I think I said it at least ten times in the three “Changing Seasons at Kossuth” sermons that I delivered this past November. Here’s the sentence that I remember intentionally repeating several times over those weeks of teaching about the leadership changes in store for our incredible church:
“I along with the leadership believe that it is God’s timing for a new season of fruitfulness, growth and joy at Kossuth and that season will be launched in part from the platform of a change in the form, function and feel of what we know as the lead elder and his role.”
One obvious take-away from that statement and the “Changing Seasons” sermons is now old news. At some point, I will no longer be lead elder. Another (perhaps more important) take-away is that the responsibilities and expectations of the lead elder role will change when another lead elder is appointed. When that new lead elder is appointed by the elder team, our thinking will need to shift from how I have filled the lead elder role to a new form, function, and feel regarding that important role.
Well, it is my joy to share with you that the elders at their meeting this week approved both a new lead elder role description as well as a new lead elder. Please let me introduce you to them both with the understanding that more details will be shared in the coming weeks.
Lead Elder Role Description. Essentially this process began by listing the responsibilities that I have carried and collected over my years of service. These responsibilities were then divided among the other elders according to giftedness, passion, and capacity. So the form, function, and feel is changing as tasks that have been associated with the lead elder in the past may now be the responsibility of an elder who is not designated as lead elder. It may be helpful to remember that regarding the lead elder role, our by-laws read: “All elders are equal in authority, but the elders will choose one from among them who will serve as leader for the elders.”
The lead elder role description approved by the elders this week states that the lead elder will serve the elders by:
1. Setting the elder and staff meeting agendas.
2. Guiding discussions toward the aim of consensus.
3. Shaping the team of men toward maximum effectiveness.
4. Planning key events that build team cohesiveness (elder/staff retreats, relational time, etc.).
5. Serving as the point of first contact for the community and outside organizations.
This second list shows how other responsibilities have been assigned that are no longer associated with the lead elder role:
1. Developing the sermon calendar - Drew
2. Overseeing the on-call visitation schedule - Drew
3. Organizing weddings, funerals and special services - Drew
4. Overseeing Deacon Teams - various elders
5. Providing non-elder staff and church operational supervision - Abraham
6. Overseeing biblical counseling - Abraham
7. Overseeing the Elder Blog - Drew
Since much of this was just decided this week, we will get a more detailed listing of elder and deacon assignments and responsibilities to you as soon as we are able.
Lead Elder Appointment. The elders unanimously appointed Abraham Cremeens as lead elder to carry out the new lead elder role description. Abraham has proven gifts and skills to serve the elders and our church in this newly defined role. Abraham will assume this role effective immediately with me being available to come alongside him to provide support and coaching as necessary.
It is always a win to have the right people positioned in the responsibilities that God has gifted and enabled them to do well. God has given Kossuth an amazing group of godly men to shepherd and oversee this precious flock. Remember to pray for and encourage them as each one carries the pastoring load assigned to them. It may take some time and continued dialogue, but we believe the new form, function, and feel will soon settle into new fruitfulness and joy as we serve together.