CCC Update – 08/30/2018

CCC Update – 08/30/2018 – By Gregg Caruso

As I said in the June halftime letter for over two years CCC has been on a difficult, amazing, sad, joyful, revealing, and beautiful journey.  I have been on this journey with you for fourteen months.  When all is said a done God has been both faithful and gracious to CCC.

Much has been accomplished in several areas…

  • The first thing I want you to know is that I don’t make any important decisions for the church on my own. Our goal, whether it’s the Elders, the Staff, or the TT, is that we want to move forward with holy consensus and unity.
    • Acts 15:28 says, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” (Council of Jerusalem – which also tells us the believers had, “great dissension and debate”).
    • There’s no doubt I have influence, yet my main responsibility is to ask clarifying questions.  We want to give people authority commensurate with their responsibility.  Another way to say it is, for our staff, elders, and me there is high freedom and high accountability.
  • We now have a Lead Pastor Search Team (LPST) in place. There will be a bulletin announcement listing the names this weekend, our first meeting is this coming Tues, and we will look for a weekend where we can commission them.
  • We have made some excellent staffing decisions in the last 10-12 months:
    • Steve arrived just before I did and serves as our Technical Director
    • Tina came on staff to serve in Kid Connect
    • Conrad as our Student Ministries Pastor
    • Gretchen joined our staff as the Office Manager
    • Mary Zakarian joined as the Bookkeeper
    • Stephen Baily starts in the next week or so as our Worship Pastor
  • We are continuing to reorganize staff roles, as we build and rebuild many of the behind-the-scenes systems that will provide the opportunity for more people to receive better care and discipleship. Sarah is on a training track to become our Church Administrator and Jason is on a training track to become the Facilities Manager.  (This takes time, we are not finished yet.)

The goal of much of our season of staff training and development, the move to a policy governance model, updating our small group ministry, and discipleship track is to, in the days ahead, provide more people with better care and discipleship opportunities.

  • (On a side note, Jim shared with me shortly after I got here that he wanted a chance to lead a church and I wholeheartedly gave him permission to look around.  I realize it’s difficult to lose Jim and Sandy, but I think every church ought to be willing to give away their best people for the sake of the kingdom.)
  • The elders continue to learn and grow in their primary responsibilities of Direction, Doctrine, and Discipline.  Here are three scheduled elders meetings a month:
    1. A board meeting to engage and address legal business, receive Intentional Interim Pastor’s (IIP) Ministry Objective (MO) Report for accountability, and provide requested counsel to IIP.
    2. A work meeting for intercession, theological clarification study, and consider any pending church discipline issues.
    3. A relationship and accountability meeting for friendship building, personal accountability and encouragement.
  • In a Policy Governance (PG) Model, the elders delegate all staff and operations to the Lead Pastor and hold him accountable to agreed upon ministry objectives.  Additionally, the elders are overseeing a by-laws update, and three of the four elders and their wives are leading or will be leading, Community Groups as we move into the Fall.  For a more specific update on their ministry involvement feel free to approach them and ask them.
  • Another update question I was told to anticipate is deacons. Currently, we have two deacon teams:  1) The Transformation Team (TT) are serving as deacons and deaconesses and the Financial Advisory Board (FAB) (Josh, Henry, and Paula) are serving as deacons and a deaconess.  In addition, we have several people who consistently volunteer their time on various teams.  These include sound and lighting, facilities, office workers, and other various ministry teams.
    • The TT’s members, role, and responsibilities were listed in a blog post from Sept 22, 2017, which can be reviewed here.  Dyrene has moved, Jim asked to be excused, and Matt and Erik became elders.
    • New nominations were received, application packets sent, and interviews conducted.  The new additions to the TT were:  Bernie Torres, Libby Ealy, and Scott MacLean.
  • The TT has worked tirelessly to plan and carry out two all-church Summits and the She Speaks initiative to invite your input as we prayerfully consider and plan for a new season of ministry effectiveness at CCC. Summit #3 has been scheduled for Oct 7 after the 11am service.  You will hear more about that in the next few weeks.
  • We have repeatedly stated and taught that none of us can be spiritually mature without being emotionally healthy. This was repeated and taught in several blog posts, weekly during our Thrive series, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality classes, and the (strong) invitation for everyone to read and put into practice the book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.
  • There has also been considerable time spent in pursuing courageous conversations and relational reconciliation between CCC members who lost trust in one another as well as some who felt hurt and wounded by our church. We also completed a 2-week class on Biblical Conflict Resolution (the recordings and notes can be found online).
  • I love my job and I love this church. I continue to believe that our best days are yet to come.  Having said that, there is something that has been extremely disappointing to me…
    • There is a segment of our congregation that seemingly refuses to be willing to talk to the actual people who can answer their questions or respond to their concerns.
    • I have been saddened, and our staff and elders as well, by people who second-guess, make assumptions (mind-read), and continue to triangulate and gossip.
    • It saddens me that there are people who want to be regarded as mature Christians but who don’t have the capacity to function in even the basics of biblical conflict resolution or humble dialogue.
    • We have a saying for our elder’s meetings, staff, and TT meetings – we encourage “robust dialogue.” We want passionate people in any given room who are learning to disagree agreeably.
  • Finally, I would mention that even at the highest levels of leadership, sometimes leaders part ways for a season.  In Acts 15 (an excellent chapter on congregational conflict resolution) Paul and Barnabus parted ways over a disagreement on the leadership potential of John-Mark (who went on the write the Gospel of Mark).  Reconciliation and restoration of relationship came after a season.