- In our last update, we explained the elders’ sense that God is leading us away from a Soul Care hire at this time. We felt the need to put more pastoral and leadership focus on marriages and parenting support as part of our desire to provide more relational shepherding, care, and discipleship in our church.
- We have so many who are getting married, newly married, and young families, so we believe there is a need to have a Pastor of Family Ministries.
- We approached Jason Johnston, our Pastor of Discipleship, and asked him if he would consider a lateral move to this new position. He has done an exceptional job, blessing our church by providing highly relational leadership to our small group ministry, but we believe a move to Pastor of Family Ministries is of the Lord.
- Jason and his wife, Twyla, have always had a huge heart to help in the areas of marriage and parenting and have been doing this regularly in his time on staff, but they have agreed for him to make this change to Pastor of Family Ministries, as soon as we can find a replacement for his current role.
- In this new role, Jason will help disciple and train small group coaches and leaders in the areas of marriage and parenting, especially with how to help those having difficulties. He will also look to help train up some of our people to provide counsel to others when having marriage struggles, and will begin to establish some specialty marriage small groups, parenting small groups, and look at us hosting one or two marriage conferences a year.
- We believe this commitment of seasoned and proven pastoral leadership will be a blessing to the families of our church and will help many in the months and years ahead.
- We have begun to look for a replacement for Jason in the area of small groups, specifically for an Associate Pastor of Discipleship, who will oversee our mixed small group ministry, men’s ministry, and will have Linda Seabrook, our Director of Women’s Ministry, reporting to him.
- We are looking for a man who has his Master of Divinity degree, years of proven shepherding and pastoral experience, and a significant desire to simply love on, care for, and be with our people as a pastor and shepherd.
- We would prefer that the successful candidate for this role have a preaching gift, allowing him to preach about 10 times a year in our pulpit.
- Please join with us in congratulating Jason on his new role and praying with us for a new Pastor of Discipleship.
CHURCH PLANTING UPDATE
- Our elders have been praying about planting a church locally over the past 2-3 years, seeking God’s leading, and our prayers began to focus more intentionally over the past few years on planting in the St. Thomas area, simply due to how many people we have coming from south of the 401.
- We came to a decision last spring/summer that God was calling us to plant in St. Thomas, having watched and investigated the general church situation there, and the number of people making the drive to our church.
- This past fall, we were approached by an existing church in St. Thomas, asking for some help and training with their model of ministry, eldering, etc.
- It became apparent through these sessions, as well as meetings with both elder teams, that the Lord was leading us to investigate a more in-depth relationship, rather than planting a new church.
- Both our elder teams committed to pray more about this and meet again in February. At that meeting, all agreed to tentatively move forward with some preliminary plans, with a final decision to be made in May.
- Nothing is decided or final, but both elder teams have committed to serious work on both our sides toward the goal of re-launching their church as Redemption Bible Chapel St. Thomas early in 2020.
- We are prayerfully assessing plans to transition this church to our model of ministry in all areas and we have a goal of this church becoming a GCC church, so will enter that process with GCC leadership.
- We will be talking and praying with over 120 of you, asking if you would prayerfully consider switching your attendance, membership, serving, and giving from our church to Redemption St. Thomas over the next year.
- This also would involve a significant financial contribution on our part to this ministry for several years, although this approach of a transition for this church is far less expensive than if we were going to plant from scratch. We do believe that within a couple of years, there will be a vibrant, healthy, gospel-focused, GCC church in St. Thomas – a sister church to us – which is more than able to fund and lead their own ministry.
- Please pray intensely with their elders and pastor, as well as their church members, along with our leaders that if this is of God, He would have us all confirm this over the next 2-3 months, and that He would oversee, direct, and provide for all that may be needed for this wonderful opportunity.
- We have seen God’s hand all over this, moving ahead and preparing hearts. This as an amazing privilege to have any part in as it is a wonderful kingdom investment, and one we believe will glorify God and better allow us to fulfill the mission He has given us – we are far stronger together than alone. If God would graciously allow, we pray this will be the first of many plants/transitions in the London area, for His glory.
- During a recent review of our insurance requirements, we became aware of some areas where refinements were needed, with respect to areas affecting youth and kids.
- These changes were needed so that we would be covered in the event of a lawsuit being filed against us, and the changes were effective in March.
- One issue is ensuring that all volunteers and leaders have up-to-date police checks. Please help us with this. If you have been asked to get a police check, please put a high priority on this and get it to us ASAP.
- The larger issue has to do with two unrelated adults, with current police checks, always being present when interacting with our youth. This is for both the protection of our students and of our adult volunteers.
- This also means that there have been restrictions put in place as far as acceptable communications between a student and leader via text message, social media, etc.
- We apologize for how these changes are affecting our youth and parents, but this is a requirement to have insurance coverage. If you have questions or concerns about these changes, please direct them to our elders.
REMINDER: SERVING IN KIDS
Our elders are very thankful for the ongoing growth in young families attending our church. This has been very encouraging to see, but has also put strain on our existing pool of volunteers in our Kids Ministry. After many efforts to recruit volunteers, and still falling significantly short on the number needed to provide the required supervision and care of children in our weekend services, our elders have decided that at least one parent of families using this ministry will be expected to serve a minimum of once a month. Although this may be difficult for some, it is our belief that this will be a blessing to you and your children, as you show them what it is to Worship, Walk, and Work for Christ.
Good Friday: April 19 at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Easter Sunday: April 21 at 9:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.
Please arrive early – doors will close right at start of service for a five-minute video, then will re-open.
Thursday May 16 at 7:00 p.m.
Town Hall Meeting
Sunday June 2 at 6:00 p.m.
Pre-Kick-Off Worship Night: Friday September 6 (watch for more details)
Kick-Off Sunday: Sunday September 8