I'm here to bring you an update from the LT. We've been working over a year with the Intentional Interim Ministry process to get to this point. Many of you have waited eagerly for this moment, and the process that got us here seemed too long at times. But we had to work through the first 4 focus points to get to the 5th one, our search for a new senior pastor.
Along the way we have celebrated our heritage, learned a lot about ourselves, and updated a number of our governing documents. We have worked hard since we began, but we have had a lot of fun doing this job. Your Leadership Team is a diverse group with a wide range of age, educational background, employment, and life experiences. We've had a spirited exchange of ideas, but at the end of each meeting we have come together as a group and changed course seamlessly when necessary. And, we have been blessed immeasurably by our fantastic Advisory Cabinet and Craig Janney, our consultant and friend. We have felt their prayers, encouragement, suggestions, and support. Their work has provided us with four applications, and three of them were selected for an interview. Great job, advisers.
Before the application period closed on 08/05/2020, a total of thirty applications were received from a wide geographical area. Additionally, there was a wide variation of educational backgrounds and pastoral experience. Here's a quick look at geography. Applications came from Michigan to Massachusetts to Florida, but over half of them were much closer to home: VA - 9; NC – 7; SC – 3; TX – 3; and 1 each from AL, FL, MA, TN, MI, Il, MO, & WV. For education the Master of Divinity, our preference, is held by 16 applicants.
The LT has voted to advance six applicants to a first interview. Joan is scheduling these interviews for next week. I hope you are as happy with where we are now as we are. We will bring you more information later. Please continue to pray every day for your LT, our church, and our candidates along with their families and their present churches.
Leadership Team Moment, Sunday, July 26, 2020
First of all I have several announcements from the leadership team:
1. We encourage you to go to our church website and click on the pastor search. The children's pictures have been added to the church profile. Also if you click on leadership info, you will find the completed 4 focus points, church survey results and the pastor search process.
2. Copies of the leadership focus point are available as you leave the sanctuary on the table near the church office.
3. We continue to receive resumes for the position of senior pastor.
4. Each week we plan to have a prayer prompt on the big screen. We seek your prayers and support for the team and for our church.
The Ebenezer Stone is symbolic of God's faithfulness. The hymn "Come Thou Fount" speaks of raising an Ebenezer. The Biblical story comes from I Samuel 7. Samuel sets up a stone to commemorate the help that God had given the Israelites in a victory over the Philistines. He named the stone Ebenezer and whenever the Israelites would pass by the stone, they would remember how God had helped them.
Today, when people refer to setting up an Ebenezer, they are using something physical to remind them of God's faithfulness and goodness.
A year ago, we presented to Melrose our Ebenezer stones of remembrance as a symbol of God's faithfulness to us. We are bringing it back into the sanctuary today. It is a way of remembering what great things God has done for us here at Melrose. With our history and experiences, we have something valuable to teach generations to come. As we recall God's faithfulness to us, we remain centered and growing, and we move forward with a sense of purpose. We look forward to adding one more stone when we call our next senior pastor.
Leadership Team Update, Sunday, July 12
Our senior pastor job listing can be found in several places:
CBF national as well as VA and NC websites
We are also accepting referrals from our advisory council and others
We have already received several resumes for the senior pastor position and will be collecting more through August 5th. At that point, we will begin the interview process.
Receive and respond to candidate resumes
Gather additional information
Introduce successful candidate to congregation
Extend the call to our new senior pastor
Lord, we pray for the pastoral candidates to be sensitive to your Spirit leading them to Melrose Baptist or elsewhere.
Leadership Team Moment June 21, 2020
Good Morning Melrose Family!!
