An Open Letter To Jeremiah & Bianca Stingl
Dear Jeremiah & Bianca,
When I learned of your resignation from The Church At Chapelhill to go lead a church in Chicago, I immediately experienced two very specific emotions. Part of me was extremely proud, but the other part not so much. I selfishly did not want you to go. Individually, you both have made such an impact on my life, the person I’ve become, and the person I strive to be. For the sake of simplicity, allow me to explain this way:
Pastor Jeremiah Stingl, before I even shook your hand or gave you a hug, you impacted my life. You made it “OK” to be a cool Christian and you were authentic in doing so. Too many times, young preachers simply try too hard to fit that bill, but you…you were just Jeremiah Stingl, the bright-eyed, baby-faced preacher who wasn’t afraid to be himself, tell his story, and openly display his passion for Jesus and for people. You had my respect when I first started serving at Chapelhill nearly 7 years ago, and you better believe you have it now. Thank you.
Pastor Bianca, wow, where do I begin? The first time I heard you preach, I was like “is she going to cry the entire time she is preaching?” No, seriously. I did. But as I spent more time around the church and more time listening intently to your sermons, I got it. I realized you weren’t this super overly emotional female preacher. You were a woman who wanted the heart of Christ more than anything in this world, and you wanted the same for us.
Over the years during my journey, I’ve met many women preachers who, on the surface, displayed similar traits. Women’s ministry was their “thing”, but unless you walked away from service as an evangelist or prophetess, you obviously didn’t get the message. You, however, taught me that I didn’t have to have an established title in order to be a woman of God. You helped me to see that the best friend any woman could have was another sister unashamed and bold enough to show their wounds and their scars with hopes of sparing the experience of the next. You made it OK to be Kimberly, the sometimes quiet, sometimes goofy, sometimes afraid woman whose faith is her foundation. She doesn’t need a stage. She doesn’t need a mic. All she needs is to believe in herself, trust God and have a couple of faithful friends to share the journey with her.
God certainly was up to something when he birthed Radiant through you. Your light shines brightly, sister. Thank you.
To the both of you — I’ve been praying for the city of Chicago for a while now. I have SO much family there, and what’s going on in the city has taken me to my knees more times than none. I knew God was in control., but I didn’t know He had THIS in mind.
Serving At The Church At Chapelhill is just like a baby learning to roll over, crawl, and walk. Worshiping the Lord, Reaching All People, and Equipping To Serve is inevitable. That’s what so great about riding God’s wave at Chapelhill — We Are Called. We Are Discipled. We Are Sent. Thank you for your availability and leadership; thank you for your transparent hearts, and thank you for giving so much of yourselves to advance the Kingdom of God.
Forever your sister — I love you,
PS: Tweet me, maybe? :)