Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Communicating to Your Congregation-

This blog is primarily for Pastors with the purpose to try to encourage them and help them. Others are more than welcome, please keep visiting.

Today, I want to deal with communicating with the congregation. I have had a very open relationship with the congregation during my 17 years as pastor here. Nothing is done in secret and all is openly discussed (from a youth worker who got pregnant, public financial report done on Sunday morning every year, etc.). Today I want you to see a letter I wrote for the bulletin and then read publicly to the congregation this past Sunday. It involves the resignation of my Youth Pastor last week. It was a great loss for me personally, for his family, and the church. Read on:
Dear Saints,
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. Winston Churchill

Not many people enjoy change in their lives, routines, TV programs, comic strips and other things. Sometime change is good and sometimes it is unsettling. But change is inevitable. It is a fact of life and often necessary as Winston Churchill said.

There are planned changes, changes that are made for us, and then changes that catch us by surprise. As I write this today I write from the vantage point of a change that has caught me by surprise and it will also affect this church.

This past Wednesday I was sitting with our Youth Pastor Shaun Windle discussing vision for the Youth Ministry at the Vine in 2008. I was sharing what I felt would be our direction for 2008 and some adjustments that we would make to help Shaun and his family, the Youth Ministry, and the church. We are committed to the Youth Ministry having given close to 20% of our overall budget last year to them.

I was surprised when Shaun let me know that he was resigning. Hitting me with a brick would have been easier. I tried to talk to him about his decision but he remained resolute with it. I respect him and his decision and acquiesced to it. Pastor Shaun, Joanna and their children, Shauni and Jordan, have given their lives for the youth of this church. We all we be forever indebted to them!

What are our plans for the future? Obviously we will be looking for a gifted Youth Pastor to bring into the Youth Ministry here. At this point I have no one in mind as I am writing this the day after Pastor Shaun's resignation. One thing that Pastor Shaun did was leave us with a committed Youth Leadership team. Pastor Rob and I met with them yesterday afternoon to discuss this major turn of events. They are all on board with the vision of this church and the Youth Group. They want to see it continue and thrive. They were mature in their responses and I thank God for that.

In order to keep our Wednesday night Youth meeting going we are going to have to ask parents to help us. We need adults present on Wednesday night to be there in a supervisory capacity. You will not be responsible to lead or teach. Our Youth Leaders will conduct the meeting with worship, testimonies, and teaching from the 'Fuel' curriculum we had just purchased.

Parents, we desperately need you to step up and help at this critical time of a 'surprise' change. Are there any takers? Please contact either myself or Pastor Rob to discuss this further.

I believe that God has great things for our youth here at the Vine. Will you pray with me about that?

Saints, I love you,
So, there you have it. Pastors, we strive to be great communicators in the pulpit, let us also strive to be great communicators personally and with the church corporately.




Thanks for the challenge and the wisdom.

Pastor David said...

>Trey- thanks for taking time to read the blog and comment-

Robert Pooley said...

You know what I am finding out... when things like this happen... something starts to stir inside of me... because I know that while things may get more difficult for a season... God always seems to take the whole thing up to the next level.

I believe you are getting ready to see a remarkable new season of ministering to teens. I love the fact that you are hands on and involved with the ministry to students...

As a former youth pastor, I have seen so many pastors who just wants someone with their teens and once that happens... they never think about it...

Keep up the awesome work... God is getting ready to do something very cool... I'm sure of it. Shoot pal, I have seen it over and over again!

Its going to get fun..

Pastor David said...

>robert- I hear you- thanks!