April 22, 2016
We know that many of you have been anxiously awaiting some sort of update in regards to our lead pastor search. First, we want to say thank you for your patience and we apologize for not being able to update you sooner. There have been a few items that we needed to make sure were in place before we began this process in order to ensure that we, and whoever God brings our way, are positioned for the best possible results.
In the beginning of our lead pastor transition, we realized that unless we made some strategic moves financially, we were in danger of depleting our operating reserves. Due to various unforeseen circumstances, we simply were not bringing in enough income to match our current expenses. Knowing that during our search we would have to keep an operating deficit for a short time, we needed to make available extra funds to pay for expenses like personnel, facilities, pastoral search and consulting fees. As of April 1, those funds have now been transferred and we feel comfortable moving forward.
For the past couple of years, we realized as elders and staff that our current constitution and by-laws were outdated, irrelevant and needed a makeover. About 6 months ago, we put together a team to begin that process and plan on having them finalized by the end of April. This document not only helps govern the way we manage the church, but also helps paint a picture for any possible candidate to the DNA of Bridgeway and how we handle accountability and key decision making. Now with these updated, we feel confident moving forward in finding the right fit for a new lead pastor.
For a variety of reasons, Bridgeway has not had an active membership for more than four years. Our current transition has only amplified our need for an official membership plan that is tied to fulfilling our mission of changing lives and making disciples. Our staff has been working hard creating a plan that offers membership as a next step in a more comprehensive discipleship process that will launch this summer in June. Having membership, and/or a discipleship plan in place lets potential candidates see who the core is of our church and gives them a starting point for leading our church towards greater organizational health. More details about this plan will be shared at our Core Gathering on Sunday, April 24.
Because finding the right fit for our lead pastor is so critical to the long term health and success of our church, we felt it was wise to bring in outside counsel for this process. After meeting with a few different networks and organizations, we have decided to partner with a ministry that specializes in helping churches during these types of transitions to get a clear understanding of the type of leader that is needed for our specific church. This weekend, Brian Aaby (a national church consultant specializing in pastoral vacancies), will be meeting with our elder team, staff and various families in the church to help us create a positional profile for our lead pastor search. This is a key step in the journey ahead of us for ensuring we find the right lead pastor for Bridgeway.
Overall, we have been pleased with our progress over the past few months to getting these components in place before we begin our lead pastor search. These four areas have been the “to-do list” for us as an elder team and staff, and now with them nearly completed by the end of this month, we feel more confident as we enter this next chapter of Bridgeway’s story.
God has been reminding us that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and we continue to trust him and lean on the Holy Spirit for guidance, wisdom and strength. Please pray for us, and Bridgeway, as we take one step closer to the finish line this weekend. For more information about our progress, make sure to join us this Sunday, April 24, as we host our next Core Gathering. It starts at 6:00pm and child care is provided.