(News, April 4, 2022)
At our annual congregational meeting on March 27, 2022 we discussed Trinity’s ministry plans for the coming year. This post summarizes the two key transitions we anticipate this year, and three areas of ministry we’ll be emphasizing as we move forward together.
David Jackson has been faithfully serving as our worship leader for several years, and we are so grateful for the time and energy he has poured into this ministry. But there are many other demands on David’s time now that he’s experiencing the life of retirement, and he has decided it’s time to move on from the worship leader position. He has graciously agreed to lead a search for a new worship leader.
At the annual meeting David presented the plans for the Worship Leader Search Team
– We are looking for a part-time paid worship leader. We aren’t looking for a worship pastor at this time because that would be closer to a full time job.
– The worship leader position will be funded at $1500/month after we finish paying off our mortgage in May of 2022.
– A five member search team has already been chosen and they have begun to meet.
– The search team is seeking input from the District* and has met with our District Superintendent to get advice on the search process.
– We would welcome worship leader recommendations from the congregation. We are also seeking candidates from local Christian colleges and schools.
– We are partnering with guestworship.com to provide guest worship leaders from time to time in May and June. This will allow us to experience the kind of worship leadership we might expect from a new person.
– We’re asking for your prayer for this process, that God would lead us to the right person to lead worship at Trinity as we move forward.
Bob DeGray has been our senior pastor for almost thirty years. He’ll be sixty-six in a few months, which is not too old for ministry, but is a lot older than the demographic we would like to reach as a church – families and young adults in the culture around us. Bob and Gail have decided that it’s time to step back from full time pastoral ministry and pursue other ministries that have attracted them for quite a while, including Crisis Response, ministry to their kids and grand-kids, and writing.
At the Annual Meeting Doug Rask presented the plans for a pastor search team, which he will lead.
– Trinity’s by-laws require us to approve this team at a regular or special congregational meeting. We’ll be having that meeting on Sunday, April 24, 2022 after the church services.
– Five people (including Doug) have agreed to serve on the pastor search team. Five more people have agreed to serve if one or more people need to step away from the search team at any point in the process.
– We’ll be approving both the primary team members and the alternates at the congregational meeting so that we don’t have to call another congregational meeting if someone has to step away from the team.
– The team will be briefed by and work closely with the District,* Our current District Superintendent, Bob Rowley and our incoming District Superintendent, Brent Burkhart will be providing guidance and coaching to the search team and help in finding and vetting candidates. The District will also help with mentoring the new pastor and tying him (and Trinity) into the extensive resources and experience of the District.
– We expect the process of a pastor search to take about a year. Early in the process we’ll be seeking input from the congregation about the state of the church and the key qualities we should be looking for. We already know that we’re looking for someone who will connect the timeless message of God’s Word to the changing culture around us.
– Please pray for this process, that God would guide us to the right person to lead Trinity into effective ministry in the coming years.
During a year of transition, it’s important to keep our focus on ministry. There are many areas of ministry we could mention, but three seem especially important this year.
The great commission given by Jesus to the church calls us to go out and reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, calling them to trust in Jesus through the grace of God for salvation. These believers are then to be discipled to maturity as they learn through the power of the Holy Spirit to practice all the precepts that Jesus and the Apostles laid down for the Christian life.
This commission cannot be put on hold during a transition year. Therefore we want to continue and strengthen outreach and discipleship at Trinity this year. This can be done through community involvement in things as simple as a car wash or as profound as sharing the Gospel at a Community Pregnancy Center. We can have Backyard Bible Clubs in our neighborhoods and serve with Crisis Response in Lake Charles or in other spots where crisis creates a mission field. Most of all, we can personally share Jesus with those we come into contact with every day. To this end we plan to have Katrina Welch and Gail DeGray teach a brief seminar to help us in “Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations.”
(2) Children’s Ministry
Our desire is to reach younger families and young adults with the message of Jesus and disciple them to maturity in Christ. To do this we need to be a place where families can feel comfortable, where their children are well taken care of, and where these children receive solid input each week that includes the clear and creative presentation of the Good News.
We’ve got to make sure we sustain this ministry though the upcoming transition. Therefore we’re asking each person at Trinity to prayerfully consider if God is calling them to help with Children’s Church or Sunday School. Many of our Children’s Church positions have rotating teachers, which means you will only serve once every three or four weeks. But that kind of serving takes a lot of dedicated volunteers, and we’re asking you to make this need a priority.
(3) Building Maintenance
God has given us a practical – and fully paid off – facility and expects us to good stewards of what we’ve been given. It’s an older facility, and requires a good deal of maintenance. We’d like it to be in the best shape possible so a new senior pastor can worry more about the mission field around us and less about the base of operations.
One of the things we can do is work together on the many maintenance items that come up during the year. To this end we’ve already scheduled one work day (Saturday, April 30, 2022) and we hope to schedule more. We encourage your participation in these events. We will be doing everything from deep cleaning and replacing chair feet to painting, hanging doors and upgrading lighting.
We also hope to complete some larger projects. Funds are already available to replace the interior doors and complete the flooring in the Sunday School building. With some donations we could also replace the street side double doors in the sanctuary, and upgrade the floors, partitions and bathroom fixtures in the sanctuary bathrooms.
We’re excited about the way God is at work at Trinity. Finding a new worship leader and a new senor pastor are hard transitions, but we trust that God is using them to move Trinity forward into greater effectiveness in reaching people in our culture and discipling them to maturity.
*For those not familiar with our church affiliation, Trinity is part of the Evangelical Free Church of America, an association of over 1200 evangelical churches. Locally we’re part of the Texas-Oklahoma District which has many resources to offer and lots of experience with helping churches find pastors and staff.