One month from today, I will begin serving as pastor at First United Methodist Church in El Dorado. Last week, I had the opportunity to spend time with some of the key leaders and staff from the church. I shared a document with everyone that I met outlined some of my personal priorities as well as top five objectives for the first six months and a few of the questions that I will be asking as I arrive. Here is what I shared:
Personal Priorities and Dates
June 12 – Expecting the birth of our second child
June 25 – Move into parsonage
Care for self and family
Top Five – First Six Months
Be a good guest and allow the congregation to host
Love the people
Learn the history and culture of the congregation
Learn the history and culture of the community
Help discern an appropriate vision
Questions – First Six Months
Who are you as a congregation?
How did the congregation get to where it is today?
Where do challenges and opportunities exist?
What has changed the most / least since you joined the church?
When have you been most proud to be connected with this church?
Yesterday, I led a workshop at Leadership Institute – Worship Online: What We’ve Learned in Three Years. Having transitioned my job responsibility to serve as Associate Pastor at Resurrection West on August 15, this was my final official role with Resurrection Online. You can see the presentation here:
I felt great about the presentation. I was able to share the thought, theological reflection and strategic decisions that had been made over the past three years that culminated in the decision to understand Resurrection Online as a worship venue of our Leawood campus and not as a campus where people would go to worship, grow, give, serve and find community. My friend Ben Simpson, asked if I would guest post about what I learned as Pastor of Resurrection Online. I hope to write this post soon, so to read some great writing (and my guest post at some time in the future, I commend http://www.benjaminasimpson.com to you.
It was a good finale. With the completion of that workshop, I feel that I was able to end well and close my time with Resurrection Online.
Although today is the quintessential end of summer, I can’t really recall it having felt like that to me. Growing up, I was usually in school before Labor Day and this was really the end of summer. It may have been a chance to have a picnic or cook out in the backyard – kind of a last hurrah before the fall was to begin in earnest.
This year I have made a big transition to Resurrection West a couple weeks ago, so there isn’t much for me that is hinging on this date. It is looking like a day to relax a bit and spend time with a family. Although, I am not sure that we will be doing any laboring…
Over the past three years a stable worship platform has been created and the significant theological reflection have been completed. I have been able to play a significant role in shaping the framework and future direction for Resurrection Online. One of my gifts is to help clarify a direction and next steps for ministry. I feel that I have been able to see this accomplished for Resurrection Online and look forward to see where the ministry will go from here.
Who will lead Resurrection Online?
Travis Morgan will be moving from a staff position at Resurrection West to lead the Partner Church project and Resurrection Online. The Partner Church project is preparing to move from a planning to pilot phase and Travis will be able to provide leadership and guidance during this critical transition. Travis is a gifted leader who will be able to provide strategic direction and move the vision for Resurrection Online forward. Travis’ gifts and skills will help Resurrection Online to take the next step.
What is the future direction of Resurrection Online?
The focus will be on connecting people in person instead of building community and discipleship opportunities specifically for those that worship online. The next steps for Resurrection Online are to:
Continue an excellent online worship experience
Increase the number of people that are worshiping online
Increase the people who connect in person as a result of connection with Resurrection Online.
What will happen to online congregants who have connected with you?
As with any pastoral transition, I will seek to transition the connection of those that worship online to Travis Morgan as the next leader of Resurrection Online and when possible to a local church.
Resurrection West has experienced steadily increasing worship attendance and participation and this growth is anticipated to accelerate with the move in to a new building in the fall. These circumstances have created the need for an additional pastor to serve the congregation.
What are you looking forward to at Resurrection West?
I am excited to be involved in pastoral leadership in ways that have not been possible at Resurrection Online, including leading worship, teaching, offering in person care and guidance. This role will provide an excellent opportunity for me to stretch and grow in ways that will be valuable in my continued pastoral and spiritual formation. Most of all, I want to serve where I am most needed and there is a clear need for an additional pastor at Resurrection West.
I am going to serve as an associate pastor at Resurrection West beginning August 15. I have enjoyed being part of Resurrection Online for the past few years. I am excited to be involved in pastoral leadership at Resurrection West, including leading worship, teaching, offering in person care and guidance. This role will provide an excellent opportunity for me to stretch and grow in ways that will be valuable in my continued pastoral and spiritual formation.
Travis Morgan will be moving from a staff position at Resurrection West to lead the Partner Church project and Resurrection Online. Travis is a gifted leader who will be able to provide strategic direction and move the vision for Resurrection Online forward. There will be some immediate changes and the transition will be completed in the months ahead. Will you please let me know if you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, feelings or opinions about this transition?