Important Update on Transitions!


But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:62

“…I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…” – Philippians 3:13

Some have said that history is always moving forward. Well, I know that God is always taking His people forward! We live without regrets as we move forward toward the plan God has for us. 

That’s what Scott & Susi Stephenson, who played a huge role in leading our children’s ministries, have done as God has taken them to a ministry in Marion. That’s what Pastor Pete and Sarah are doing as God is taking them to a ministry in San Diego. These transitions affect our children, students and worship ministry. Also, while Deneen Sommers is staying with us, she will be leaving her position as my Administrative Assistant over the course of the summer and into the fall. The duties of Grandma are calling! 

As we began some of these changes last year, before I knew everything that was going to happen, I told Sharon, “We are getting ready to go through a season of great transition.” – and I believe the Lord is in this. I trust Him and I trust the people mentioned above that He is leading them. Thus, there is no need for anxiety. 

As with most positions, they change and evolve over time. Pastor Pete brought much more media and tech ability to his position than we were expecting when he came. What a blessing! Pastor Sharon began with us focused on children’s ministries, but over time she has done so much training of our Dream Team members, and has done a great deal of leading in many areas of adult ministries as well. Deneen’s work for us has also evolved over time to be much more than a personal assistant. She has taken on much more than just being my assistant and has served more as a Director of Operations for much of our church’s ministry. 

So … we have multiple moving parts. God is leading us through a great shuffling of responsibilities. I believe He is preparing us for something great! I believe God is preparing us to reach more people who don’t yet know Him! I’m looking forward to what He has in store! I believe we are going to see many more people come to Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Purpose, and Make a Difference through the ministry of New Life Church! 

What are we going to do? What are we currently doing?  First, I have been praying about this very specifically for over a year, and I feel that God has been leading, and He continues to confirm His leading as we go through this process. 

Next, everyone is unique, so with multiple changes we are not simply looking to fill slot for slot with each transitioning position. 

With all of these changes, I NEED Pastor Sharon to assist me in an Executive Role with our Adult ministries. Pastor Sharon’s position will become that of an Executive Pastor. She will work side-by-side with me in nearly every aspect of our church’s ministry. We will walk together, particularly in the areas of adult ministries. She will help me oversee every area of adult ministry and church operations, other than those Pastor Steve is leading. 

As she takes on this role, over time, she will no longer be able to lead our fantastic children’s ministry Dream Teams. 

We will hire a “NextGen Pastor” to lead our ministries for the Next Generation. This will include leading our ministries to Children and Students – Nursery through High School Graduation. In some of these areas this pastor will be very hands on, in other areas they will provide guidance and mentorship to our great teams. Remember that Paul taught us in Ephesians 4 that the pastors don’t do the work of the ministry – the pastors train God’s people to do the work of the ministry. That has been our guiding Scripture, and will continue to be so. We have so many gifted people leading in so many areas of ministry! 

As with every God-given leader, there will be new ideas and fresh vision. We need to prepare ourselves now to change as God leads. As with Moses and the Israelites, we need to move when the cloud moves … and my friends … I believe the cloud is moving! 

Joshua was a different leader than Moses. Elisha was a different leader than Elijah. And even Jesus passed His ministry off to the disciples – and guess what – it got even bigger! So let’s be wide open to God’s changes! 

In the area of worship, for a season there will be times when I will lead. There will be times when Deneen will lead. There will be times when we will have a guest worship leader. Don’t think a guest worship leader is here for a “tryout”. That will not be happening for some time. We just want to bring in some friends who are gifted in worship leading and be blessed by their ministry from time to time. 

Again, I have been praying about this area specifically for over a year, and I am very confident of God’s leading in this area right now. Let us also remember that the purpose of our worship times together is to connect with God and have our hearts prepared to receive His Word. That is the main focus. Everything we do in worship should point to that. So as you come in to worship, don’t worry about who is leading or what they are doing – our focus together should be on the Lord. 

God’s direction in me has grown over this past year, and I don’t believe He has revealed everything to me yet. We are trusting Him from day to day and I fully expect that His leading will grow in me as we continue. So, this is not the final chapter. This is just an update as to where we are now. I felt it important to let everyone know. 

What an exciting time!