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Pastoral Transition Process

June 3, 2022

Dear AABC Sisters and Brothers,

Thank you for your partnership in the Gospel and for your love of the lost. In this season of change for our local church, we are excited to see how God is moving in our midst. Thank you for your support of the important step of engaging with VitalChurch Ministry as our intentional interim pastor and assessment partner.

Summary of Pastoral Transition Process

During our time of transition from Pastor Ben to our new senior pastor, we want to place AABC on a pathway to be spiritually vital and vibrant. This involves a three-step process of Discern, Implement and Follow-up.

Step 1: Discern

With the help of VitalChurch, an organization that specializes in guiding churches to become vital and vibrant places, we will have a churchwide questionnaire and interviews to help us identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) within AABC. Based off this assessment, Vital Church will make a list of recommendations for the implementation phase. We expect this step to take two to three months, starting June 10 and ending in July/August. We expect to receive the results of the assessment from the Vital Church team in person September 9-11, 2022.

(Update as of June 10, 2022: Click the link above to find out how to participate in Phase 1.)

Step 2: Implement

The Vital Church leaders will help us find an intentional interim pastor from their pool of trained Vital Church pastors to help us with the implementation process. AABC leadership will vet the proposed candidates, and all of you will have the opportunity to meet the finalist. Church members will vote to approve this person as our intentional interim pastor. 

After receiving Vital Church's recommendations, we will take steps to implement these recommendations. We anticipate these recommendations to be based around helping AABC answer questions like "What are God's solutions? Who are God's leaders? What are God's plans?" The interim pastor will help guide us through this process while also carrying out some of the senior pastor duties. Based on Vital Church's experience, this process usually takes 12 to 18 months. However, this timeframe is variable and is more dependent upon the Spirit's leading and how quickly we are taking steps toward spiritual vitality and vibrancy.

Step 3: Follow-up

As we make progress in the implementation phase, we will begin the pastoral search process as outlined in our bylaws, which includes the "selection of a Pastoral search committee" and the "vetting and presentation of Pastoral search candidates."

We will all need to lean into this process for it to be fruitful. How can we do that?

  1. Please be in prayer for our church, our leaders and for the lost that God brings us to each day.
  2. Respond to the online survey in a thoughtful, honest and timely manner.
  3. Continue to carry out our mission of sharing the Gospel with our neighbors and spurring each other onto spiritual maturity.

Click here to see the proposal document from Vital Church that clearly lays out the essential information.

God is good,

Mark Okada on behalf of the deacons


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