Letter from Barb Eriks: Shared Leadership Model

Members of Fellowship, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The purpose of this letter is to give you an update on the pastoral search process; and to inform you about the listening process in which the leadership of Fellowship has been engaged over the past eight weeks; and to describe the rather unexpected and surprising place to which God has led us. This has been an experience marked by God’s faithfulness.

The pastor search began fifteen months ago, after Brian Keepers announced his call to Trinity Reformed Church in Iowa. During that season, it was discerned that the position and job description as it existed would serve as the model for the search. Following the withdrawal of the leading candidate in the spring of 2018, the Ministry Leadership Council spent time in discernment during the month of June. After prayerful consideration of additional options and leadership models, the search resumed once again using the same model for this next part of the journey. The Search Team members agreed to continue their work and began anew.

We now perceive that we have entered a new and different phase of the journey to find pastoral leadership. The Holy Spirit has prompted a variety of conversations within our leadership groups. In the past months, Fellowship’s leaders committed to a season of listening and discernment. The Ministry Leadership Council has been in a posture of listening to the Care Leadership Council, the Search Team, our pastors - Nate and Lindsay, the Human Resources Team, and to the congregation. In our listening we have become increasingly confident that we have been hearing God’s voice.

From this time of listening and conversation, a shared leadership model has emerged. This model foresees a pastoral team where the pastors lead equally; collaborating together, with specific pastors having designated areas of responsibility consistent with their giftedness, skills, and passion.

The exciting news is that in the midst of this confluence of voices - this intersection of prayerful reflection and creative thinking - Nate and Lindsay are in accord about this leadership model. They can envision themselves as part of a collaborative pastoral team of equals.

At the same time, God has brought a candidate to the Search Team that is equally energized by the shared leadership model. We look forward to introducing you to this candidate on November 18 during worship. At this time, we are not yet free to release the candidate’s name, until communication with the candidate’s current congregation has occurred.

 Clearly there is more work to be done. The shared leadership model will launch Fellowship into a new season of ministry and mission. It will be a time of learning, reflecting, and adapting as we live into the full implications of this model.

We are on an exciting journey that is consistent with Fellowship’s mission, as well as our history as a congregation - ready to listen to God and follow where the Holy Spirit leads. We are offering two question and answer sessions this Sunday, November 11, after both services in the Youth Center.

Our desire is that our congregation will grow and flourish; and that our community and the people around us will experience God’s grace, joining us on our journey of discipleship. We have a deep conviction that God has led us to this model of shared leadership. We embrace it in faith; we move into God’s future with hope; and we are confident that God’s grace and love will lead and sustain us.

In Christ,

Barbara Eriks
President of the Congregation

On behalf of the Full Consistory, the Search Team, the Human Resource Team

Renee Krueger