CHURCH-WIDE DIRECTIONAL MEETING

Scroll down to view a video recording of this church-wide meeting and view a written statement by Senior Pastor Jeff Talbert.

A NOTE FROM SENIOR PASTOR JEFF TALBERT

Dear Church Family,


Today at both campuses, Andrew and I shared what God has been doing in our church the past 3 months and some changes that are happening in our church.  If you weren’t able to attend, I invite you to watch the video of the meeting above that will be up for the next week.


The Process God has led us through:


Three months ago, Andrew shared with me that he has been learning more about how God has wired him and found that his role didn’t fit what he felt God calling him to do.  He still had a strong passion for the Twin Lakes Campus and its members, but wrestled with preaching 40 times a year and wanted to put more of his time into using his gifts of Administration and Leadership.  I really appreciated his honesty and trust in me and the Elders to share this.   Together, we shared this with the Elders who decided that we should use this as an opportunity to prayerfully consider how we have structured the role of Campus Pastor and how we are functioning as a multi-site church.


We had several meetings through December and January and got away for a retreat to pray and seek God’s lead for what He has taught us over the past year and a half and what would be best for the church moving forward.  We had a many honest conversations to ask if God was still calling us to be a multi-site church, if God was still calling us to Twin Lakes, if our structure that we setup was the best way to serve our church, and if we have structured all of our pastoral and staff job descriptions to best use our gifts and focus on what was most important in our church.


As we were coming to the end of our process, Andrew shared that he didn’t want us to make these changes because of him, but wanted this to be from God and what was best for the church.  We agreed and had our final meeting on February 6th without Andrew and asked the hypothetical question, “If Andrew were to leave, would we still feel this is what God is calling us to and what is best for the church?”  This was clarifying for us that while God had used Andrew to launch this process, it was not for him, but for the church.  At this meeting, we felt God strongly confirm that the Twin Lakes Campus is a work He is doing and that He is calling us to be faithful to reach out to the community of Twin Lakes and continue to build a healthy campus there.


The Changes God is leading us to make:


We believe God is calling our two campuses to work closer together and to pour more of our efforts into strengthening our Small Groups ministry to grow healthy disciples that care for one another.  We realized that we have been putting so much of our three pastor’s time into preaching 104 messages per year that other ministries of the church have not had the pastoral support that they need.  To solve both these problems, we will have one preacher teach at all 3 services at both campuses.  We can do this if we adjust our Sunday service times to 8:30 & 10:00 at Paddock Lake and 11:00 at Twin Lakes.  This change dramatically reduces the load of a Campus Pastor and frees up time to focus on developing our Small Groups and other ministries of the church.  This change also allows me as Senior Pastor to serve both campuses and better lead our church as I’ll regularly connect with all of our church and not just part of it.  Pastor Adam will step up to serve as Campus Pastor for our Paddock Lake Campus and I will be available for both campuses.  Seeing the way God has led us these past 3 months and the new structure has only deepened my love and excitement to serve as your pastor, not just through this transition, but for many years to come!


Andrew’s News:


After setting the structure at the end of our February 6th meeting, we decided to take 2 weeks to pray and seek God’s confirmation before we talked about how we would share this with the church and make this transition.  We adjusted Pastor Andrew’s role to one that not only fit his gifts, but would be a role that would support the Twin Lakes Campus and serve the whole church as well.  On Wednesday morning, February 8th, Andrew shared with me that he had been contacted by White River Christian Church in Noblesville, IN and asked to apply for a Campus Pastor position.  This is the church he grew up in that his parents still attend.  Andrew wasn’t looking for a new position but when he saw the job description that listed his 3 spiritual gifts at the top and would not just be a Campus Pastor, but to launch their first campus and help the church to launch 3 other campuses over the next 5 years, it was a perfect fit for him.  As he and Catie prayed about this, they felt this was from God and they needed to pursue this.  As Andrew shared this with me, I was saddened, but clearly recognized some of the things he shared with me as a call of God.  Mike Cassity and I spoke with the Executive Pastor at White River and gave Andrew glowing references for his character and gifts and the many ways he has blessed Westosha Lakes over the past 6 years.  We believe this new position is a perfect fit for how God has wired Andrew.  White River interviewed Andrew and were impressed enough to offer him the position that night.  Andrew accepted the position and his last day serving at Westosha Lakes will be March 26th.  We will miss Andrew and Catie dearly, but seeing the way they and the Elders handled this process with integrity and God’s work through this process gives me confidence that God will continue to use Andrew and will provide for us as well.


Our Transition:


When Andrew shared that he was leaving on February 14th, we decided to call a meeting right away to share all of this with you at the next Sunday service for today, February 26th.  Our prayer is that we will all see God’s hand in this and get excited for where God is leading us.  We will begin our new service times starting March 26th at 8:30 & 10:00 at Paddock Lake, and 11:00 at Twin Lakes when Andrew will preach his final sermon with us.  We will all join together at 12:30 at Twin Lakes for a “Farewell to the Smiley’s” lunch and appreciation to them for 6 years of faithful ministry among us.  The Elders are forming a search team to find a new Twin Lakes Campus Pastor who will also lead our Small Groups Ministry and oversee our two Worship Directors.  Karl Hoffman, Jim Camphouse, Tim Trecker,  and I will be supporting our Twin Lakes Campus through this transition.  Please join us in prayer for God’s leading in this and let’s trust God together that He has good things ahead for us as a church in 2017!


God Bless You,


Jeff Talbert

Senior Pastor | Westosha Lakes Church

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