#familyfirstin2015 #SGF #movetoMO

It has been a whirlwind of activity for the Stones over the last two weeks as we have moved from Boca Raton, FL to Springfield, MO. I wanted to answer a few questions for many of my Facebook friends, 2 Twitter followers, and 3 people who follow this blog (thanks Mom!)


We have been praying for several months about this move back “home” to the Ozarks. The main reason we have felt a calling back to the area is to help with the care of our parents. The older I get, the more I am understanding “honor your father and mother.” I used to think, as a snarky little kid, that it was just a verse to “try to keep a good kid down.” It makes sense that parents would teach this verse, right? But I believe the real power of this verse is the fact that you are always a son or daughter. We feel really strongly that we are making this move to be able to better honor our parents (both Jenny’s and mine.)

Here are all the details in a letter that was submitted to The Journey Church family in Boca Raton explaining the move.

Dear Pastor Nelson and The Journey Church family,

Almost a year ago, God called me to Boca Raton to be the Pastor of Families here at The Journey Church. When God calls us to a place of ministry service, it is often not a lifetime calling at that place.  He often calls us to complete a work and then we move to the next assignment He has for us. We believe God has given us a new assignment for the next season of our lives.

As many of you know, both Jenny’s parents and my parents live in Springfield, MO. Jenny’s dad is moving into the final stages of Alzheimer’s Disease as well as a newly discovered heart condition. These issues are causing a great amount of stress on her mother for his care.  In addition to my father-in-law’s condition, my mother is still not recovering well from her fall this past November and my dad needs some help caring for her.

After much prayer and consideration, Jenny and I are moving back to Springfield to help with the care of our parents. Therefore, I am resigning my position as Pastor of Families of The Journey Church. My last Sunday will be January 18, 2015.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve alongside you all over the last year.  I know that I have grown as a pastor and as a Christ follower.  It has truly been an honor and a blessing to be a part of the family at The Journey in Boca. Please pray that Jenny and I can both find employment quickly as well as a smooth transition in schools for the boys. Thank you for your continued love and prayer as my family makes this transition and we pursue God’s call on our lives.

In Christ’s Love,



In a word, FAMILY. In a hashtag #familyfirstin2015. We have been 20+ hours away from our family for four years and with the recent health issues for our parents, we just feel we need to be near our blood family for this next season of our lives. We have found over the years that our spiritual family has been there for us when we have been away from our blood family. However, it is time for us to be near our blood family full time. I have also been putting a lot of time and energy into my career in the church and I feel a need to spend more time with my family while I still can before it is too late. It’s good to be around our parents…and even better for our boys to be around extended family (Taylor and Tucker have already had a really fun time on Sunday with their cousins while they were “helping” unload the moving truck.)

Now What?

  • We will be moving to a family farm house outside of Springfield (Strafford, MO). Jenny’s grandparent’s left a house for her and her future family to have for a circumstance just like this–a place to live during a transition time. Pretty cool how all those years ago they made provisions for us.
  • The boys will be enrolling in school at Strafford.
  • Jenny and I will be looking for jobs.
    • Jenny will probably substitute teach some and will be considering going back to full time teaching in the fall.
    • I will try to find something that fits within my gifts and personality. Obviously, I am a people person, so I will be looking for a job that I can help lots of people. Maybe in sales or customer service? I have even thought about starting my own business (the entrepreneurial spirit hasn’t gone away, has it? Mr. Church Planter. Ha!)
    • I’m not opposed to serving in the local church at all, but it would need to be a really perfect fit for me to serve on staff right now for this season. I would love to get a secular job that would allow me to be a “civilian” church member and volunteer in the local church.
    • If that doesn’t work out, maybe I could be a swimsuit model…lol!

Thanks in advance for your prayers for our family. We are really excited about 2015!

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