After months of prayer, discussions, prayer, congregational meetings, prayer, more discussions, more conversations, etc. we voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to bring aboard our latest pastor.[press release] Pumped!
This was one of our 6 Initiatives we began moving forward on together last year. We felt like this was a key first step for at least two reasons:
1. It would help us achieve what we feel is our most important initiative: create a culture of disciple-making. By bringing more experience, energy, time and perspective through this strategic hire, we believe we'll be able to get much more traction on accomplishing this goal. Future leaders will come from within as a by-product of disciple-making. Sweet!
2. It would require our church to act in faith...together. No doubt it's a step of faith for this family to come aboard our church. Pay cut. No guarantees after 9 months. No office to really speak of. No facility to call our home...these are not the perks you look for in a new job.
But then this isn't a normal job either.
So, yes, our church is stepping out in faith as well. We risk unity, momentum, and confidence in our leaders to tackle these 6 Initiatives minus 1. They aren't the kinds of initiatives (other than building) that your typical church family clamors for. (not that we're typical...)
In the end, we believe this was God's direction and that we've moved with Him as a result--even though it doesn't make sense on paper financially. If God wasn't moving us this way, then yes, we'd be acting irresponsibly. But since we believe He is moving us this way--despite the numbers--we are moving forward believing. I believe this pleases God! (Heb 11:6) And that's where we want to be as a church family!
So we continue to move forward to varying degrees on all of the remaining 5 initiatives. However, we will hit pretty hard on our creating a disciple-making culture and moving people from crisis to disciple-maker. These have a lot of overlap and since we have already been moving on these, I expect us to pick up steam and see some real progress this year.
May God be pleased in our risk-taking faith for His glory. As a fella once said, "Faith is defined as getting over your head with God." We're in!