This Sunday is exciting and encouraging for us as a church family. First and foremost, we will gather together to proclaim the majesty of God and celebrate our life in Him. Secondly, this Sunday is substantial because we are considering whether or not to call Brandon Myers as Assistant Pastor for Youth and Ministry Operations in a ¾ time capacity. I am praying for a great time of discernment and unity in this process. While all of us have already benefited from Brandon’s interim ministry and therefore, he is well-known to us, he will preach a message from Ephesians 4 during our worship service and be available for an open time to answer questions from our church family afterwards. It is the hope of the elders that you will pray, participate in this time, and trust the leading of the Holy Spirit as we formally vote on Brandon’s candidacy on Monday night, June 11.
In preparation for this weekend, I wanted to begin to answer two of the most pressing questions that you may have. First, why do the elders believe Brandon is a good choice for Assistant Pastor at Our Saviour? Second, what is the role and purpose of the Assistant Pastor for Youth and Ministry Operations? I will answer these in order.
The elders believe that Brandon is a good choice for Assistant Pastor because in the eight months since his interim role began he has displayed humility, a love for people, and sound doctrine. Some of Brandon’s best qualities are his desire to submit himself to Biblical leadership, his hunger to learn from those with more knowledge and experience than himself, and to consistently seek Christ, being transformed daily by the Gospel. In addition to this, Brandon wants to do the work of a pastor. Pastoral ministry is not primarily about ideas and vision or plans and programs, first and foremost, it is about people. Brandon loves personal evangelism and longs to see people come to know Christ and live in His grace. In addition to his gifts among people, Brandon has a strong mind for Biblical theology and practical doctrine. I am consistently impressed with his ability to take-in and learn from God’s Word and then to teach it to others in relevant ways.
The previous paragraph describes Brandon and helps you to see why he may, Lord willing, have success with many focuses of pastoral ministry. However, we are considering Brandon for a specific role: Assistant Pastor for Youth and Ministry Operations. In order to clarify this position as much as possible, let me briefly walk through the carefully chosen words in that title, highlighting their importance. Assistant Pastor – this is to be distinguished from either Senior or Associate Pastor, two positions that I believe should be filled by men fully trained and adequately prepared for full-time pastoral ministry. Brandon has not yet completed his seminary training (he is a little more than half-way through and plans to finish in approximately two years as he both ministers among us and continues his education) and will gain more experience in local church ministry. Youth – half of Brandon’s responsibilities will consist of being the primary pastor, discipler, and leader of our church’s ministry to students in 7th-12th grades. He will teach and coordinate the teaching of God’s Word, organize ministry opportunities, and continue to lead a Gospel-centered, discipleship focused ministry. Ministry Operations – the ministry of our church has many components. There are too many for a single pastor to give adequate attention to. In addition to the preaching of God’s Word, leadership with the elders, needs among the congregation, and the work of the staff, there are many moving parts to our organization on a daily basis. If confirmed, Brandon will work with varying ministries of the church providing leadership, guidance, and support. The nature of this position is organic and malleable. We want to respond to the direction of God as He leads and guides our church. This position will allow us to do that with increasing ability. So, in this position, Brandon will most likely not have a set of ongoing responsibilities, rather he will be available at my discretion as Senior Pastor to work-in, refine, and lead areas of church ministry that require special attention for a time until they can be successfully accomplished by other members of the church. Ephesians 4:12 calls church leaders to, “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” This will be at the heart of Brandon’s responsibilities. Additionally, he will assist with the ongoing work of pastoral ministry to the people of our church. This means that Brandon will, where and when appropriate and helpful, preach God’s Word, counsel Biblically, and work among the elders (although he will be a non-voting member of the council). The first “organic” project that Brandon will give attention to (again, should it be the Lord’s will) will be our Three50 goal of seeing 50 people come to know Christ over the next three years. Brandon will teach the majority of the “Reaching Your Neighbors, Reaching Our World” Pathways class this summer, focusing on practical training for personal evangelism. We are hopeful this will lead to an increased passion and increasing opportunities for evangelism among our church family.
While I know that does not answer all the questions you may have, I hope it provides a good start. I encourage you to think about other questions and come prepared to ask them on Sunday morning during the Education Hour. Finally, I would ask you to pray along with me. It is exciting to consider the possibility of calling another pastor, but it is also an important decision in the life of our church. It is my prayer that we would come away from this weekend in complete unity, believing God is calling Brandon to minister to adults and youth in our congregation and beyond as an Assistant Pastor.
In closing, let me also challenge us to take joy in this time, but to continue to pray and ask God to use us for His glory and the forward progression of the Gospel in our world. It is a wonderful blessing to call a new staff person, but we must not become complacent. I am praying for more. In fact right now, we would benefit from additional staffing that would allow us to expand ministry into many of the areas we believe God is calling us to. So, please continue to pray with me. I hope this is the first of many weekends like this, where God would allow us to be the kind of Gospel-centered, growing fellowship of believers that is able to celebrate increasing ministry to those in our midst who desperately need Christ.
For the sake of His name,