It seems like a few weeks ago that Linda and I were closing on our home in Mattawan and we were just days away from having our first services for ReCAST church. But that was 6 years ago today!
April 19th marks the 6th birthday of ReCAST church and April 1st marks my 10th year as a pastor. On April 19, 2009 we had 31 people in attendance at our first service for ReCAST church. 17 kids and 14 adults . . .
This Sunday we will have about 75 kids and 180 adults. I know it is not about numbers, but it IS about people in relationship to God. And the reality is, God has seen fit to grow this church from the seeds of hope in 2009 to a flourishing plant in 2015!
As a leadership, ReCAST has not kept pace with the growth of the church. I confess that from my vantage point it happened incrementally. There was never a strategy to keep the board small, to keep ministry decisions bottle-necked at my office, or to personally assume responsibility for every announcement and communication. In a church of 50-100 lots of processes and systems seem like overkill. But we are not a church of 50 anymore.
Attempting to shepherd and organize a church of 250 the same way as a church of 50 is not wise or healthy. I am not a process or systems guy . . . And we need processes and systems. It is much like Moses trying to resolve disputes for the Israelites in the wilderness when Jethro (his father-in-law) brought some good advice to develop a system of sharing the load.
And so ReCAST is entering a phase of some significant changes.
First of all, we are working with a new database called Church Community Builder that will help our church family to schedule events, allocate resources, fill volunteer positions, and generally keep up to date with information. I am hopeful that this becomes a useful tool to help foster community across a wide range of church activities.
Second, we are seeking to add to the board of elders. We have fluctuated between three and five men and we currently are at three. We have developed an advisory team consisting of five men who are beginning to meet alongside the elders in an advisory role for the purpose of support and input that will likely result in some of these men taking the next step of candidacy for eldership. Our goal is to see the board grown to five to seven qualified men.
Third, we are beginning a hiring process that will involve several part-time positions. Our first employment opportunity has already been posted – for an administrative assistant. As a church, we have followed the core value of simplicity, which helps to keep our programming low. But somewhere in the process of minimizing programming, we have inadvertently minimized communication. We are hopeful that finding the right administrative assistant will aid in communication. We are also hoping to fill this position first so this administrative person can help us move forward in filling other needs, both hired and volunteer.
Other part-time positions likely to be posted soon include a director of ReCAST Kids, a director of technology, a youth ministry director for ReCAST 180 and Gravity, and possibly a sound tech, and a small groups director.
In part, this highlights how many different hats we had our associate pastor wearing! But it also highlights what has been lacking in our church for quite some time: administration.
I am excited to be at this stage as a church, where we have the means to extend out past my weaknesses by hiring to fill in the gaps. We have a plan moving forward, and I can see things falling into place. God is providing us with the opportunity to continue to grow in faith, community, and service. We have a lot of work ahead of us! But I am very excited about the way God has grown us from a church seed to a church plant and now to a church that stands for the glory of Jesus Christ in our community!