With the news that Zach and Adriane and their children Eleanor, Clara, and James are moving to a new ministry in Tennessee comes the question what next? Here are my answers:
First, gratitude and thanks. Zach and Adriane came among us three and a half years ago and immediately impressed us with their love for Jesus, love for Scripture, love for teaching and discipling, and love for the church. Zach showed himself to be an excellent teacher and preacher. Adriane fed us on sourdough and charm. The kids have just been too cute for words. Thank you, Zach and family, for the depth and Christ commitment you have shown everyday we have known you. You’ve made us better and we love you for it.
Second, stepping up. There are and will be people stepping up to fill in the gaps Zach’s absence leaves and there will be many. There is Sunday School to teach, youth worship on Wednesday night, and youth small groups that happen in the Café on Sunday evening. There is Disciple Now, scheduled in March. Beyond that there are all the fellowship, outreach, and recreation events which are a part of a healthy ministry to young people. All those things must continue and must be done with all the excellence we can give them. Who is going to do those things. A whole team of members of FBC which are right now being put in place. As we face this time we must remember one reality. Ministry belongs to the church. The church and its members minister. Staff gives guidance. The people carry on the ministry. We will lean on you to do that for the foreseeable future and beyond.
Third, we will stay the course. We will each recognize that this is temporary. Leadership will emerge from our people, and new staff leadership will be called. This is a time for people, all of us, to recommit and reconnect with our, emphasis on our, church. We need you.
Fourth, a search process will begin. Our teens, and our children too, and the families of those teens and children, need and deserve a minister and a ministry that helps them become more like Jesus and helps reach out to the young people around us. Both are critical needs. Our church needs this. Wayne county needs it. Young people around us are embracing a hostility towards faith in Jesus with alarming speed. We need to have people in place who can effectively speak to young people about why Jesus matters. Our Administrative Team will soon have a called meeting to select a search team to begin looking for exactly the person who can meet this need. Stay tuned.
Fifth, we will all pray our way through this process and through this time. I am confident in Jesus. I am confident all will be well. I am confident in you, too. I know we will meet this challenge together.