Monday, March 15, 2010

Things -and People- Change.

When you're young (if you're like me) you assume you'll put the world together in a certain way, just the way you like it, and things will stay that way. The right network of friends. The right spouse. The right children. The right job. The right house. Put everything together and then it will stay, right?

The truth is life is always changing.

I've been thinking about that a lot as our church staff goes through some changes.

Chris Lantz, a great young guy who has been our Trinity Life Center Director (and helped out with our visitation ministry to older adults), has moved on to be a seminary student and the student pastor at Cedar Lake UMC. Those folks are going to love Chris!

A wonderful young woman named Lori Grasty is coming in to lead our Upward Ministries (basketball and cheerleading) next season.

A wonderful couple, Steve and Sue Price, are going to step in and help lead our visitation ministries with older adults. Steve is also going to help us with pastoral visits to older adults.

Another wonderful TUMC member, Deb Smith, is stepping in to take over the part-time position of Director of Adult Discipleship & Small Groups.

Our Staff Parish Relations Committee was getting ready to look for a new leader of our Praise Team since Jacob Kisor will be leaving the area after getting married this coming summer when we learned that our Director of Music & Worship Ministries, Kristen Senne, will be leaving at the end of May.

So things change.

People change.

People come and go.

I don't like change. I don't like the work that goes into finding the right person for a position on our church ministry staff.

Except...except...God has a way of being able to work for good through times of change. As much as I hate to see good people, faithful people, live our team I also know that God is giving us a new opportunity to grow. In some new ways. In some new directions.

You never replace a person: I know that. People aren't parts in a machine where you can pull one out and replace it with an identical part. You don't replace people with a perfect copy of the preceding leader, but you go out to find someone who will do the a new way. Someone who is gifted in their way. One person will never be their predecessor.

When there is change on our staff, we are looking for someone who:

  1. Loves Jesus.
  2. Loves the imperfect community that is the Christian church (because Jesus died to give the church life), and loves the mission and ministry of Trinity United Methodist Church.
  3. Has the heart of a servant.
  4. Is coachable.
  5. Has a commitment to ministry as a team.
  6. Believes their role is equip the people of God to do the work of the church. Someone who builds teams.
  7. Knows their stuff...whether that is music, youth ministry, etc.
  8. Is gracious. Understands they are imperfect and the people they work with are imperfect.
  9. Committed to excellence in everything they do.
  10. Good work habits and the ability to follow through.

So we are in a season of change on our church staff. Not because there is some new, grand staffing plan. Not because of any crisis. It's just that things change. People come and go. You know?

So my heart aches for the friends who leave our place...step out of being a part of our everyday lives. And another part of my heart is eager to see the people God will bring to us...and how God's church will grow and bear new fruit.

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