As I mentioned in a blog last week, we have a rallying cry for 2017: The Kingdom of the Heavens is here and now. That is our external focus, the heartbeat for our year.
However, behind the scenes, with the staff and elders, we are working diligently toward our second rally cry which is for health & stability within our body. From kids ministry to community groups to our staff and Board of Advisors, we desire to see more health throughout our church as a whole. We will be working throughout the year to see that this happens. The first place we are starting is with our leadership.
We are an elder-run church. And for the past 13 months, our church has been primarily lead by John Kaserman and myself. During these 13 months we have been in process to figure out who God might be highlighting to join us in leadership. We are now able to present to you two men, Jerry Williams and Mo Lawson, to join us as elders.
Acts 20:28 says this of elders:
So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders.
Elders are (1) called by God, (2) to share leadership of the church (equal in position, authority, and responsibility, (3) are to be shepherds of men and women's souls, (4) are to be dedicated to prayer and guarding the doctrine of the church, and finally (5) are called to lead and protect the vision of the church.
Why this matters
Leadership matters. God allows nations to rise and fall on the backs of the leaders. How much more in His body!
As I read over the list above and in 1 Timothy and Titus, I am humbled that all three of these men and their families (the Kasermans, Lawsons, and Williamses) are willing to take on this awesome responsibility. The Apostle Peter exhorts the elders in 1 Peter 5:2-3:
Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.
These men and their families are not paid by the church to do this. It is both their desire and we believe, their calling. This is a tremendous step for our church family and will provide stability and protection for our church. Through the years I have been grateful to have men carry the load of caring for a church with me.
What is next?
Here is where the church comes in: we've asked that you be in prayerful consideration of these men and their families. There is a consummation, a completion or finalization that has to take place with our church body. Throughout this process we've worked for peace and unity. And if the majority of our body isn't feeling peace and unity, we are willing to take time to process that. So we need your insight! We desire your feedback, both the positive and the places of questions. If all goes well (and it has thus far) we will install these two men as elders on February 12th.
I look forward to hearing from you and seeing what our great King will do in 2017.