August 19, 2016
Last Sunday, we began a sermon series titled “Overcome: A study on the life and trials of Joseph”. In the past year, Bridgeway has faced some difficulties and trials, especially when it comes to finances and staffing. While we certainly have not faced death and imprisonment as Joseph did, these trials have taken its toll both personally and organizationally. As I have reflected on the life of Joseph this week, the word “perseverance” continues to come to mind. At Bridgeway, I am grateful for the way many of you have persevered this past year and the way God has taken care of us as he prepares us for the next chapter in our story.
James 1:2-4 promises:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
This has been one of my favorite verses for many years, and it continues to encourage me. God rewards perseverance, and uses it to further our spiritual, emotional and physical development. My prayer is that you, and Bridgeway, become “mature and complete” in Christ.
Over the past several months, the Elder Team has been prayerfully persevering and seeking God as we continue the search process for our next Lead Pastor. We have spoken with several church consultants, received numerous unsolicited resumes and emails, heard recommendations from many of you and have had various one-on-one conversations and as a team. Through this process, God has led us to the conclusion that we have qualified internal candidates at Bridgeway for the position of Lead Pastor, and they have expressed their interest to us as well. To that end, we have determined to begin our Lead Pastor search with our internal candidates. It is possible that God will not lead us to select an internal candidate, and if that is the case, we want to be sensitive to that leading too.
To start the search process, we have formed a search team composed of three elders and four Bridgeway attenders. Resumes, interviews, reference checks and personality profiles will be combined with prayer and fasting as they seek God’s leading. The Search Team will make a recommendation to the Elder Team, who will then interview the candidate and make a decision. If the Search Team’s recommendation is accepted, the Elder Team will present the candidate to the congregation for feedback and confirmation. Although we want to be sensitive to God’s leading, it is our hope that within a couple of months, we will be presenting a candidate to our church community.
We recognize that many of you may want to know who is on the Seacrh Team, but we have determined not to share that information publicly. The reason for this is that this selection process is not an election or popular vote. We want the Search Team to be led by God. Political pressure, or campaigning for one candidate or another, will only cause quarrels and divisions.
I Corinthians 1:10-17 says:
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
The way that we as Bridgeway can be “perfectly united in mind and thought” is to seek God and pray for our Lead Pastor search. Specifically, be in prayer for our Search Team. If they choose to share with you that they are serving on the team, pray specifically for them, and encourage them. Pray for God’s leading, and that through Bridgeway, God will continue to use all of us to change lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Darrel Cross, on behalf of the Elder Team