a letter from our lead pastors
We could not be more grateful and excited to step into the role as Lead Pastors of Valley Family Church. We deeply love each and every one of you and are filled with great expectation and vision for all that God has in store for us as a community.
The best is yet to come is not just a cliche phrase, but a statement of faith for our future together. As we step into this new role, we wanted to share a letter from our hearts to yours that we read on January 29, 2023 as our commitment to the Lord and to you. You can find it below.
We love you, church!
Eric and Alexa Jones
Lead Pastors, Valley Family Church
Today is sure to be a day that we will never forget. Our hearts are filled with overwhelming emotion, love and faith as we embark on a new adventure together and as we joyfully step into this role as Lead Pastors of Valley Family Church. We feel extremely lucky and blessed to be able to be standing here this morning and it is with a sense of deep and honest holy-awe that we stand before God and all of you making a heartfelt commitment to pastor this church as two people after God’s own heart.
We know that this day is more than a formality, changing of a baton or an update to some titles but before God and our community it is a day of holy-significance as we testify to the strength of the Church, the unity of the Holy Spirit and the power of one generation passing the faith to the next. It is pretty neat to be a part of a day like this and we truly sense the loving smile of a good God on our church family today.
We want to take a moment to thank the Lord first and foremost for His goodness and faithfulness to us throughout this journey. Our desire is that He would get all of the glory and honor as we make this transition and we are deeply dependent on Him for all the days ahead. We also want to thank my parents, Founding Pastors Jeff and Beth, for their faithfulness to pioneer and lead our church the past 32 years. We know full well that we stand on the shoulders of giants, and without you, we would not be here. We want to thank our families, both the Jones family and the Wolfe family, and our close friends who have supported us throughout our lives and specifically the past two years. We love you all. Finally, we want to thank YOU, our church family, for embracing and supporting us as we’ve gone on this journey together. You have trusted God throughout this transition and have been faithful to pray, lean into what the Lord is doing and champion the next generation. We love you all, and know that God has great plans in store for all of us in the years to come.
On that note, today before God and all of us together, we wanted to share five things that we are committing to – both to the Lord and to you, our church family, that we have the privilege of serving and leading.
- We commit to loving Jesus more than anything and staying true to His Word. We commit to keeping Jesus at the center of our lives and our church. We commit to keeping Him as our first love, to remaining attached to the vine, and to leading from a place of connection and intimacy with Christ that overflows into the life of our church. We commit to staying true to God’s word and to walking the narrow road of truth and grace. We commit to upholding the unchanging truth of scripture in an ever-changing culture and will do our very best to be Pastors who love God wholeheartedly, with all of our mind, all of our strength and all of our soul.
- We commit to building a healthy marriage and family. We will protect our marriage and our family and pour into it regularly because we know that a healthy marriage and family is vital to building a healthy church and church family. We commit to raising our children up in the way of Christ and helping them to know Jesus not just by what they hear us share from the platform, but by how they see us live out our everyday, ordinary lives. We promise to not be perfect, but to walk with character and integrity as we continually fix our eyes on the only One who is Perfect, Jesus.
- We commit to leading with joy on the journey. We promise to continue to laugh, to not take ourselves too seriously, and to enjoy the adventure of ministry that God has for us and our church. We will lead with heavenly vision and boldness, unafraid to take steps of faith as the Lord leads us to. We will continue to follow Him as He builds and expands His church, believing for the impossible and pushing us into new places and uncharted territory like our founding pastors have done for the past 32 years. We’re not here to settle, we’re here to take ground for the Kingdom of God, and we’re here to do it together with you with deep joy throughout the whole journey.
- We commit to getting wisdom and understanding from those who are further along in life and ministry than us. We are humbly aware that we are young, and promise to continually seek out wisdom and spiritual accountability from those who have walked the road of ministry that we’re embarking on. We will meet regularly with our Founding Pastors to receive their wisdom from their past 3 decades of ministry. We will seek out mentors and ministry friendships with those who are years ahead of us and can help, along with the Holy Spirit, to guide us into the seasons to come. The truth is, we can’t pretend to be older or more experienced than we are. So, we commit to being ourselves, being strong and courageous, giving everything we have, and surrounding ourselves with people who have great wisdom, understanding and experience who will help us as we grow into the Pastors that God has called and created us to be.
- We commit to laying our lives down in sacrificial service to the Lord and to our church. We know that in God’s Kingdom, the leaders of all are the servants of all. So, we commit to serving you, serving our staff and team, serving our city and every other city that God calls us too. From pastoral care calls, hospital visits, funerals, spiritual guidance meetings, celebrating with those who are celebrating and mourning with those who are mourning we will do our best to lay down our lives, time and energy and serve like Jesus. We are fully aware that this call from God is a call toward service, and we will do our best to follow the example of our Great Shepherd who didn’t come to be served, but to be the servant of all.
So church, you have our hearts. We are committed to being your Lead Pastors and pouring our lives out to help you and your families thrive in God, to walk with you in the valleys and the mountaintops of your lives, and to love and serve God with you as all of us together give ourselves away to continue to build a church where people can find the hope and love of Jesus.
Our hearts are stirred for all that God has in store for us collectively together, for our city, for southwest Michigan and the world around us. We’re full of passion to reach people with the unchanging message of the gospel and truly believe that we will see revival in our day and generation. As we keep Jesus at the center, we know that the future of Valley Family Church is bright and that our best days are ahead of us.
The best is yet to come, and we couldn’t be more grateful or excited to accept the joyful responsibility of officially becoming your new Lead Pastors.
We love you church,
Pastors Eric and Alexa
Lead Pastors, Valley Family Church