The Awana world was stunned yesterday as it was announced that Jack Eggar had resigned as the President and CEO of Awana. This seemed to be a sudden move and so human nature causes us to wonder what could have caused such a departure. Throughout the day I wondered what must have transpired for this transition to occur. In the midst of my thoughts, I was reminded of a similar transition in another international ministry just a few years ago.
Things seemed to be going well in this ministry and the Executive Director was posting about upcoming plans, when suddenly an e-mail was sent by the board stating that the Executive Director was not longer with the ministry. After a search, a new Executive Director was hired. I personally know both people, the one who had left that ministry, and the one who replaced them. I was shocked and saddened for the one no longer there, and rejoicing with the one who took their place. Both individuals are now thriving in their new roles and are reaching many people, training them for ministry. Through all of that, God had a plan and was glorified. You might argue that more people have been impacted for the Kingdom of God because of that transition.
I see the same thing now at Awana. I did not know Jack personally, though I did have several conversations with his wife Dona at various Awana functions, but I still feel for him as I did for the other Executive Director who suddenly was not associated with the ministry. This transition seems similar to me.
This is a time of transition, a passing of the baton, per se. I do not know the specifics as to why this transition was initiated, but what I do know is that God was sought in the decision. Those involved in the decision are people who know, love, and serve God. While our human nature wants us to dig into the reasons why this transition occurred, what “problems” could be plaguing Awana to cause this transition, we need only to trust that God He is working in this transition.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that there is a time and a season for everything:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
This is a change of seasons for Awana and the Eggar family, nothing more, nothing less.
I saw God do great things in the transition I mentioned earlier, and I see God doing great things through this transition. How many times have you quoted Romans 8:28 when you or others have faced difficult times?
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
We need to believe that God is in this transition and is working things according to His will and His purpose. We may not fully understand everything now, but one day we will look back and see God’s hand orchestrating this as He works in the hearts and lives of the people involved, the Board, the Home Office, the Eggar family, and even to the local Awana leader for the betterment of the Kingdom.
The future can be scary. We don’t know what the future holds, but then we never did. That is where God, through the Holy Spirit, gives us a peace that passes all understanding.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
I can say that from experience. There have been transitions in my life where I sought God and He gave me a peace that all would be alright, even when I did not know what the outcome would be, what the future would hold. I have to believe that that same peace exists in this transition for everyone involved.
Let me offer one more thought. Not long ago I was serving as a Children & Youth Pastor. I knew that I had been called to serve there, but there came a time when I knew that my season of service there was coming to a close. When I submitted my resignation, many were shocked and saddened, but I had that peace from God, and knew it was time to move on. I often wonder how people can agree with you that God calls you from one area of service to where you are, but when God calls you from where you are, they question if it is really God. When I left my position, I shared with people that if they believed that God called me to serve there, then they must believe that God was now moving me on. I have to believe the same applies here. I don’t think that anyone will question that God called Jack to serve at Awana, he leaves quite a legacy, and so I have to believe that God has told him that it was now time to move on. That this season of his ministry had come to an end and a new one would be beginning.
Yes, my human nature wants to inquire and find out all of the nitty gritty details, but I work to suppress that because deep in my spirit, I know that God is leading this transition and I’m looking forward to seeing how God is going to use Jack, and how He is going to use Awana, to reach even more children and youth for Him. That they may come to know, love, and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
Please join me in praying for continued wisdom, guidance, and peace for Jack and his family, and for Awana during this time of transition.