There is a lot of information here, and I appreciate that not everyone will read it all. It's all important, but let me summarize:
- Dennis Green is ending his season at PCC as our Executive Pastor. His last day at PCC will be April 30.
- We will have a celebration for him on 4/22/12 at 6:30 at the Powhatan Campus.
- This celebration will be a bring-a-dish dinner, so please bring something and we will FEAST together! (if you are able to let Cathy Rusch know what you are bringing, that would be helpful. She's at email@example.com)
- I hope you can join us for that special celebration!
Four years ago next month, after a very long process, a lot of prayer, and with the blessing of the Staff and the Steering Team, we brought Dennis Green to PCC as our first Executive Pastor. Under his tenure, we have seen a lot of increases - in attendance, baptisms and giving, just to name a few. Dennis was absolutely key in helping us get into our building and survive the difficult days of the world's financial challenges. He was pivotal in the launch of our Westchester Campus. He helped us put important systems in place and asked incredibly good questions about our future, causing us to think a little more before we made decisions. He added some much need structure to our church and has often been a calming voice. Many of our staff and leaders - including me - have come to greatly respect and trust him.
There is no doubt that Dennis has added a lot to our team and to our church. He has made a great contribution here. But God often has us in a place for a season, and Dennis came to me some weeks ago to express his growing feeling that his season here was coming to an end. He felt strongly that God was in his restlessness. I would never discourage someone from following God's call for their life, so I fully supported Dennis' exploration of what God had for him next.
Since then, Dennis has been in a conversation with another church in southern Chesterfield about becoming their Executive Pastor. The account of the journey with this church has been nothing short of miraculous, in my opinion, and yesterday the formally asked him to be their Executive Pastor. Dennis and I both believe that God has been in it from the beginning. His last day at PCC will be April 30.
Let me be very clear about this: Dennis and I love each other, remain long-time friends, and we agreed together on this change. And since God orchestrated it, God has a great plan for the next season of Dennis' life, and for PCC's. Additionally, Dennis continues to be a great supporter of our church.
Here are a few short answers to two questions you may have:
- Will we hire a new Executive Pastor? If so, when? The answer: I'm not sure. Whenever you have a high level leadership change like this, it's always smart to step back and evaluate the structure that is in place and decide if any changes are needed to that structure. We my very well hire another Executive Pastor. But we may take a fresh approach. Either way, we'll take our time and get it right. To be sure, the work Dennis does has to be done by someone (or distributed among more than one). We won't be able to just absorb his job into our existing staff and leadership. But we are going to take a fresh look at it.
- Who will be the 'go-to' person for decisions this summer if there is no Executive Pastor and Brian is gone for the summer on Sabbatical? We are going to have someone be an 'acting' Executive Pastor for the summer. This will not be someone from the outside, but someone who is known by the staff and steering team and other leaders in our church. I am working on that right now, in consultation with the Steering Team and the Blue Team, and I should know something and have more to say in the next few weeks, maybe sooner.
- Are we going to have a send-off celebration for Dennis and Brenda? You bet! April 22, 6:30 at the Powhatan Campus. Bring a dish and we'll feast together and have a great time of appreciation, worship, celebration and prayer.
In closing, let me make a couple of requests of you.
- Please share this information with others you know, since not everyone reads this blog. The sooner we can get accurate information out, the sooner we squash any rumor-mill conversation.
- Speaking of rumors, this kind of change is the fodder for all kinds of crazy stories. I've watched it happen many times over the years. Please, please, please help us protect the church by helping people get the facts. If you hear something that doesn't sound right, just ask. Ask me. Ask Dennis. We'll be glad to tell you anything we know.
- Finally, don't hesitate to come to me with your own questions and concerns. In the end, I really believe that God is going to do something great through this. Romans 8:28 is a promise we can count on.
God is Always Good. Jesus Wins. The Kingdom Advances.
Remarks from Dennis Green:
Over the past several weeks, it seems that everyone is commenting on this incredible early spring season. Have you ever thanked God for the different Seasons? I know I have. When I think about it, I really look forward to and enjoy each of the four seasons. But there are also parts that come with each season that I really do not enjoy. As beautiful as spring can be, I can do without the pollen. As much fun as I have in the summer, those days of extreme heat are difficult. The leaves that come with autumn – no thanks! And although I really enjoy the winter, I don’t like it when it gets dark at 5:00.
The Church has seasons, PCC has seasons and we as individuals, have seasons, too. For the past four years, I have enjoyed an amazing season here at PCC. When I came to serve here, I was a rookie. You had never had an Executive Pastor before and I had never been one, either. I certainly did not know what I did not know. During these four years PCC has grown in so many ways. For example, it has grown in the amount of people who come on any given Sunday, it has grown in the number of campuses it has and it has grown in the amount of staff who serve you each and every week. I have grown, too. As you have invested in PCC, you have invested in me. I have a closer walk with God now than ever before in my life. I have grown to be a better husband to my wonderful wife, and I now know at least a little bit about how to be an Executive Pastor. You have loved me, supported me (as well as my wife, Brenda) and esteemed me, and I will be forever grateful.
Remember how I said that all seasons have a less desirable part? Yes, this season is coming to an end for me here at PCC. April 30th will be my last day on staff here. I am leaving PCC to serve another church in Chesterfield. Leaving is bittersweet. There is excitement for me in following God’s call – the new, the fresh, the unknown. But there is great sadness for me in leaving PCC- Its people and its mission. But you have prepared me well. Brian preached last week on the “blessing of release”. In a very real way, you have taught me and prepared me for a time such as this, and now you are releasing me to do Kingdom work in another community.
So, it will be a new season for PCC, too. And I am excited for you. I believe God will continue to do great things here. New seasons bring new opportunities and maybe, just maybe, the kind of church that PCC will be in the future does not even exist yet. Think about that as a fresh wind blows across this place and all who enter.
Until we meet again…Dennis