Q1 - Why is Pastor Jim transitioning from Sr. Pastor?
A: Pastor Jim is not
leaving LC3; he is transitioning into a part-time role. This was initiated solely
by Pastor Jim and Jaci, after much prayer about their future. Now 67 years old,
Jim has been sensing a gradual decline in his physical and emotional energy levels
for the last five years or so. Jim and Jaci have five children and ten
grandchildren, and they desire more time to invest in their family while they
have good health. There is never a good time to step down as Sr. Pastor, but
God has led them to decide he is ready and the church stands on a strong
foundation to make this change. Jim is the 11th pastor who has
served us over our 97 year history as a church. We are honored that Pastor Jim
dedicated the last 21 years to leading our church family. We look forward to
many more years of his service in a different capacity on our Leadership Team.
Q2 - Who is on the Elder board of LC3?
God has been very kind to LC3 and has blessed us with a strong team of
Elders, pastors, and staff who are committed to leading us as a congregation. The
Elders are the ones who have been processing this transition with Pastor Jim
over the last couple of years. Our Elder chairman is Randy Madson. John Haddick
is our vice chair and John Schock is our secretary. Other Elders include Brian
Anderson, Dan Tchobanoff, Tim Edgren, and Jim Kennington. Tung Le is also an
elder, although he is currently on sabbatical.
Q3 - Who is the Vanderbloemen Search Group and how did they help us?
Vanderbloemen is the leading Christian Search Firm in the nation serving
churches, Christian schools, and other ministries. They have over 25 years of
experience in this arena. After reading the book written by William
Vanderbloemen about navigating pastoral transitions we spoke with them and
ended up hiring them to consult us during this transition. LC3 Elders met with
Tim Stevens in September 2019. Tim also interviewed our pastoral team and met
with a focus group that was representative of our congregation. He then
debriefed with our Elders and gave his recommendations to us for a successful
Q4 - Did the Elders consider an external search process?
A: The Elders seriously
explored in depth the pros and cons of doing an external search with our consultant
from Vanderbloemen. However, doing a full-blown search would mean an investment
of $35,000-$40,000. It would also require about 6-9 months for a search
committee to work diligently on a pastoral search, providing a shorter time
period in which to plan for a smooth transition. In the end we decided that
with all the turmoil of the past 7 months (COVID, racial tension, etc.) an internal candidate makes a lot of sense for us at
this time and provides much-needed stability. The elders came to the
conclusion that we have an excellent internal candidate already that God has
prepared for such a time as this.
Q5 - What other advantages are there for an internal candidate?
In addition to the stability provided during a challenging year, there are
multiple other advantages of an internal candidate that we also weighed. First,
hiring an internal candidate helps us maintain our present culture and
philosophy of ministry, and build upon the last 21 years of vision and values
that Pastor Jim and our Elders have established. Second, an internal candidate
already has the relationships and trust of the congregation. Third, an internal
candidate would be more able and willing to work in partnership with Pastor Jim
as he transitions into a new role.
Q6 - Does Tung have enough experience to step into the role as Sr. Pastor?
A: Tung may not have resume experience as a Sr. Pastor, but he has unique experience as a senior leader in business and among our LC3 ministry team. We have relied on Tung for many years to guide us in strategic planning and making hard decisions as a ministry team. We have found him to be a valuable source of godly wisdom. When we met with Tim Stevens, he noted he often finds that youth pastors from large churches make great Sr. Pastors for churches of our size. They don’t have senior pastor leadership experience either. So it’s not mandatory to have experience in the role of Sr. Pastor if one has proven leadership experience in similar roles that can easily be transferred to the Sr. Pastor role. Moreover, many of the duties expected of a Sr. Pastor (preaching, hospital visits, teaching classes, meeting with individual members of the church, etc.) have been regularly a part of Tung’s ministry and contributions to the church over the last 17 years. In short, Tung has proven himself already to be the kind of leader we are looking for. He has also enrolled in seminary at Whitefield Theological Seminary and expects to complete his Master of Ministry in Pastoral Studies sometime over the next 12-18 months.
Q7 - Who is on the Transition Task Force that is helping guide this process?
The Transition Task Force will help guide the process by assisting in
developing the strategy and planning for the transition. They will also be
developing communications for the congregation and will establish objectives
and milestones for the process. They will also give Tung and Pastor Jim
feedback during the process and be a sounding board for them. Proverbs 15:22
says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed”.
members of the task force that were selected have demonstrated leadership
skills, having unique insight and perspective in how they serve at LC3. They
are of varying age groups and represent most all our major ministries. The
members of this Task Force are co-chairs Beckie and Randy Madson, Andi
Regenfuss, Carol Wylie, David Pritchard, Heather Lawrence, Jeremiah Durr, Judy
Van Houte, Marc Gauthier, Nancy Shaffer, Peter Johnson, Rick Wells and Tom
Falk. In addition, we have plans to add 1-2 high school students to the team.
Q8 - What should I do if I have questions not addressed in this FAQ?
A: Please contact any of the Elders or Transition Task Force members who are named above in this FAQ. They would be happy to answer your questions and discuss this process with you.