New Staff at Bethlehem

Well, where do we go from here? Let’s think and pray about it together. Here’s where we stand now:

  • John Piper (full-time) – preaching, teaching, general spiritual oversight, staff discipleship and accountability, crisis care and some visitation;
  • Tom Steller (full-time) – pastor-teacher of Toshavim; plus recruiting, training and encouraging leadership in adult education;
  • Carol Steinbach (full-time) – office management, switchboard, secretary to the pastors;
  • Neil Grover (full-time) – minister of maintenance!
  • Dean Palermo (three-quarter time) – worship planning, choir directing, service leadership, children’s choirs, music development;
  • Leah Harding (part-time) – organist;
  • Elsie Viren (part-time) – children’s ministries;
  • Brad Soukup (part-time) – interim leadership in outreach and visitation of newcomers;
  • Cory Dahl (part-time) – senior high ministries;
  • Gregg Heinsch (part-time) – junior high ministries;
  • Jack Photisanh (part-time) – custodian;
  • Phaitoon Hathamart and Marvin Martin (part-time) – Asian ministries.

The biblical basis for church leadership comes from texts like 1 Thessalonians 5:12; Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Timothy 3:1; 5:17; Acts 14:23. The biblical basis for paid leadership (as opposed to volunteer) is that the church recognizes God’s call to a person to spend so much time and energy in church service that it needs to become remunerative (Luke 10:7; 1 Timothy 5:17, 18). The big question is: in what areas do we want paid leadership at Bethlehem? More specifically: in what areas (or groups) do we want a full-time investment of leadership? Do we need specialists who minister their specialty across the congregation? Or do we need pastoral generalists who minister to particular sub-congregations in the church? Or neither? Or a combination?

Before Glenn Ogren resigned the church had approved the call of a full-time minister of evangelism and discipleship. The search committee has done lots of work and interviewed several candidates by phone and two in person. But with the departure of Glenn Ogren I have asked for a temporary halt of the committee’s work while we re-think our overall staff needs.

Please come next Sunday evening to hear some of my ideas about staffing and to share some of yours. The service will be devoted to this issue and so will Popcorn with the Pastor.

Seeking his will with you,

Pastor John

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