He Knows the Plans

by Timothy Pancake

On Sunday morning, Pastor Joe announced that he will be stepping down from his role as lead pastor. With that announcement can come many emotions- sadness, confusion, grief, and even anger.

But as we continue forward we want to remind our FMC family that Fellowship is God's church first. We are here to help you through this transition and provide insight and clarity on our next steps forward.

WHAT’S NEXT?

So, Family, you may be wondering: What’s next? The staff and elders are going to be determining an organizational structure that moves us forward in obedience.  After determining some shape to that structure and guided by our Vision, a search will occur for the person or persons to lead our staff and body.  These new leaders may be found inside or outside - we are not placing boundaries on the Lord’s leading.

As Joe departs, the elders will carry the role of senior pastor, for only a season.  Don’t worry!

We’re not taking over the pulpit.  Familiar faces from staff you have seen in the past, as well as occasional guest pastors, will cover the Sunday morning teachings.  Rather, the elders will provide more behind-the-scenes Senior Pastor leadership in areas such as oversight, influence and shepherding.  We have a fantastic staff that will continue to lead their various areas of ministry.  For direct staff oversight, we welcome Geoff King into the role of Interim Staff Leader.

Our current executive leaders, Karen Crawford and Izzy Alvarez will continue in their roles and support of Geoff as the staff leader.  Geoff and his team will be developing the Sunday teaching schedules, and continue Geoff’s efforts with corporate prayer times for our Staff and Body.

Partnering together, the elders and staff will continue to pursue God’s vision for Fellowship.  
In addition, Elders Steve Hays, Jordan Dillon and Tim Pancake, will be taking a more active role with the staff leadership team during a season of transition.  All of us on the elder team will be active - as always - in behind-the-scenes leadership, shepherding and care for both the Staff and the Body.  The elders are ready, and we are present with you.

ELDER CHARGE

Finally, as Lead Elder, let me personally share a brief vision of a new hope.  I believe a Promised Land is ahead of us, Family. As we come out of the desert of COVID, there will be souls ripened from lack of community.

We need to be aware – the new wineskins may be nearing completion!  There will be souls ripened because the deficient systems of this world, both on the left and the right and everywhere in between, have failed to provide the glorious utopia for which people have hoped.  The pervasiveness of sin has proven to be too much for sinful and broken systems to bear.  Hope has been crushed.

So now, brothers and sisters, we see a hope-starved people who are ripe and ready to listen because the conflict has gotten to be too much.  There is an unsatisfied longing to be a part of something holy, righteous and bigger than ourselves.  The fields are full of people seeking to serve the world and make a difference with their lives, and the world is letting them down.  But guess, what?

WE have the Answer.  Here awaits the Church, brothers and sisters, with the Way, the Truth and the Life!  We have the truth people are tiring of denying.  The truth that remedies the disease of sin.  Racism, individualism, socialism, capitalism, you-name-it-ism.  People don’t need another -ism, they need the Lord Jesus in ‘em.  They are longing for the hope we have in Jesus!  And the Spirit is preparing a harvest!  Perhaps, just perhaps - there is a great spiritual renewal coming out of this desert called Covid.  A great harvest of souls.  A vast renewal of faith in our land.  I can see it.  We can see it!  Can you see it, too?  A Promised Land is ahead of us, Family!  Are you ready to go with us?

So, as your lead elder, I charge us: Don’t be fearful. You have a part in this.  Do not be fearful.

God is calling us to a new level of godly, love-driven engagement, with each other and our neighbors, and our world.  Listen for what God is calling you to do.  Study the Bible, pray and allow your faith to overcome any fear.  Put your trust in Jesus.  The Spirit will be our guide, our cloud by day and pillar of fire by night.  He is faithful.

The journey has been hard, but the hard is what is preparing us for the next.  Let’s keep moving together - ever closer together in faith - as we prepare for the new wine and follow the Lord into a new Promised Land!

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1 Comment


Linda - March 9th, 2021 at 9:27am

Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration. I’m praying now for the harvest!