Filling the Gap (Chief of Staff)

What is happening next since our Executive Pastor is leaving? Are we going to be able to find another pastor? Are we going to replace them and how will we do that?

These are all the questions I have been pondering the answer to since January of this year. When we chose to disaffiliate from the UMC, I was not sure if we would be able to keep Eric on our staff. Eric feels there is unfinished business with his calling as a Deacon in the UMC. I think his commitment says so much about his character. The leadership has known we were on borrowed time with Eric’s appointment to JW. He would be asked to leave his duties with us as an independent church when the best possible job fit came available. What I am saying is we have been planning for what to do next. As a leader, you always have one or two plans that could be implemented when change is inevitable. Your pastors have been analyzing how we function as a team, what the church needs in this season of time, and how we could change with the least amount of disruption to the staff and church. I want to share what we are going to implement to fill the void of losing our Executive Pastor.

First, we are creating a new position and will not be filling the Executive Pastor position. The Core Leadership Team is supporting a new position, the Chief of Staff (CoS). I am happy to announce that Priscilla Novak, our current Director of Strategic Ministries, will be our interim Chief of Staff (CoS). If the new position and Priscilla are a good fit, this will become her permanent position. Priscilla has grown up at John Wesley; she has served this church in multiple capacities on the staff. She is a leader and is well respected among our staff. She knows the mission, vision, and culture of our church. She is a great fit for this new position.

Here is a short statement from Priscilla:
John Wesley is such a special place for me. I have been blessed spiritually, personally and professionally by this great congregation for pretty much all of my life. I am excited for this new opportunity to serve our staff and church. I look forward to see how God continues to move our congregation.

What does the Chief of Staff do? There are many different models of this position, from politics to the military to the business world. We are creating a hybrid description to fill the needs left vacant by the Executive Pastor. Here is a short summary of the position: The role of the Chief of Staff (CoS) serves as the right-hand of the Senior Pastor and is crucial in overseeing the day-to-day business and ministry operations of the church. The CoS plays a vital role in the collective effectiveness of the church staff, ensuring that operations, program support, and ministries are working together harmoniously and implementing the church's mission effectively.

Second, we will make some other staff adjustments at the beginning of next year or sooner, depending on certain factors. There will be some restructuring in some of our current staff's responsibilities.

Third, we are going to raise up lay leaders who can help fill the gap. Please be on the lookout for new opportunities to help lead in worship, care for current members and guests, and other ministries.

Fourth, we will be looking to hire some part-time people who might be able to assist us with pastoral care. We will be saving salary money with the restructuring and the creation of the CoS position. As your Senior Pastor, I believe it's important to move forward in 2023 and 2024 with fiscal conservatism during the slow economy. Due to many factors beyond our control, we have seen a dip in giving and hope to see a rebound in the next couple of years. For now, the Core Leadership Team wants to be conservative with our salary budget.

I am so excited about all the new opportunities God is giving to our church. We are doing great things, and we will continue to connect people to Jesus for the Kingdom of God. Please take the time to speak with Priscilla about this new role. She will serve you well. If you want to know more about how the CoS functions within our staff structure, do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to share how this new position will function within the framework of both ministry operations and programming.

In Christ,

Pastor Marty