laborer in the gospel. He has been with New City since 2012 but my relationship with Andy goes back to 2011 when we dreamed together about church planting. 

I love Andy, Mary Kathryn and the kids. I know that many of you do. I hope that you will join me in supporting and encouraging Andy and the family in their decision. I hope as well that you will pray for them in the days to come.  Below is Andy's resignation letter followed by a letter read to our Milledgeville Partners this afternoon.

Dear Partners,

Today I want to bring you all into a decision that will change the landscape of New City Milledgeville. After much fasting, prayer and weighing through personal conviction I have arrived at a place where I must resign from my post as the pastor of this church. This decision was most certainly not easy as I have a very deep and abiding love for you and the work Jesus has done and is doing in your lives. However, I am becoming increasingly more aware of burnout that mentally, emotionally and spiritually has taken its tole and the result has been poor care of some of you as well as myself. To continue in this capacity and pace of ministry with New City would ultimately not serve me or you well as it would result in a slow death for me and poor shepherding for you.

To say this is agonizing is putting it lightly. New City has been a huge part of my life for almost 6 years. However, despite the enormity of this Mary Kathryn and I have a deep peace from Jesus that this is the right decision to honor Him personally and to ultimately honor you. We love you very much and have considered our time here great evidence of God's grace to us both. We will always have fondness of memory and joy in our hearts at the thought of you and our time with New City. We will be praying earnestly for you and the leadership of New City in the days ahead of transition. We will always pray that the gospel would transform everything within your reach!

Because He Lives,
Andy


From the New City Elders:

Partners,

First and foremost, we are thankful for the work the Lord has been doing in Milledgeville through New City Church. It is your faithful service to the Lord where he has planted you, in your jobs, your neighborhoods, your families, that has seen the Gospel continue to redeem and change lives in Milledgeville and beyond. We remain excited to be a part of His work here with you.

We are also thankful for Pastor Andy’s commitment to Milledgeville and his shepherding of this New City congregation over the past several years. While we will miss Andy and his partnership in ministry here at New City, we are thankful that he has decided to take some time to re-center on his relationship with Jesus. The elders of New City love Andy, Mary Kathryn and their children and seek to minister to them as they take some time away from ministry. The Blankenship’s will be provided with a severance package that continues his salary until the end of May.  In addition, we would like to help Andy and maybe Mary Kathryn as well to work through some of the burn out that he has recently recognized. We ask that you continue to pray for the Blankenships during this time of renewal and pray for New City Milledgeville as we continue on in ministry.

Moving forward, we believe that the Lord is still very much at work in Milledgeville through New City, and we are excited to continue working alongside you. Beginning today, Pastor Patrick McConnell will assume the role as Interim Pastor of New City Milledgeville. Patrick has served for the past two years as the Community and Family Pastor in Macon. He has been very involved with the MC Leaders in Milledgeville over the past year.  Having shifted several Macon responsibilities away from Patrick over the past week will allow Patrick to become the Pastor for MCs in Milledgeville and begin to work with Sunday morning leaders including Chris Brett as well.  Patrick and Pastor Lawrence Robinson will be splitting preaching time.

Andy’s resignation came suddenly for us. It will obviously mean change in a lot of areas. We are still working through much of that as Elders. We covet your prayers and support for Andy and his family and we covet your prayers and support for us and for one another as we continue to take next steps in the great mission that God has called each of us to in Milledgeville.

We know that you guys will have a lot of questions.  We want to answer them. At the same time we want to respect Andy’s privacy and we want to honor him and his family and the great ministry that has taken place over these last years that he served here. We love them. This means that there may be some questions that just aren’t necessary to answer.  If you do have questions, please feel free to reach out to me or one of our elders via email,
(first name)@newcitymacon.org. 

God Bless,
Keith