Important Updates from the Elders
This past Sunday morning, our Lead Elder, John Stein, gave a couple of important updates for our church family... regarding Pastor Derek and family and also about elder communication and leadership.
If you missed it, we ask you to take the time to get caught up on this important information.
READ these updates below
LISTEN by clicking this link to listen to the audio recording of his announcements.
On Leading our Church Family forward -
John Stein, Lead Elder: "Good Morning Church! I have a couple things to share with you this morning. I know we have been struggling a little bit as an Elder team to communicate with you about some of the things that are going on, where we are headed, what we are doing and why we are doing it. So, I thought I would compose a letter to you from the brotherhood of the Elders.
"A letter to the church in Dallas from your brothers in Christ, the Elders. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Last Wednesday evening we the Elders, Derek and Ed gathered together, ordered pizza and settled in for three and a half hours of lively discussion. We spent the first hour discussing curtains, what should be in the bulletin and variety of other topics that individually have been brought to our attention. We realized that these items are of great importance to many of you, but they really have very little impact on the over all mission of this church. After the first hour, we kind of woke ourselves up a little bit. Again, not to diminish your concerns, we value your input but If we spent our whole time on these issues we wouldn’t be leading and wouldn’t be able to move forward. So, we began to grapple with focusing and identifying those critical areas that are having the greatest impact on the people of this church. We set out to put together a priority list and that was a tough exercise in and of its self. We prioritized some things and after much discussion we will be meeting again Tuesday evening, to seek God’s leading in the area of youth ministry. That is one of the first priorities we are about to tackle. There will be an Elder up here next Sunday giving a brief sharing on what went on in that meeting as well.
"We recognize that during the period of transition we have made some mistakes. Your individual and collective voices have been and are heard. We apologize and we are going to do our best to minimize these missteps in the future. The struggle we have is trying to blend the old church, not the old in age, with the new, moving forward and looking at the future. As the church moves forward and with God’s leading, we find ourselves at a crossroads. As Elders it is our calling as well as our desire to care for the people that God has put before us, you the church. We have no greater calling than to serve you. But at the same time, we sense a need to help all of us to not only grow as followers of Jesus but to also become disciples who share the gospel with others. We want to Lead, not drag, this church body in the direction that will equip you and motivate you with a calling and desire to serve others beyond the church, even to the point of seeing them seek Jesus as their Lord and Savior. With God’s leading we want to serve you as well as move you to a faith that is lived out beyond these chairs. I guess the best way that I can explain it, it’s like raising a teenager. As parents we will love, care for and meet the needs of that teenager for the rest of their lives but at the same time there will become a point where we are going to say, “son, it’s time to get off the couch.” And that’s where we are now, we will continue to take care of this church and the people of this church but it’s also time to move forward as well.
"I’ll conclude this letter by Paul’s farewell statement in II Corinthians. “Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful, grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.” I hope that gives you a little insight as to what we are wrestling with, what we are doing and what we are dealing with. Feel free to chat with us and ask questions as we go along."
On Pastor Derek and his family
John Stein, Lead Elder:"The second item believe it or not is even tougher. Team Olson as they refer to themselves (Pastor Derek and his family), are having some struggles.
"You know their heart for adoption, and many of you have captured that same heart and many of you are involved in adoptive families and adoptive situations. There’s no greater blessing or joy that you can bring to another person and to your families as well. However, with some children they arrive at their new family with a baggage of trauma, with a baggage of physical and emotional pain that is beyond our understanding. In some cases, this shows itself in incredible behaviors that are difficult to deal with.
"I share this with you in confidence, I hope, church family. I don’t know how to characterize it any other way other than the family is in crisis right now. There are those of you that have come along side and have, bless your hearts, you have done everything that you can to help that family out and continue to do so. Thank you for that, but I wanted to share this with you.
"Derek didn’t want to share this because he knows that there are other hurting people in this church as well. But I want to share this with you in hopes that during this period we can extend them our prayers, our understanding and some genuine grace. There may be Sundays where the Olson family is going to show up and they’re not going to look like the perfect pastor’s family. Their going to look a little broken, there’s going to be times where Derek is not going to be able to give you 100%, he’s not going to be able to. He is going to do his best at it, but we have to understand that there may be times that he has to drop everything he is doing right now and head for home and take care of some issues.
"I share this with you again, this is not something Derek wanted to do or was super comfortable with, but he understood that we needed to do that because we need for you the church family to know where they are and know where they are at. He did leave me three specific things to pray for: One of the things Derek asked us to pray for is endurance, for them as parents. Trusting that restoration will come. Second item they would like you to pray for is God’s care for their whole family, not just Amy and Derek. It has an impact on the rest of the family as well. Third thing is that you would pray for wisdom, for the doctors and the therapists and everyone that’s involved, help them work to find a solution to this. Please pray for those things.
(Congregation members prayed over Team Olson.)
And the Church says Amen."