March 5, 2015
For the last several years, there has been heartfelt discussion concerning the size of our staff in proportion to the size of our church. There are several measures that churches use to discover whether a church staff is understaffed, properly staffed, or overstaffed. Whichever measure has been used by your Executive Pastoral Leadership or our Lay Leadership Teams that have been part of the discussion, the same conclusion was made… our personnel/staffing plan was very large.
During this interim period between Senior Pastors, our Pastor Search Team was tasked with two basic jobs… 1) examine our church to discover our strengths and weaknesses so that the PST can 2) with God’s help connect us to the next Senior Pastor whom God will use to lead us into the great days that God has ordained for Bannockburn Baptist Church. The Pastor Search Team has no authority to make changes to the organization, but they would be remiss to not share with church staff and lay leaders the findings so that if there are prepatory things we can do to make our next Senior Pastor’s early days the best they can possibly be, our staff and lay leadership teams could act accordingly.
One of the areas the PST noticed and asked questions about was the large personnel /staffing plan that was in play.
Prayerfully, key leaders of some of our lay leadership teams along with Jeff Humphrey and the executive pastors of our church have been engaged in a process of creating a new personnel/staffing plan for the future days of BBC.
We know that a great staffing plan will do three things…
1) Have enough people on staff to lead our church to accomplish everything we know God wants us to do. The reality is we currently have leadership holes that must be filled with new employees that are gifted to fill those holes. A great new plan can’t just be a bunch of minuses, but a wise collection of plusses and minuses that will help us accomplish everything that needs to get done.
2) Will need to reduce the current dollars allocated toward personnel
3) With a new Senior Pastor coming, the plan needs to help our organization to be flattened… enabling a new Senior Pastor to be speaking and directly overseeing our Pastors, who then can effectively lead our people in the new vision and direction that is to come.
After much wrestling with God in prayer, a decision has been made… I want to read to you a letter from Linn Strock, chairman of our Personnel Team…
Dear Bannockburn Family,
After months of discussion, prayerful consideration, guidance from outside sources who know and love Bannockburn, based on the recommendation of our senior staff, with the support of the chairmen of Trustees, and Finance and Nominating team leaders, on Wednesday, February 11th, I presented a recommendation to the Personnel Ministry team. The recommendation was driven by a need to be better stewards of the resources God provides through the generosity and financial sacrifices of this fellowship, a desire for our staff to better reflect our church size and ministry needs and, most importantly, to present to our new senior pastor a church that is ready, willing and able to execute his vision for Bannockburn as the Lord leads him.
The personnel ministry team considered, analyzed and unanimously approved the recommendation that reorganized our staff structure, eliminating some positions, shifted others and created some new ones. Difficult decisions were made and the hard work of executing the plan is underway. The benefit is a substantial savings to our personnel budget. This is a gift to our new senior pastor that will allow him the freedom and flexibility to execute his vision for our church. He may never fully appreciate the cost of this gift, but we will all benefit from it, as we will be: 1) more efficient, 2) less restricted by financial constraints, and 3) giving each area of ministry direct access to the senior pastor without layers of managerial filters.
Please continue to join me, the personnel ministry team and other lay leaders in prayer for our staff and their families. The impact to those we love and hold so dear will be significant, but trust completely God’s providential care for them. The details of these changes will be rolled out over the days, weeks and months ahead, and the time for trust in our Lord, unity of spirit and determination in the ministry of our church has never been greater. I am certain God is moving, He has repeatedly confirmed through prayer and the council of so many that we are following God’s lead and He has great things in store for Bannockburn.
God bless you,
V. Linn Strock
Chairman, Personnel Ministry Team
The difficulty in moments of change like this, is that we have always been a people who take seriously God’s desire for us to do everything we do relationally. In other words, every person on our campus… whether they are paid staff or laity are family to us.
I know there are many questions you may have, and some of you may want to hear the specific details. That will not happen tonight. On Monday, February 16, everyone who is being directly impacted through the loss or adjustment in their jobs was communicated with. In respect for them and their families, we have offered them a long and gracious runway of support as they adjust to the next things that God calls them to take on for His name sake. They are still dealing with the emotions and the details, and because they are family members we love and want to respect… we will let them let us know when we can start talking about it.
There are some questions that look backward… “How did this happen” and “Who is to blame.” If we ask the wrong questions and engage in the wrong dialogues we will be complicit in focusing on things that are behind us rather than on moving forward on best preparing for the days to come. We are a family who understands and believes that God has a great purpose and future for Bannockburn Baptist Church in the days that are to come. Our questions and our discussions need to lead us to be ready for those great days that are to come.
As we transition, we will do things in a way that try to avoid leadership voids. One of the best ways we can pass the baton of “what was” to “what is to come” is by you, our lay leaders being intentionally engaged in doing the work of ministry that God has called you to do, and working in unity with the God given leaders that are currently in play, as well as those who will be revealed.
I challenge you with the same verse of scripture that we began this JOURNEY together with…
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.