Rick Whitlock

An Announcement From Rick

Dear Campus House Community,

I have some big news to share with you. Since the fall of 2019, as all of us Campus House staff looked ahead to the razing of the mushroom building we called our church home, we also looked ahead to the next season of ministry apart from the building we inhabited. We all sensed that God was calling us to consider deeply the state of our discipleship and how each of us was called to minister in the coming years. In particular, Rob (our lead pastor) and I met weekly to discuss our lives, our ongoing ministry work, and our sense of God’s calling.

I was challenged and encouraged by Rob’s request that I think about my long-term calling—not because he was asking me to leave but because he was asking God how we, as a staff, might flourish. Unknown to me at the time, God had been laying the groundwork for me to receive a call to another church to continue the work of his ministry.

It is bittersweet to tell you that God has called me away from Campus House for this next season of life and ministry. In early July, I received an invitation to become the Assistant Pastor of Mission and Formation at Midtown Church in Indianapolis. When God calls we must go, and I am hopeful for his plans at Midtown in the coming years as well as Campus House, though I can only partake of one of those full-time.

Midtown was planted ten years ago, and the lead pastor is a friend of mine from both seminary and church back in St. Louis, where I lived before I lived in West Lafayette. They are entering an exciting and challenging time as a congregation, eager to keep growing in depth of discipleship while also maintaining their desire to live on mission in the city. I am excited to join them on this mission, even as I grieve leaving Campus House and Purdue.  This transition takes me only an hour away, and I am glad that a number of Campus House alumni live in the Broad Ripple and Indy area.

July 31 will be my last official day on the pastoral staff at Campus House. August 1 will be my first official day on the pastoral staff at Midtown. As I begin a new role elsewhere, my heart and my prayers will be with all of you as you begin a new semester and in a new PCCH location.

Before I sign off, so to speak, let me close with a few words of encouragement. First, I am so grateful for my time in West Lafayette and Campus House. The two things I will miss the most about my time at Purdue are the students and the staff who’ve become my friends and family. I’ve come to love and respect you all, and it has been my true joy and privilege to minister with all of you. I will miss all of you and eagerly anticipate how our life together for this past season will continue to shape us into Christlikeness in the years to come. May the Lord our God continue to sanctify us all together in his Word of truth and unwavering mercy. He is gracious and good for giving us Himself and one another!

Second, please notice that at the bottom of this letter I have included my personal email. I invite you to reach out to me at any point, now or in the future, with questions or thoughts or to schedule a visit to Indy. One of the greatest realities we have as Christians is that we are all part of one body even when physically apart. Yet we long to be together, and I hope I can remain a small part of the Campus House community even from a distance. If I can help, encourage, or strengthen you on your journey as I go on mine, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Finally, I know no better way to end this letter than with the Word of God, by which we realize believers in every century have felt what we feel at times like this. As the Apostle Paul said to the believers in Philippi, who were very dear to him, so I say to you, brothers and sisters in Christ:

Philippians 1:3–11
[3] I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, [4] always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, [5] because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. [6] And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. [7] It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. [8] For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. [9] And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, [10] so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, [11] filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

In the next verse, Paul goes on to say that “what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel” (Philippians 1:12). Even Paul’s imprisonment was about God’s presence, power, and purposes at work in his weakness for the salvation and growth of others! Surely God can work the next season of Campus House’s ministry and my own to advance the gospel. Thanks be to God!

As I leave behind this loving community for a new one—and transitions like these can be fear-filled and challenging, so I welcome your prayers for me!—I go with the great assurance that whatever happens to me or to you, in West Lafayette and Indianapolis and far beyond, it only “happens in order to advance the gospel.”

May the good news of Jesus Christ spread more and more as we follow Him daily.

Rick Whitlock

Email: rickwhitlock@gmail.com
Midtown Email: rick@midtownchuchindy.org