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Dear Providence Church Friends,

As we begin this New Year, my heart is filled with gratitude. Wow. God is faithful. God is good. God can be trusted.

2021 was a beautiful year for Providence Church. We are coming out of an amazing couple of months that began with our Baptism service where more than 100 people were baptized or recommitted their lives to Christ. That led into an amazing Advent season as you served our community through Turkey Drop, Rutland Elementary Angel Trees, and A Soldier’s Child. On Christmas Eve we had more than three thousand people worship with us in person and online! It was so good to see those candles lit again and sing Silent Night with you.

As I am writing this I just learned that our Christmas Offering will exceed $270,000! Our largest offering ever. And, we are giving it all away. This offering will allow us to partner with four more communities in Nicaragua to bring safe, clean drinking water to hundreds of families. And it will allow us to give a $200,000+ gift to the Mt. Juliet Help Center as they expand their facility to see Everyone Fed in Wilson County!

Wow. God is faithful. God is good. God can be trusted.

Personally, I want to thank you for taking care of me and my family this year. As I enter my 15th year at Providence Church, I have never felt more supported by you and more excited for the future. Last July, I had an anaphylactic reaction to a wasp sting that led to a seizure that led to the hardest time I have ever been through. I was out of work for nearly 2 months and through it all your prayers, meals, support, and love helped heal me and get me back. I want you to know that I am better. Praise the Lord. And, I can’t thank you enough for the grace and strength you gave to me, Rachel, and our family.

God spoke to me clearly in my time of recovery that I would not be able to do my next season of ministry in the same way as I did my first. I would have to hand over some of my ministry obligations to others and set new boundaries for myself. For this reason the Church Council has approved a new leadership structure for the church. This new way will allow me to focus on my gifts and calling while also allowing me to live a healthy life. Most importantly, it will allow the church to be strong and live into its Vision.

During my time of recovery, the church thrived. You, along with our pastors, staff, and leadership, kept us strong and steady and continuing to live into God’s vision. Specifically, Pastor Mark Youngman and our Director of Operations, Dan Lins, led the church, and led the church well. As we move into 2022, Mark, Dan, and I will lead the church together in a new way. Here’s how it will look!

I will be your Lead Pastor with a focus on Teaching and Vision. Meaning, I will continue to lead the church forward into the future, listening to God with you, and seeking to cast the Vision for where God is leading. I also will be able to put more of my focus on my passion for teaching and preaching. I will continue to be our primary preacher in worship. I am also committing to you to give more focus to prayer. Prayer for you, for our congregation, and our community. All the good things that happen at Providence are directly connected to our prayers, and I want to put more emphasis on that.

Pastor Mark will be our Lead Pastor of Discipleship and Ministries. For seven years now, Mark has led us in these areas and he will continue to do this with an increased emphasis on all ages growing deeper in relationship with Christ. He will also lead the staff who lead our Childrens, Student, Respond, Care, Spiritual Direction, and Online ministries, which form the core of how our church lives out its mission in the world. We are so fortunate to have a capable leader like Mark to lead our church in these ways.

Dan Lins, who has overseen the administrative and business side of the church for 10 years, now will be our Executive Pastor. This means he will continue to watch over the finances, building, and administrative functions of the church. This is a ministry and Dan is the best I know at it.

I trust these two men of God and I know that you do too. The future is bright.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to any one of the three of us. Our contact info is below. We will be learning this new way of leading together but we are committed to doing it prayerfully and with grace. I can’t wait to see what 2022 holds. I believe this will be our best year yet!

Take Heart!

Jacob Armstrong

Mark Youngman

Dan Lins