Westheights Church is part of the “Canadian Be In Christ Church of Canada” or “BIC Canada”. As you know, Pastor Todd has accepted a new position within the BIC denomination as Director of Ministry Development and Operations. We received an update letter from BIC Canada that was read to us at this Sunday’s worship service. The letter was from Charlie Mashinter, who is the team leader for all BIC Community Churches in Canada.
AN UPDATE LETTER TO WESTHEIGHTS CHURCH
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters of Westheights Church,
Greetings again in the name of our Lord!
Thank you for your support of your church leaders as we have begun the process of preparing for Pastoral transition. As most of you have become aware of by now, Pastor Todd Lester will be concluding ministry at Westheights this fall and moving into the position of Director Of Ministry Development and Operations with BIC Canada. Todd’s final Sunday as Pastor will be October 1, 2017 and a special service is being planned to celebrate the Lester’s ministry among you. Please mark that Sunday on your calendars and plan to be here that day to say thanks to Todd & Kim and their family.
We want you as a congregation to be assured this morning that, as a denomination, we have a well-defined strategy to help churches move through the process of Pastoral transition, and search for a new Lead Pastor. This strategy has already begun to be implemented here at Westheights. A key component of that strategy is the appointment of an Interim Senior Pastor who will help to guide the church, oversee the staff and care for ministry as the search goes forward. I have a seasoned team of experienced Pastors who I work with in this regards and we are very close to finalizing with one of these persons to fill this role. We anticipate being able to make the announcement of this person’s coming by August 27th. Please know that all current staff will continue in their present roles and that Todd’s departure will not affect their positions at Westheights.
In most settings we have found that the interim time between a Pastor leaving and a new Pastor coming, can be a time of blessing and growth for a congregation. The appointment of an Interim Pastor brings stability and leverages long term ministry for your next Pastor. We anticipate the interim period being anywhere from 6 to 10 months, depending of course on the Lord’s leading in helping us to find the right person to be your next Pastor.
As we move into the interim period I will be working closely with your Church Board and several additional persons we will be adding from the church membership, to form what we call the “Pastoral Committee”. Under our BIC Polity, this committee works under my direction to both prepare for and carry out the search, and then to eventually call a Pastor. As you can imagine, this is a very important ministry and those who are serving very much need your prayers and support. These are your brothers and sisters in Christ, your friends serving on your behalf to bless the church into a new season. Once the Pastoral Committee has been formed we will publish their names so you can pray effectively and know who to contact if you have questions.
An important part of preparing for the search will be to develop both a profile of the church and a profile of the Pastor we feel would be a good fit for Westheights. To develop these profiles we will be using an online survey tool and asking as many of you as are willing from the congregation to participate. In this way, your voice can be heard in contributing to the search. This survey will most likely go out in late October. Once we develop these profiles we will move to posting the position and receiving resumes. Following that we will be reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates and then eventually calling a Pastor. Throughout the process I will be working to cast about and screen candidates who are in conversation with us through the BIC Church as well who may be possible “fits” for your church. In this regard, if you have suggestions for names of good candidates please let them know once the job is posted or encourage them to contact me. The church office at Westheights can provide you with my contact information.
Let me thank you for your patience in listening to this rather lengthy explanation. If you missed something and would like a written copy, once again, please contact the church office.
I believe God is already preparing the heart of the person who should be your next Pastor. Even as He is working, He calls each of us to enter in, pray and work together. May these be days of renewed blessing as Westheights continues to be a vibrant centre of spiritual life in Kitchener.
Yours In Christ!
Rev. Charles E. Mashinter
Team Leader – Canadian Be In Christ Community Churches
To read the first announcement about Pastor Todd’s appointment to Director Of Ministry Development and Operations with BIC Canada, click here.