Today marks the end of one chapter for Storyline and the beginning of a new one.
After months of discernment and prayer, we’ve sensed with our co-workers, Ryan and Claudia Porche, that God was leading them elsewhere to pursue their calling in music and spiritual formation ministry.
This is a bittersweet transition for me, certainly.
Ryan and Claudia are both some of the most intelligent, talented people I’ve been privileged to work with in my life.
They ‘get’ what it means to live on mission, to contextualize the gospel and to take risks for the sake of following Jesus.
Ryan used his tremendous administrative abilities to build infrastructure for Storyline that will remain long after he’s gone. He is a gifted musician, singer and worship leader. He has deep wells of love for people. He’s been one of my favorite co-workers in my life. We’re good friends and comrades.
Claudia used her significant organizing skills to make our monthly worship gatherings special times. She’s also a sharp thinker and has always asked great questions.
And then there’s Kaden, Ryan and Claudia’s seven-month old son. He’s a seriously cute kid, and Storyline is proud to have been the community into which he was born.
None of us – to piggback on comments the Porches have made about their time with Storyline – have any regrets.
What a great season of ministry it has been for us.
Alan Hirsch calls the bond that people share together around mission communitas. Community is shallow when compared to communitas. Communitas is the “Band of Brothers” dynamic. It’s the way Frodo and his friends looked at each other at the end of the Lord of the Rings triology. When you’ve been through thick and thin together, even a short glance at each other can communicate a bond and depth of relationship that one would struggle to describe with words. That’s communitas.
Our relationship with the Porches is our deepest experience of communitas so far. I look forward to ways our paths might cross again in the future, and know that we’ll always be able to pick life up with each other without missing a step because of the experiences we’ve shared together. Facebook will help, too.
We send them out with sadness, because no one in their right mind would send out people of the Porches’ caliber with immediate happiness. But we do send them out with joy, knowing that pursuing their deepest calling will ultimately be best for them and for Storyline in the long run.
Please pray for the Porches as they share conversations with other churches about their next step in ministry.
And please pray for Storyline as we move forward and search out future co-workers who would join us either to prepare for future church planting or to work with Storyline in the long term.
Feel free to send encouragement and blessing to the Porches via email at ryan.porche[at]gmail[dot]com and ceporche[at]gmail[dot]com.