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A Letter To Branches

A Letter to Branches

To the amazing people at Branches Church,

Almost 14 years ago, I walked into the front doors of a church founded by a family who had already been an inspirational part of my journey with Jesus. I had recently found myself in the darkest, most destructive season of my life and it was in the midst of that darkness that I encountered a love so deep, so real, and so unequivocal that I had no choice but to pursue it with every ounce of energy I could muster. Which at that point in my life, wasn’t much energy at all.

What was so amazing about my experience is that I encountered God’s perfect love through imperfect people. God used my relationships with imperfect people to absolutely transform my heart and to radically change the trajectory of my life.

I have watched as hundreds of people have come to know and experience Jesus in very real and undeniable ways at Branches. I have participated in many baptisms, weddings, and funerals. We launched the youth group, kids program, outdoor ministry events, small groups ministry, marketing campaigns, a campus, a for-profit business, several building remodeling projects, and too many internal initiatives to even begin to count. I have experienced intense personal pain and I have celebrated some of the most beautiful redemptions in my own life.

That is why my heart weighs heavy to officially submit my resignation from Branches Church as the Lead Pastor. Yet...I am so excited for what God has for the future of this church!

Ministry is inconsistent. Life is always changing and people are messy. There is one phrase that continually occurs in scripture that completely overwhelms the complexity and chaos that is life. It is the phrase, “But God”. Here are just a few instances:

Genesis 8:1 - But God remembered Noah...
Romans 5:8 -  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Ephesians 2:4-5 - But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Psalm 73:26 - My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Ministry is inconsistent, but God is faithful. Life is always changing, but God is a solid foundation. People are messy, but God is patient and kind. I am moving on, but God isn’t! This is a season of “but God”. The disciples in the midst of the storm forgot who was in the boat with them. The chaos of their situation overwhelmed them, understandably so. Their training as fisherman taught them to fear the storm. But Jesus was with them; may we never forget who is in our boat.

I am moving on from Branches with nothing but immense gratitude for my time here. That gratitude extends to so many of you. I have always believed that who you hang out with is who you become. I have had the privilege of spending time with some of the most precious people on the planet and God has used you to shape the person I am today: a person who is better off having known so many people within the Branches community, and yet has so much more growth to experience through the new relationships I will gain in this next season.

I am forever grateful for the time my family and I have been at Branches. We would not be who we are today without the people, the church, that make up the community at Branches. My life is forever marked with my time here. I have loved deeply, and I have been loved deeply. What more could I ask for! I love you church! Keep loving our community as Christ has loved us.

Forever your friend and ministry partner,

Daniel Knutson
Lead Pastor
Branches Church

“We ARE a church you can bring your friends to”

The Story Behind the Decision