Transitioning from Newsong

You may have heard. Maybe you haven't heard my heart yet. It's true - I'm transitioning off staff at Newsong Church. Our home and family and livelihood for the past 10 years. So many of you have reached out to hear more of the story, so here's the deal.

GRATEFUL > Ten years ago this month, Brian and I met Dave Gibbons in a fish restaurant downtown Chicago to discuss the possibility of coming to Newsong. I was interviewing for the Junior High Pastor position. We'd been praying for a place like Newsong for over a year. God had even given us Psalm 40 (Newsong's founding passage) as we prayed through our transition. I was the first white, female pastor they ever hired. There were about 10 students in junior high when Newsong hired me.

Over the past decade, I cannot overstate what God's done in my soul, my leadership, my ministry, or my family. The people of Newsong have become our family. I've had 6 different positions, multiple teams, 3 children, and countless opportunities at Newsong. "Gratitude" doesn't being to scratch the surface for what my heart feels for Newsong.

PROCESS > Over the past several months, I've been in a process to determine my role and future at Newsong. I've been working with the best coach in the world (thanks Hendre!) to help me navigate the options and realities. And Newsong's leadership and myself have come to the decision that it's best for both of us for me to complete my time at Newsong. Honestly, it's been a really painful and difficult to come to terms with. But it's really right and necessary for all of us to move forward in our lives, vision, and ministry.

FINISHING WELL > June 30th is my last day on the pastoral staff of Newsong. In these final days, I'm 100% committed to finish well by loving this community and leading strongly until my last day.  These days are filled with farewells, blessings, challenging conversations, passing off of responsibilities, empowering others, and endless words of thanks to those I love.

NEXT STEPS > God's so gracious. He's been preparing our next steps even without our effort. Immediately, I plan on spending a lot of time in the swimming pool this summer with my kids, perfecting my tan, and teaching my littles to swim. (After all, I was a swim instructor in college.) This past year I've been working very part-time with a couple organizations that I love: Slingshot Group and The Youth Cartel. Moving forward, they've graciously extended invitations for me to do more with them, using the gifts God's given me to influence leaders all across the country.

At Slingshot, I'll continue staffing and coaching churches as they look to find the best fit for their youth ministry.

At The Youth Cartel, I'll be their Director of Coaching, bringing leadership and development to their coaching programs and cohorts.

Beyond that, WHO KNOWS?

  • Are you moving? Nope. This is our home. We love SoCal and our community here.
  • Are you going to continue attending Newsong? Not at this point. Our family is going to take some time to travel, be with friends, go out to brunch on Sundays. After a decade of my pastoral leadership in this place, this feels necessary for our family and the Newsong community. The friendships, of course, will remain. We'll be sure about that :)

One thing I know, God is so very good. The process leaving Newsong is so painful because I love this community so. It hurts because it matters. But I believe God's in it and doing something on both our behalf's that needed for the Kingdom.

Below is the announcement I gave at Newsong this past Sunday. I'm very thankful that I was able to share with the entire community that I've poured into for the past decade of my life. These relationships matter so much to me, and I hope our Newsong community felt my love and gratitude. The outpouring of support, affection, and blessing was so overwhelming. It confirms everything we've known for quite some time: the people of Newsong are extraordinary people.


April L. Diaz

April has been a visionary activist her entire life. She has made it her mission to lead high performing teams and develop leaders in the margins of society while caring for our bodies, mind, and spirit. Secretly, she’s a mix of a total girly girl and a tomboy, and is still crazy about her high school sweetheart, Brian. Together, they co-parent 3 fabulous kiddos and live in Orange County, CA.