On September 11th we will be asking the members of our church to vote for a new pastoral staff member (part of our form of congregational government).  Last November our elders spoke to the need of hiring for this position and finally this is coming to fruition.

No one is more excited about this than I am, let me tell you why.

For the past ten years we have been blessed with an amazing ministry staff team.  I still marvel at how God has brougth together each of the parts of this team.  We are a group of different personalities and giftings.  We are committed to seeing the kingdom of God advance across our region and around the world.  Presently, however, we have a glaring gap at the level of senior leadership.  I am a big proponent of partnership in ministry and our elders believe that this is needed at the senior level of leadership for our church to move forward.  No one person can provide the right kind of oversight leadership that is needed for our church.  I am thankful for the elders of our church who continue to be a great source of godly wisdom and leadership. I am appreciative of the affirmation I have received over the years from many in our congregation about my leadership.  I am thankful but I know better than anyone that my giftings are in vision and teaching/preaching and that we desperately need someone who can work with key leaders to make sure that we are effectively implementing the vision that God is calling us to as a church.

This is a proactive step for our church.  We aren't suffering through massive internal problems in our church and we aren't waiting until we become super big to do this.  In fact we are enjoying great times right now. For some a hire like this would be easier if the entire system was broken and falling apart but that is not the case.  I am so impressed that our elders recognize that if we are going to take the next step in our vision we will need someone overseeing the details of ministry plan implementation.  We need someone who can work more directly with our ministry staff and management team ensuring greater organizational leadership.  

As I have reflected on this process I have become acutely aware of a very real challenge.  In so many ways hiring this person is going to be a great personal help to me but I am also aware of how much I am going to have to let go of things.  I want to do that so that I can concentrate on some other things that I believe will help us as a church.  I am hopeful that I will be able to transition well.  

The biggest hurdle for me has clearly been the ability to trust.  During the interviewing process I really had to balance in my mind and heart the issue of "due diligence" (when do you know if this is the right guy) and placing my faith in the sovereignty of God as expressed through the team that was processing all of this.  So we took our time, interviewed often, talked to as many references as possible, and prayed.  We understood clearly how critical of a hire this was going to be.  I am glad that I had the privilege to work with a group of very wise and godly people who want the best for me, our ministry staff, elders, and the rest of our church.  I am blessed.

Praying for the beginning of the next phase of ministry here at OBC.