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To you, our friends and family,An Open Letter About Being Fired

Most of you by now have heard that Tuesday December 8th, I received unexpected news that I was fired.

So many people have reached out to us, and for that we are humbled and grateful.

In this post, I’d like to answer a few of the more common questions being asked.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Well, first off, it wasn’t a moral failure.  It wasn’t an ethical failure.  And no, I didn’t see it coming.   I do however, know why I was fired.

I failed to be humble and I tried to impress a small group of people instead of love and lead them as Christ asks us.  You see, I inherited a group of people passionate about the church.  They walked hand in hand with the former pastor launching the campus.  And I, being the new guy, I wanted to impress them.  I didn’t take the time to become their pastor. I didn’t ask them enough questions. I didn’t lead them through the change and relationship lose of the former pastor moving on.  Instead, I focused on presenting them with results.  I was told; “Eric, you failed to connect with these folks, and they stopped following you.”

Now that wasn’t news to me.

After I realized it was to late to reconcile with these guys, I decided to build my own core team of leaders.  In doing so I failed to honor the sacrifice the original guys made…and their sacrifices were many and deep.  They gave their time, treasure and even lost friendships over the launch of a new campus.  So to these people, I’m sorry.

HOW ARE WE?

Honestly…we are doing great.

And thanks to Dave Ramsey, we are not in a financial crises.  If you haven’t taking Financial Peace University, you should.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED?

First, I appreciate having mentors and coaches in my life that asks these questions.

Two mornings after being fired I was sitting at our dining room table at about 4:30 am praying, journalling and reading scriptures that came to mind.  I had this thought; “God, what’s wrong with me?  I’ve heard others that have experienced this say the situation drove them to you?  How come I don’t feel that happening?”  And then I realized; you can’t be driven someplace you already are.

Now, that sounds like I might think I’m “super-Christian” or something….I don’t think that, and I’m not that.  It might sound as if I think I’m a better Christian than others who have experienced this.  I don’t.  I’ve reached this point by former experiences.

But, I have discovered a great and exciting truth about myself.

I don’t have faith in faith.  My faith is in God and the promises found in His word.

Family Core Values

The Dingler Family Core Values

I’m grateful for the work Marissa and I put into crafting our family core values.  And, I’m proud that we lived these boldly in front of our kids.  I sat there last week reading these again and thanking God for leading us to write them.  They have guided us along the way and have played a major role in my personal growth this past year.

If I had not started spending so much time in Scripture over the last year, I would have been devastated.  But, my identity and job title never mixed.  I didn’t see myself as a campus pastor at a church I admired for years.  I see myself for who I am in Christ.  I’m a saint, and sometimes I sin and fall short of loving people the way Christ wants me to.  And God is always there, he guides me to repent and covers me with grace.

A man named Bill taught a class I took on Bible Study Methods.  The methods he taught gave me the tools I needed, but the passion he spoke with about God and the Bible inspired me to spend time in scripture in new ways.  Thank you Bill, you have had the greatest significant impact on me in this past year.

I have learned a great deal more.

IS THIS WHY GOD SAID NO TO A HOUSE?

So we tried several times to buy a house.  Most people’s first response is “thank God you didn’t buy a house.”  I get it, that was one of my first responses as well.

However, upon thinking on it, there are a few reasons God could have said no to a house.

First, let’s agree…he saw this coming.

So, he could have said no because he knew we would be leaving soon.

Or, he could have said no because, if we stay in Coshocton, it’s because we are being obedient to Him not because we are obligated to a house.  It’s the same reason he put the tree of knowledge in the garden at creation.  Our obedience is something we get to decide to give everyday.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NEXT?

Well….technically It’s 11:58 am as I write this…so next I’m going to eat lunch.

But in the big picture, I’m not 100% sure.  I mean, I know what I’m going to do, I just don’t know where and how.

  1. I’m going to help people far from God move close to God.
  2. I’m going to help people have meaningful marriages.
  3. I’m going to help parents raise great kids that love Jesus.
  4. I’m going to help people put faith into action and not simply store up faith for the next crises.

I’m also going to keep saying yes more when my kids ask if I can play….I happen to have the time.

I’m going to study spiritual gifts like a mad man.  I believe helping people discover and work in their gifts is the best way to help people have fun at being the person God uniquely has positioned them to be.  Plus, I want to work out of a better understanding of what I’m gifted to do, and find others to partner with in the areas I’m not gifted but they are.

I’m going to hit the treadmill everyday and work on my physical health with focused energy and effort.

I’m going to spend time every day working on my teaching.  For example, for the next month, I’m going to write three different ways to transition between the body of the exact same message and the closing comments.

I’m going to spend time enjoying being in the presence of God with nothing on my calendar to pull me away.

I’m going to ask my wife everyday, “what can I do for you today?”

I’m going to seek for the next place where God wants us to be.

WHAT CAN WE PRAY ABOUT FOR YOU?

I appreciate this question most.

Please pray….

  1.  That God would make it clear what our next place is.
  2. That he would help us leverage this time to build new healthy habits as a family in regards to how we spend time together.
  3. That I would leverage this time to build new eating and exercise habits to make a healthier me.

If, like us, you are curious as to what God is doing in all this, sign up to my email list and I’ll send you updates every time I post on my blog.

To all of our friends….thank you for your kindness, your support, your appreciation, your love. and your prayers.

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