Big changes are in store for the Reinke clan in 2012.
We’ve begun packing up our home as we prepare to move back to Minnesota where I will soon begin working for Desiring God, providing a mix of writing, editing, and research. My wife and I are excited about the new opportunity, and we are delighted to rejoin many of our Sovereign Grace and DG friends that we met in the Twin Cities during our brief stay in 2007.
Of course this means I will be leaving the Sovereign Grace Ministries office in Maryland, and Friday is my final day on staff. It has been a delightful four years serving alongside C.J. Mahaney as his editorial and research assistant. I will miss working with him in the office, traveling with him to conference engagements, and of course I will miss the multitasking meetings that may have appeared to some as a simple game of catch in the parking lot. I will greatly miss working with my friends in the Sovereign Grace office, worshipping with our friends at Covenant Life Church, and serving the many incredible pastors in Sovereign Grace who are spread across the country and the world.
When I reflect over the last four years I am deeply grateful for the accelerated learning I received from every direction – in theology, in marriage, in parenting, and in my vocational maturity. C.J.’s generosity made it possible for me to use these years to challenge myself as a writer and a researcher, a trajectory that culminated in my book Lit!. Never have I advanced in so many areas of life than in the last four years, and that is largely a result of C.J.’s investment in my life. In this brief post it is hard to detail my respect for him, and thank him for his friendship and for his mentoring — personally, pastorally, and doctrinally.
C.J. was kind enough to help confirm my suitability for the DG role. He was sad that our time together was now drawing to a close, but he was also joyful and optimistic about my future. He said if I didn’t take the job I would be, quote, an idiot.
The move is marked by sadness for us, but I can hardly imagine another man beside C.J. that I would rather work with than John Piper. It is an honor of the highest degree to serve alongside two men who have been fruitfully used by God as agents of gospel transformation in the lives of countless thousands of Christians around the world over the years (and myself personally). My calling to steward the teachings of these men is a sobering weight of responsibility as much as it is a rich kindness from the Lord.
A beloved co-worker and friend of mine at SGM emailed this encouragement to me a few weeks back:
I am excited for you, Tony. Someone getting to use their gifts at full throttle is one of the best things we still have in the fallen world. You are going to have your tachometer pegged at DG, and that is going to be good for Christians around the world, the majority of whom you will not meet this side of glory. You aren’t leaving the body, just getting sewn on somewhere different. Like a skin graft, if that inspires you.
The skinning metaphor fits.
My family will greatly miss the east coast, our neighbors and friends, our church home, our proximity to D.C., and all the historical sites that are within driving distance. In the last four years I think our family has taken in as many sights as possible, though my untiring wife will probably disagree. Where we do agree is that when we move, a piece of our lives will stay behind. We love it here. And although I could check on the current weather conditions in Minneapolis, I’m afraid to look! Despite the frigid weather, our move to Minneapolis will place us much closer to our extended family, one of the big factors in our move.
We hope to be settled in Minneapolis by the first week of February. With the move we will transfer our church membership from CLC to Bethlehem Baptist Church (at the request of DG). We are happy to make BBC our new church home. I continue to believe that Sovereign Grace Church is one of the very best churches in the country. (You may remember that back in 2006 my wife and I closed our business, sold our house, and moved our family to Minneapolis from Omaha for the sole reason of joining the church. It was a great move.)
When I look back I see why the Lord brought us to Maryland from 2008–2011. This move has provided me with valuable training and experience that I maybe could not have received anywhere else. Likewise, I can see why the Lord brought us through Minneapolis in 2007. He was preparing us for a return. So much of life is a mystery, so when things come together like this, God’s plan for us becomes clear, and I can only stand in awe and gratefulness for the incredible opportunities the Lord has brought into our lives.
If you think of us, please pray for us during our transition.