Personal Statement from Pastor Clint Claypoole

July 12, 2015

Dear New Life Family:

     “The LORD says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.' " 

     Often this passage from Psalm 32:8 reminds me that God is the original owner of my heart. I belong to God. My family belongs to God. We’ve committed our lives to His calling and purpose. We’ve resolved to trust God regarding the future and what role we might play in His plan. We’ve entrusted our steps to the Lord.

     It was God’s leading that brought us to New Life in January of 2003. Our beginnings were small but meaningful. Our First sunday totaled 29 people, including children. Since then we have witnessed God accomplish amazing things through New Life Church.  The rebirth of New Life has allowed its presence to emerge from the shadows and become a viable instrument in which God is bringing hope and healing to our community.

     During the last few months Amy and I have sensed the possibility of change regarding our future. Through much prayer and godly counsel we have concluded that God is asking us to travel down a new path; a path that will lead us away from the New Life family. We knew this decision would be difficult. We realized the difficulty came not in saying yes to the Lord, but in saying goodbye to New Life.

     In our hearts we never envisioned this day. We’ve served New Life with the resolve that we would never leave. According to Proverbs 19:21, "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.”  It has been an honor to have pastored New Life Church for 12 years. Today, by God’s grace and with the full support of my family, I officially resign my position as Senior Pastor of New Life. I do so with mixed emotions - great sadness, great anticipation and complete peace. I have accepted the position of Family Life Pastor at the Southlake Campus of Gateway Church in Dallas, Texas led by Pastors Robert and Debbie Morris. 

     I can assure you I would never consider such change for my family and the New Life family unless confident of the Lord's leading.  I want to thank you for allowing me to grow with you during this season. We have experienced so much together as a church family. We have experienced seasons of great blessing and faced significant challenges, only to become stronger and selfless as a church family through it all. I can sincerely acknowledge that I am a better leader and Christ-follower because of my tenure at New Life.

     This decision in no way suggests disappointment or deficiency in the ministry of New Life. Truly, some of the greatest people in all the world attend New Life Church in Canton, GA. I am convinced that the future for New Life is bright and full of possibilities.  It is imperative to know that God ordains and prepares both sides during a transition.  I’m confident that since God is leading us on to a new path, God has something new and exciting for New Life.  God is preparing to bless our family with a new assignment and He’s preparing to bless all of you with new leadership. New Life is led by a great team. The elders and staff are men and women of integrity.  During the next few Sundays I will be speaking to New Life regarding the process of how this transition will unfold in the days ahead. We thank you for your prayers and support during this season of transition in our lives. 

Sincerely,

Pastor Clint Claypoole