As you know, last Sunday we announced that Chad Cronin has accepted a position as a Community Life Pastor at 2|42 Community Church in Brighton, Michigan. Chad has been a part of the SLCC family for the past six years and has made an incredible impact on our church. He has blessed our kids, connected with the small groups that he and Jenny have been a part of, and has reflected the character of Jesus. We are going to miss Chad, Jenny, Jonah and Charlie!
Our mission is to "help people write the next chapter of their faith story." Chad and Jenny are doing that right now. Their departure - sad as we are to see them go - gives us an opportunity to write a new chapter, too.
South's elders and ministerial staff met Sunday to begin storyboarding the next chapter in our history. Each of us left that meeting excited about where we are headed, and eager to follow where God reveals he wants us to go. I wanted to write to you today to give you a summary of that meeting and an idea of what to expect in the next few months:
• Chad's last Sunday with us will be August 17, the same day as our church picnic. While this might be sooner than you have been expecting or hoping, I know you can understand how eager Chad and Jenny are to get Jonah and Charlie settled before school begins. We will be sharing our best wishes with them that Sunday, so I hope you are able to be there.
• Once Chad leaves, the Modified volunteer staff and The Flood volunteer staff will be doing what they've been doing all along: ministering to our kids and challenging them to grow in their faith. Plans are already in place for the next six months of student ministry, including weekly lessons, small group gatherings and special events. Our staff and elders have confidence in these two teams and will be assisting them with whatever they need.
• We are also in the process of putting together a team to assist the elders in hiring new staff. It will include elders, staff, volunteer youth staff, parents and students. We expect the team to be in place in the next week, and appreciate your prayers for them.
• This transition also gives us an opportunity to take a look at Connect, our three-year strategic plan, and rethink the Next Generation strategy it contains. One of the more critical times in our students' spiritual lives is when they transition from high school to college and/or the workplace. Like many churches, we've noticed that some of our young adults fall away. That's why we want to do something innovative and new: rather than hire a traditional youth minister, we want our next staff person to focus on high school student through young adults. (Essentially, ages 16-29.) We know that The Flood and Modified are effectively connecting with our kids and discipling them through middle school and high school. We want to do a better job of shepherding our students during the transition from high school to whatever comes next and this new position will enable us to do that.
• Once that position is filled we plan to address another important transition: the one from elementary school to middle school. We plan to do this by shifting some of Josh Antonopulos' ministry responsibilities to a newly created part-time position. The plan calls for hiring an individual to oversee infants through Kindergarten children in Kid's City. This will free Josh up to incorporate sixth through eighth grade students to the elementary grades that he already oversees. We believe this will help our kids make the difficult transition from grade school to middle school and will provide great continuity between age groups.
• Right now we are refining these two position descriptions, starting with the High School / Young Adults Minister. When they are finalized, we will post them and begin seeking applicants. If you know of someone who you think might fit, prayerfully consider asking him or her to go online at our web page to learn how s/he might apply.
We'll be communicating more in the coming days and weeks. In between now and then, however, if you have questions please don't hesitate to contact me or another of our elders.
God bless you!