The video above is from our Sunday service on July 10 where our leadership team discussed in detail the changes outlined below.
If you have questions, then contact someone on our leadership team. You can also submit anonymous questions by going to SLIDO.COM. Then, enter the code GROVE and submit your question using the Q&A tab.
You can download the audio file of the video above by clicking HERE.
Can you summarize the changes in a few statements?
- Pastor Josh is remaining in his lead pastor role with The Grove, but he is transitioning to bi-vocational leadership because he has accepted a teaching position at Berean Christian School. He and his family will still be actively involved with The Grove and accessible. Jennifer will also continue leading Grove Kids.
- After much prayer over the past 9 months, our leadership team believes God has a plan in both leading Josh to the teaching position and leading our church forward. While this does bring change, we are excited about how this change actually gives us an opportunity to strengthen our leadership base and reinforce our vision.
- In connection with Pastor Josh’s changes, we are bringing Jonathan Absher onboard as a part of our leadership team. He will be our new Church Ministries Pastor. While he will be bi-vocational as well, Jonathan will the “day-to-day/most available” pastor of The Grove. Josh’s role within The Grove will be more focused on the behind the scenes/big picture direction alongside overseeing the sermon series/Sunday morning planning.
- All of our staff will now be part-time in salary/bi-vocational. They will be rolling up their sleeves, embracing the normal work week alongside everyone else, but also giving leadership and oversight to The Grove in ways that best align with their individual gifting and passions.
- Tina, who is our administrative assistant, and Jonathan will have some regular office hours, but the best way to catch any of our staff will be via cell phone or email rather than dropping by the church office.
- Rather than much of the vision and direction flowing out from one person functioning as the full-time lead pastor, we will embrace more of a team based leadership approach which allows multiple people to lead and serve in a more specific and gift-oriented way. Please know that our vision and church culture are not changing or shifting. We believe this move further allows us to focus on Jesus as the main focus of our church and not merely one-person/personality.
- While Josh will oversee the sermon planning and content, we will be implementing a teaching team model consisting primarily of Josh and Jonathan. The next question below gives more clarity to this approach.
Josh and Jonathan have different styles, so will the teaching be inconsistent?
We love the diversity of gifts that God brings into a local church, so we should recognize and appreciate the varying ways God speaks to us through different communicators. At the same time, we will establish certain consistent elements of the Sunday teaching format to help bring some consistency from week to week. We’ll ensure weekly notes are added into the Bible app and that sermon series are well planned and coordinated from message to message within that series. Our plan is to generally have one person speak multiple (2-3) times in a row so it’s not a constant back and forth from week to week. For the most part, Jonathan and Josh will both be visible and involved in the Sunday morning service regardless of who is delivering the message on that Sunday.
Who is leading the church now?
We pray our leadership team allows Jesus to lead His church through the work of the Holy Spirit within our church family. However, you may be wondering who the “point” leader is now that Josh is taking on another job. The general direction/vision of the church and key big picture decisions will still flow through Josh and our leadership team as it has for the past 5 years. When it comes to day-to-day/week-to-week ministry planning and implementation of our vision, Jonathan will begin assuming more of those responsibilities. The vision isn’t changing though, and we will continue to focus on helping people take their next steps of faith with Jesus as we seek to be the church were we live, work, and play.
If I need counseling or spiritual guidance, who should I contact?
Beginning in early August, Jonathan will be filling the role of church ministries pastor moving forward, so he will be more available and accessible than Josh during the week. Josh is still accessible, but he just won’t be as available as in the past. More of his Monday-Friday time will be focused toward his teaching job. However, if you’ve reached out to Josh in the past, then please know he still wants to be connected to you and help however he can.
What about our future plan of having a multipurpose space that was shared back in January?
Nothing has changed with that vision. In the right time, we would still like to have a building that better allows us to connect with and serve our local community. Our leadership is maintaining a sensitivity to God’s leading in regards to a future facility and ways we can increase our impact within the community.
Who will be providing pastoral care for hospital visits, funerals, and weddings?
For the past 2+ years, we’ve structured our church to function as one church made up of several “smaller churches” that we call ST-Groups. The primary way people are connected to one another and cared for are through our ST-Groups. However, in the instances where a pastor is needed, Jonathan will be the initial contact. Depending on the situation, he may pass the need along to Josh or care for it himself. When it comes to weddings and funerals, those will be handled on a case-by-case basis between Jonathan and Josh.
So what’s really going on?
It’s easy to assume there’s some underlying issue that isn’t being fully discussed. However, if you reviewed the video/audio above where our leadership shared these upcoming changes, then please know you are getting the full story. Feel free to contact any of our church leaders if you have specific questions or concerns.