Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Our Sr. Pastor is resigning...

It doesn't come as a surprize, a couple of weeks ago our Youth Pastor Lynfield Hines and I were talking about this possibly happening. My Sr. Pastor, Gary Mueller was the officiating pastor for our wedding, and he didn't want to say anything to me before the wedding about it, which I understand. He and I have shared a lot of trials together the past 3 years, and I understand I think why. He and I will get together for lunch sometime in the coming weeks and talk about it. It'll be interesting to see if he stays in the pastorate, as he's pretty close to retirement and his wife just took a nice promotion. He tendered his resignation January 1st, effective January 31 2006. Since I got married December 30th, then went on honeymoon, I had not gotten this info until today.

I asked him what he thought the church was going to do, and he said most likely hire a preaching pastor. It's something I might be interested in, but I don't know if they would be interested in having me at this point. It would depend on quite a few things for me to take it (financial issues and quite a bit of prayer all to be factored in) but I think I could do it. God has kept me in this church for a reason, and perhaps this is it. I've been waiting patiently for something to happen, either a new position or something in another church, but for 3 years it has seemed this is where God has wanted me. So we'll see if they are interested in me. If they aren't, I'll be completely fine with that as well. It'll be an interesting next couple of weeks I guess.


Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

I'll do it. When can I start?

Chris Meirose said...

I'm not certain, but my guess is that would be one brutal commute! But if you like snow, cold (REALLY COLD) weather, driving on ice, and mosquitos, then I'm sure they'd consider you!

Big Chris

Milton Stanley said...

Chris, I hope this goes well for you, whatever happens. Obviously I don't know much about your particular situation, but here's my take on the general issue of hiring preachers from within the congregation, for what it's worth.

Some churches have policies on not hiring associates to fill senior preaching positions. There is a certain wisdom in that position. I've twice been at a church where I was "promoted" to the senior preaching position from having been an associate for three years or so. One of the challenges of that type of position is that some folks have a harder time looking at "Ole _______" as the senior minister when he's been in a support role for years. This certainly isn't fair, but it's how people work sometimes. It's similar to the old saying that an expert is someone who comes in from more than 250 miles away.

On the other hand, there are those who have successful ministries after being promoted from associate slots. Peter Bogert at http://strongerchurch.blogspot.com is one who comes to mind.

I say all this so that if you aren't chosen, you don't take it too personally, and if you are chosen, you'll be aware of some of the challenges. One thing's for sure--you're right that it will be an intersting few weeks ahead. May you see God's blessings throughout the journey.

Chris Meirose said...

Thanks for your thoughts Milton! I really do appreciate them. I know for sure they are bringing in someone as a pulpit preacher for the beginning of this period. I've forgotten his name, but he's the person the Minnesota Baptist Conference (our local Baptist General Conference office) suggested. He's done this quite a number of times with churches who are struggling through things. I know he isn't their long term solution, probably through Spring and then they'll have to make decisions. I've already been asked by other staff members (I'm an unpaid staff member) what my interest would be. My gifting is leadership, God has hard wired me to lead, but it remains to be seen if I am ready, and if He has this in store for me.

As you've stated, I've seen both good and bad instances of internal promotions for churches. I'm what I would consider an outsider on the inside. I've contributed quite a bit the past 3 years, but a lot of what I've done is behind the scene type of stuff - leadership development, coaching the former Sr. Pastor, and working with Sr./Jr. High Student Ministries. I've preached a half dozen times in the last 18 months as well, and perform other functions in the church when/where needed. We'll see, I'll wait on God on this one.

Big Chris