• We want to thank you so much for your response to our Time and Talent Survey. We had 22 responses and are so appreciative of people’s willingness to serve. The Nominating Committee will be praying about and seeking people to serve as they are led. They meet in July. • The Leadership Team, as we continue to get ready to launch our pastor search, met with the leaders of the Finance and Personnel committees at our last meeting to get their input and ideas as we discuss the compensation package for our next Senior Pastor. • As another part of the pastor search process, the Leadership Team is currently forming an Advisory Council of people to help. These individuals are former or current pastors or church leaders that are friends of our church, some who have been members. These individuals will help us in finding well qualified candidates for the Senior Pastor position. By knowing and caring about our church, they have good insight into the kind of person we are looking for. • Please remember that the Leadership Team will be presenting for vote the newly revised Mission Statement and Vision Statement at next week’s business meeting, June 24. We encourage you to attend and be a part of this important meeting. • Continue to pray for our team as we are still planning to launch our Pastor Search at the first part of July. • Thanks as always for your love and support. We are committed as a team to seeking God’s plan for our church and the exciting future that we know He has in store for us.
Leadership Team Moment, Sunday, June 14, 2020
• Presenting proposed revisions at the Business Meeting, June 17 at 6:15, of the following documents to be approved by a vote: o Melrose Baptist Church Mission Statement – why we are here o Melrose Baptist Church Vision Statement – where we hope to go
• Documents that have been completed and will be available at a later time: o Completed Leadership Team Focus Report – feedback from the church as to what we want in a pastor o Completed Pastor & Church & Community Profiles – descriptions to a candidate about what we want in a pastor, what the church is like and where we live
• Met with the Communications Team to explore updating the Melrose Baptist Church website to be able to include the documents that will be available for the Senior Pastor candidates.
• On target to begin the pastor search process in early July.
Leadership Team Update, Sunday, June 7, 2020
Good Morning Melrose Family!
I am here on behalf of the Leadership Team to keep you informed of our continued work in the transition process. Just a reminder that you should have received the Time and Talent Survey. It lists committees and activities in which people can serve. Please read this survey and consider areas that might interest you and please respond as instructed. (contact information was provided in the emails)
We are currently working to complete the Leadership Focus Point report. You will be receiving an email from the Leadership team this week presenting the updated Mission and Vision Statements that were updated during this process. You will have this opportunity to review those and they will be brought up for discussion and vote at this month’s business meeting.
The last part of this transition process is the Future Focal Point. You have already completed our congregational survey and we are completing the Profiles that are based on all of the information we have received from you over the last year. As part of the package that will be available for review for prospective candidates, we are completing a Pastor Profile, a Church Profile and a Community Profile. The Pastor Profile is the Gifts and Skills we are seeking in that person and also a list of responsibilities and duties for the Senior Pastor position. The church profile is a compilation of church history, demographic and budget information, lists of church committees, activities and mission projects, information about current staff and church administration. The community profile is a description of the Roanoke Valley with a bit of its history and all it has to offer in education, industry, travel and tourism, sports and activities. This is so any prospective candidate has a clear understanding of our church, our hometown and the kind of person and leader we are seeking.
ALL of this information has been compiled from every survey and every questionnaire that you all have so generously provided over the past year. Our team has compiled the information, but WE the Melrose Family have created this together. And we thank you so much for all your input over the past year in putting this packet together. You have been faithful and honest, loving and supportive and we feel these profiles represent our Melrose values and who we are as a community of faith.
The team has a busy month ahead. We will be finalizing our complete report of this process and we are prayerfully hopeful to be ready to initiate the pastor search at the first part of July. Continue to pray for us and the church staff and each other.
One of my favorite verses is, 2 Corinthians 4:18, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”. I want to read you the translation from the Message translation: “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
I take hope and confidence in God’s promises and his love for each of us. Let us continue to move forward in love and hope for this church and its exciting future that we know God has already seen.
Please remember to look for leadership team updates and information through email, mail for some and social media updates. Also on our Leadership Team Tab on the Church Website.
Leadership Team Update, Sunday May 31, 2020
In 1st Corinthians 12: 4-7, Paul says, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the Common Good.”
We are all valuable and important in this body we call Melrose Baptist Church. As we, the Leadership Team have done our work to reveal the values of our church, we know that Melrose is mission minded, committee driven, generous and giving. The treasures are given with generosity and are stewarded with care.
