Wednesday 11th January is a massive day for me personally:
It’s the day I hand over the Lead Eldership role at Grace Church to David Thompson. This moment feels quite exciting: it’s like like the starter pistol marking the beginning of a race; it’s the first step on our journey to a new destination; it’s the commencement of our new adventure. Woo hoo!
I’m excited about the future, and about the many things ahead for us, and at the same time I do feel a genuine measure of sadness at letting go after 11 years in the role.
At the start of this week I want to remind Grace Church people of two things:
1. Wednesday Evening is important
I want to remind you of the importance of Wednesday evening’s meeting. It will begin at 7.30pm at St Pancras Church building in Chichester. John Groves will come and lead us through the evening together, and I’m told there are going to be cupcakes … nice!
It would be great if every family in the church could be represented on the evening. Let’s show David and Ali our full support.
This is a significant moment
- It’s significant for David and his family. Let’s pray for him and seek God for fresh anointing for this new role
- It’s significant for Grace Church. We will receive a new Lead Elder who will lead the church into the future
- It’s significant to me. I feel privileged to have someone to hand on to, who I am confident will do a great job; I don’t take that for granted, and I’m looking forward to being on David’s team until the end of April.
And on that note, let me remind you of a second thing …
2. Why we believe David is the right person for the job
Back when we made this announcement I listed ten reasons why we felt David was the right person for this role. Here are those ten reasons again:
- There is apostolic agreement to David stepping up; it seems good to the people who oversee our eldership team
- David has been ready to lead his own church for some time now; in fact if he wasn’t doing it here, he would be moving before long to do it elsewhere
- David’s own sense of calling; David feels a personal call to take the role on and is already developing a clear vision and strategy for the future
- The eldership team are united in agreement with David’s sense of calling; we have faith that this is the right way forward for Grace Church
- Shared values: David is already part of the team here; we have shared values. It doesn’t mean nothing will change in how we do things, but at the level of beliefs and values there will be continuity – Grace Church will continue to be Grace Church as you know and love it
- Shared history: David knows this church; he knows the people and how we came to be who we are. David has been here for two thirds of our churches life so far; he’s not new
- Ongoing community relationships: David has good ongoing links built with other church leaders in our area; he’s been doing that far more than me – it’s good not to be starting from scratch again
- The future needs of this church: to move forward well and continue to pioneer well, we need clear strategy, we need good systems that work and we need to continue to raise and release leaders; we believe David does those things well
- Understanding of our church: multisite is unusual; not just anyone could come and lead it well; David understands who we are and how we work – you can’t put a value on that!
- David is already leading a lot of the church: as elders we work as a team; it’s never been a one man show; he’s been doing a large portion of the job already!
That’s quite a list, and if I could add an 11th reason to the list I would say that it just feels right to me personally
I’m confident that God is leading this change … and because I’m confident that God is leading the change, I’m also confident that the future will be better for Grace Church than if we were to stay.
This is a good move.
This is a God move.
I believe there are exciting and fruitful times ahead for us all!
Go Grace Church!