Greetings Lakeview family!
This is a summary of our findings during the assessment phase of our pastoral search process. This phase was preceded by our calling of Pastor Gordon Douglas to serve as our interim pastor. Our assessment phase followed the connect phase, in which Pastor Gordon connected with the congregation through personal interviews with about 60% of the congregation, and meetings with the leadership to determine the details of the process to be implemented at Lakeview Community Church (LCC). In July the newly formed Transition Team began getting acquainted with the process and began the assessments. These were the “looking back to where we have come from and looking around at where we are now” aspects of the transition. This process, in which several different tools were used, is now concluded. Below you will be able to read a summary of our findings along with some general recommendations. Any major changes at LCC will be done after the new pastor is in place.
During October we will be developing our pastoral profile, the type of candidate we will be looking for, based upon the Scriptures, our assessment and the congregational survey conducted in April. We will also be seeking to align our profile with LCC’s current mission, vision and values. In addition, we will be developing our pastoral search strategy during this time. This is looking ahead to where God is leading us in the immediate future. October is also a good time for any feedback that you might have for the team (the team members’ names are listed below).
Beginning November 1 we will become the Pastoral Search Team (PST) and officially begin to solicit resumes on November 1. The open period for resume collection will be until January 1, 2018. If you know a potential candidate please encourage him to submit his resume during this period. Amanda Bodien and Drew Epperley are co-chairs and will be leading the PST.
In January we will be sifting through the resumes. The PST will be narrowing down the potential candidates, calling references and due diligence will follow. Initial Skype or phone interviews by the PST of the top candidates will follow this narrowing-down process. When we and the elders have a final candidate, he and his family will be invited for a candidating weekend. The congregation will be invited to discuss and vote on the candidate following that weekend. As expected, the timeline becomes more tentative beginning in January.
Assessment Phase Summary
We will begin by talking about our strengths as a congregation. By far the most noticeable strength is the church family. It can be described as a loving, caring community of Faith. More than that, LCC is accepting and welcoming. We are warm yet casual, meeting people where they are at. We place a high value on being Biblical in our teaching, practice and authority. We desire to be authentic in worship, teaching and fellowship. We practice our beliefs. We want to be disciples that make disciples of Jesus. We have a strong Sunday service that includes Biblical teaching and high-impact worship – worship that glorifies God and engages us in joyful celebration of the Savior.
Like every church we have weaknesses. Being a church replant meant that we started over. We are like a child growing into adulthood as a church. Many of our weaknesses are due to where we are at in the life cycle of our church. Many have noted the lack of programming in certain areas. It has been mentioned by many the need to have a Youth Ministry and to strengthen our Children’s Ministry. Other programming needs have been suggested. When the new pastor arrives the leadership will be prioritizing and implementing new programs in line with our mission, vision and values. One of the great challenges in increasing programming is getting qualified and committed volunteers for some ministries and for new ministries. Another area needing attention is leadership training at all levels. There is a desire to see LCC raising up the next generation of leaders. Finally, as many know, there could be a strengthening of our administration, management and resource-development aspects of ministry.
Far from being discouraged, we see a healthy fledgling church on the cusp of the next steps of exciting ministry. There are the opportunities that can help us take those next steps. Implementation of leadership training and development is a high priority; specifically we desire to see some younger Elders and Deacons. Another high priority is strategizing and adding the right kind of programs, those which are in alignment with our mission, vision and values. There is a need for resource development and some administrative planning for current and future aspects of the church; for example, church use and financial planning in view of coming changes. Finally, there is a strong desire at LCC to reach out beyond the walls of the church, both in evangelism and service.
Now the word of warning – there are potential threats. The primary concern is getting the right pastor, one who will merge with our mission, vision and values, one who will help us refine and implement these. We must give our new pastor our full support, from the elders down to every person who calls Lakeview their home church. Some programs are critical for health; we feel that having a Youth Program in the near future is one of them. Another factor that can hamstring us is ‘perfectionism’ in various things; for example, not wanting to change until conditions are perfect for change. Finally, although our facilities are a blessing, they are also growing older and have needs in terms of ongoing maintenance and repairs, and perhaps in need of some remodeling. One final note, if God blesses us with numerical growth, then we may need to consider how our facilities may need to expand. Wouldn’t that be a great problem to have?
As we search for a new pastor, a new shepherd to lead us in our next steps, the most important thing that we can do as a church family is pray. Pray for the PST! Pray for the man and his family that God is preparing even now. Pray that, even though he cannot be everything that we want, he will be God’s man for this season in the life of LCC. May Christ’s work be done in us and through us as we follow Him!
Your Servants in this humbling task,
The Transition Team –
Pastor Gordon Douglas, Amanda Bodien, Lea Anne Edwards, Drew Epperley, James Fincher, Doug Hudgin, Ken Mullins and Pairsh Wiggins.