In the surveys and conversations during the intentional interim process, we have heard rich testimonies of our people and we feel a responsibility to pass those on not just to the new Senior Pastor, but to generations to come who will call this place home.
Our next step in the Leadership Focus Point is to hear from you again. As we move into the next session of our church year, committees and other church ministries will be seeking additional members. In the coming week, you will be receiving an email, called the Time and Talent Survey. It lists committees and activities in which people can serve.
Melrose is place of great strength, warmth and loving fellowship. We are a family that always comes together as a fellowship of believers to carry out the work of the church. In Acts 2, Paul reminds us that the Christian life is not a solo act. The first Century Christians demonstrated a community of faith in which the people loved and helped each other. This is an opportunity for us to use what God has given us so that by our own time, talent, treasures and testimonies, our church will be strengthened.
Please read this survey and consider areas that might interest you and please respond as instructed. There will be information on how to send back your responses by mail, phone or e-mail. The deadline for response will be June 15.
Thank you as always for praying for the church staff and your fellow church members. Please continue to lift the Leadership Team up in prayer. It is going to be a busy upcoming month for our team as we begin to finalize our focal points and get ready to begin the pastor search process.
Leadership Team Update, Sunday, May 24, 2020
Good morning Melrose Family! The Leadership Team is so happy to report that we received 246 Congregational Surveys regarding finding the new Senior Pastor. Thank you again so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas with us. We also conducted interviews with the current staff to get their input and perspective as we move forward in this process.
The Leadership Team met on Thursday with Craig Janney and spent several hours tallying your survey results and putting together the information so that we can use those results to create a Church Profile and Pastor Profile that will be used and sent out to prospective candidates. We also spent time praying for our church and for the person that God has in mind for our next Pastor.
We want to take a minute to say we listen and we hear each person who shares thoughts and comments with the team. We know that right now it may seem like the process has taken a while and that the “end of the tunnel” is far away. Let us remember that as a church we came together and chose this Intentional Interim process to help this church transition. Rest assured that this team is working hard and pushing forward, but also completing the process that was started. We are in the last two focal points and we are working on those as we speak. We take our responsibility very seriously and we love our church and our congregation and want to serve you to the best of our ability. Have faith and stay strong. Completing this process as planned will make us stronger and ready to find the next Senior Pastor for this church.
As it says in Isaiah 40:31: but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. God has us in his grip and he will be faithful as we know He is.
This has been such a unique and challenging time in the life of our church and in the world. Melrose is an amazing place for so many reasons, but one thing we LOVE is fellowship. And we are missing that SO MUCH! But we will be together again and we will be back to sharing hugs, telling stories, worshiping together and being a family in person. The team is working and continuing to meet and will continue to keep you updated each week. Have faith, pray for the staff and for the Leadership Team and know that we are praying for God’s will and direction for this wonderful place we all love.
Please remember that you can get all of our updates on the church Facebook page, our emails every Monday and the link on our church website.
Leadership Team Update, Sunday, May 17, 2020
The Leadership Team wants to provide another update on the progress we are making in completing the tasks of the Intentional Interim Process as well as preparing to search for our next Senior Pastor.
First, we are so grateful for the wonderful response from our congregation in completing the surveys that were mailed to each of you. Thank you for taking the time to prayerfully consider your responses to each question. Even though we can’t be together to encourage each other face to face, your participation, time, and interest in this process is simply heartwarming. As of Sat. evening, 195 surveys have been received in the church office. We anticipate a few more arriving in the mail in the next couple of days. If you didn’t get yours mailed by Friday, May 15, you may still drop if off to the church office Monday or Tuesday.
The Leadership Team will be meeting for a lengthy training exercise and work session with Craig Janney this coming Thursday afternoon and evening to collect information from your completed surveys. Our goal is to process how to use the survey data to create a Senior Pastor Profile. Information may also be used to assist in creating Interview Questions for potential candidates as well as helping us know what YOU do and do not want in a new Senior Pastor. Again, we are thankful for your enthusiasm and thoughtful replies that bring energy to this lengthy process.
