Sunday, March 26th we voted on our plan to transition leadership of the church from Pastor Pat to Pastor Ben. The results of the vote were overwhelmingly in favor of the succession plan with 100% approval from the members and 95% from regular attenders. This change will not happen over night, but will happen slowly over the course of the next couple of years. We love this church and are committed to communicating clearly throughout this process. Our elders have been planning and praying about this for 18 months and are confident that this is exactly where God wants us to be. Below you will find information about this succession plan. We are excited about the future of Faith Mountain and believe God has big plans for our church!
Watch this segment from the Sunday message to hear Pat's heart in this change.
Pastor Pat Barnes
Pat has been our lead pastor for over 10 years! He cares deeply for Faith Mountain and is committed to transitioning leadership well. Pat said, "When a church is without a leader for an extended period of time it is bad for the people. I want to hand the baton off while running full speed to someone who is running full speed."
Pat will continue on staff at Faith Mountain as the Founding Pastor. He will continue to teach on Sundays, be involved in our local outreach efforts, and our first experience team. In addition to those roles he will focus a great deal of energy on coaching and training pastors as they start new churches. Perhaps most importantly, he will be at church most Sundays giving hugs to everyone.
Pastor Ben Todd
Ben is an original launch team member and has been our worship leader from the start of Faith Mountain. He came on full-time staff as the Associate Pastor just over 5 years ago. Regarding Ben, Pastor Pat said, "He is one of the most devoted and godly men I have ever had the pleasure of serving with. He is a natural leader. He not only knows the heartbeat of this church he helped create it. He knows our culture, our community and he knows you. There may be pastors out there with more impressive resumes…but there is no other pastor better equipped to lead this church into its future. I look forward to following him and serving under him as my lead pastor."
Watch this segment from the Sunday message to hear from Ben about God's call on him and his heart for Faith Mountain.
Watch this segment from the Sunday message to hear from Lauren about the future.
Lauren currently serves as our Children's Pastor, a role she has been in for 7 years. She is excited about Faith Mountain and Ben's leadership. Lauren said, "My main goal as being a Lead pastor’s wife is to serve my family and husband well." In order to do that, she has decided to step down as the Children's Pastor. This change will not happen immediately, but after VBS sometime this summer. She hopes to find a job somewhere in the community working with children and families.
As stated above, this will not be an overnight change. Ben has assumed the title of Lead Pastor and Pat has assumed the title of Founding Pastor. As the Lead Pastor, Ben has begun leading our staff and day to day activities of the church, leading our Elders and church in vision and direction. In addition, he will be the point person for Life Groups and Leader Development beginning this fall. Ben will continue as our worship leader for the greater part of 2017 as we will seek to hire a new worship leader in the 4th quarter of 2017. At that time, he will also assume a larger preaching role over the course of 2017-2019 (see Preaching Schedule graphic).
Pat will continue to teach on Sundays, be involved in our local outreach efforts, and our first experience team. In addition to those roles he will focus a great deal of energy on coaching and training pastors as they start new churches.
Pastor Pat will continue to be the primary speaker on Sunday mornings in 2017. In 2018 Pastor Ben will begin taking on a greater preaching load.
We will be hiring 4 new staff members over the course of 2017-18: Two Children's Ministry Positions, Creative/Marketing Director, and Worship Leader. We recognize that 4 new staff members is a lot to add to our current staff and we will be methodical in the hiring process. We want to make wise choices that will be healthy for our church and promote growth.
Children's Ministry Positions
Children's Ministry is a very high priority! We already made two hiring decisions. In April we hired our School Age Director, Aspen Scott and in August we made the decision to transition our Student Pastor, Mitch Lynn into the role of Family Pastor. This was a very important decision as we hope to better emphasize being a partner for families in raising children that grow up to follow Christ.
We have added our new Worship Leader, Steven Sandler. This has given Pastor Ben the time to begin preaching more regularly in addition to the additional duties mentioned previously. We are very excited about Steven and how God has already begun to use him at Faith Moutain.