Succession Update

Pastor  Succession;

Pastor Thomas has expressed a desire to retire from full-time ministry.  The Elders are executing a Succession Plan designed to maximize the long-term success of FCC while preserving our congregational culture.

 


  We are the Succession Team and will be the official voice and point of contact for the duration of the succession process.  You may have many questions during this time of uncertainty.  We’ve addressed many of them here, but please contact us with any other questions you may have.  Please email any questions to Greg Bartlett.

Status as of Feb. 2, 2019

Here is the most recent update of our progress against the succession plan (2/2/2019):

 We know that you are naturally wondering…

 It is natural to wonder if the search process has failed. The Elders do not believe this is failure, but part of the process of discerning clarity and understanding God's plan for our future. It is not what we expected, but it is what God has allowed. We are trusting Him and praying for wisdom as He has directed us. (James 1.5-7.)

 While personnel matters are necessarily private, it is also natural to wonder what could have caused such a lengthy decision-making process. At the moment that is unclear. It may never be clear. The Elders are working toward a review with the Cooks to understand how we or they could have brought clarity in a more reasonable time frame.

 Last week we said a bittersweet goodbye to Pastor Shea and Angie. You may naturally wonder if their leaving was the result of the succession process. The Elders very much wanted Shea to remain in Kingston. Pastor Shea was approached by, interviewed, and offered a position in another congregation which he and Angie are convinced to be the call of God to them. We all offer them our blessing and our prayerful support to their decision.

 You will naturally wonder who will fulfill Pastor Shea's duties. This is an issue of immediate importance. We have a number of qualified individuals in our congregation who could temporarily help fill the critical need left especially for the pastoral care. How that will work is unclear but will be addressed. The Elders will also be considering other possibilities such as an interim visitation pastor, pastoral counselor, etc. They will use this time as an opportunity to review congregational needs and to plan for new staff. Intermediate interim help would allow us time to engage a Lead Pastor Designee in the process. This presents another subject for prayer.

 Looking forward

 Our consultants are already seeking additional candidates. The Elders are reviewing our plan, our pastoral profile, and succession procedures to help use their past experience to gain more clarity in the decision making process going forward. We urge the congregation to pray for wisdom. They are in constant communication with our consultants for their advice.

 Pastor and Patricia Thomas have made clear their commitment to our congregation for the foreseeable future and as long as the Elders desire their present ministry. They have no travel plans or other obligations that would inhibit their continued ministry while we wait on the Lord.

  February prayer focus:

 Pray for the Elders. These men and women have sacrificed much for us. Discouragement would be easy. Pray that their energy might be renewed.

 Succession Timeline

 1)    2018 Winter: Fill out Succession Team (Done)

2)    2018 Winter: Create Church History (Done)

3)    2018 Winter: Create Job Profile (Done)

4)    2018 Winter: Create Pastor Profile (Done)

5)    2018 Winter: Fill out Search Team (Done)

6)    2018 Spring: Search begins (Done)

  1. a)    Launch - Consultant meets with Search Team to launch the search (Done)
  2. b)    1 week - Search Assessment delivered to Search Team (Done)
  3. c)    1 week - Search Assessment edited, approved, and returned to consultant (Done)
  4. d)    1 week - Search goes public & sourcing/screening/interviewing of candidates begin (Done)
  5. e)    3-4 weeks - Mid-Point Check-in call (Done)
  6. f)     3-4 weeks - Consultant recommends candidate slate to the Search Team

g-1)    1 week - Semi-finalists interview with Search Team

g-2)    1 week - Finalist(s) visit Kingston for "culture fit" visit

h-1)   2 weeks - Finalist returns with spouse for broader interaction with the congregation

h-2)   1 week - Congregational meeting to approve final candidate

  1. i)     1 week - Offer extended and accepted

7)    2018 Fall: New Lead Pastor Designee hired and begins work alongside Pastor Thomas

8)    2019 Summer: Lead Pastor Designee becomes Lead Pastor, Pastor Thomas begins sabbatical of six months or more

9)    2020 Summer: Pastor Thomas returns to a well-defined very reduced role (<10hr/week)

 Background

 Pastor Thomas has expressed a desire to retire from full-time ministry. The Elders are executing a Succession Plan designed to maximize the long-term success of FCC while preserving our congregational culture.

 Communication

 We are the Succession Team and will be the official voice and point of contact for the duration of the succession process. You may have many questions during this time of uncertainty. We’ve addressed many of them here, but please contact us with any other questions you may have.

 Greg Bartlett, , 603-944-7049

Howard Lawrence,

Katie Johnson,

Rand Hall,

 More Background

 Here are other useful links to provide additional background information:

 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Pastor Thomas’ sermon on succession (2/11/2018)

National Church Development Survey Results Summary