As we continue work on the Leadership Focus Point, we will be reviewing how our church is organized and staffed to accomplish the church’s mission. Several committees are evaluating and updating important governing documents like the Constitution and Bylaws, Staff job descriptions, Personnel policies and procedures, and Transportation usage. Our church has a tremendous leadership base that will certainly help us as we move forward into an exciting and promising future.
Finally, the Leadership Team has been meeting regularly during the past three weeks. We are practicing social distancing recommendations and other safety guidelines. Because of the importance of our church moving forward, we are using this time to work diligently toward preparing for the day when we can seek responses from potential candidates for our next settled Senior Pastor. Thank you always for your patience, prayers, and words of encouragement.
We continue to hold to the truth of Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Leadership Team Update, Sunday, May 10, 2020
As promised, we, the Leadership Team are going to be sure that we are keeping you all updated and aware of our progress as we move forward in this Transitional period.
First, we want to remind you to please return the survey that was sent to each household last week. Your feedback and prayerfully considered answers will be essential in the future selection process for a settled Senior Pastor. We are asking that you please have those back in the mail by Friday, May 15. If your household needs additional copies, please call the church office.
We wanted to also take a moment to remind you of the wonderful things we have done in the last months as part of the Interim Process. We and YOU have worked hard over these past months. We have completed the Heritage Focus Point and presented you with a summary. We have also completed the Connections Focus Point and Missions Focus Point. We have completed the final draft summaries of each based upon your work and input. We will be getting you those reports in the very near future for you to review. Any recommendations that are made will be brought before the church for vote.
We will continue to give you weekly updates on our progress. We are now beginning work on the Leadership Focus Point. For this, as members focus on leadership, they consider future lay leadership needs and how the structure can potentially expand the leadership base. We will inform you as we move through this focal point, much of which will be done working with members of standing committees. As always, any changes or updates that need to be made will always be brought before the church to vote.
While this time for all of us is full of change and uncertainty due to so many factors and causes, your Leadership Team is committed to the work of this church and together we will all continue to move forward through the final steps of this process, knowing it will lead us all to the Settled Senior Pastor that God has already chosen for this church.
Melrose is strong, resilient, faithful and a place of love and grace. Please continue to pray for the Leadership Team and the Staff and Church Leadership as we move forward. God bless you all!
The Leadership Team has different ways to keep you, the congregation, updated:
• The Leadership Team Moment during Sunday morning worship services from the pulpit and on the big screen. • An email going out from the church office each Monday • Posted on the Melrose Baptist Church Facebook page • We are working on having in the near future a Leadership Team link on our website. We are very excited about this!
We want to reach everyone so please, if you know of someone in our church that cannot get our information by any of the ways just listed, please call or have them call the church office with names and addresses so the Leadership Team can mail information to them.
Leadership Team Update, Sunday May 3, 2020 As most or all of you know, Dr. McCann has resigned as Intentional Interim Senior Pastor of our church. We, the Leadership Team, want to assure you that we are continuing on in the Intentional Interim Process and will soon, under God’s leading and guidance, begin the search for a well-qualified candidate for our new settled senior pastor.
As the next step to move forward with this task, we are seeking your valued opinion and input by completion of a congregational survey which you will receive in the mail this coming week. The survey and a return self-addressed, stamped envelope will be provided. We encourage each member to prayerfully complete and mail by May 15th. Each family member is encouraged to complete a separate survey. If you find you need more surveys than provided in the envelope, please call the church office.
The Leadership Team continues to be in contact with Craig Janney, He supplies us with a wealth of knowledge, resources and support. His help is invaluable! Please continue, as you have been, to support us and keep the Leadership Team, the staff and our church in your prayers.
To quote Dr. Denton, “God never puts more on us than he puts in us.” We love and miss you all!