Dear Central Family,
As the Board of Stewards, we write to you regarding Pastor Joel’s news, to share our heart about this news, and to let you know our plans moving forward.
When Joel informed the full Board of this possibility at our winter retreat on January 25th we were saddened, as we suspect many of you may be right now. We have deeply valued and appreciated Joel’s leadership, teaching, fellowship, and friendship, and we will miss him. Joel and Myndi have demonstrated incredible integrity, faithfulness, and love of God and our church as they have prayerfully navigated this journey, and we are grateful for them.
We acknowledge that a change in leadership can bring questions, uncertainty, and even anxiety about the future. Be assured we are wholly confident in God’s leadership of our church. And while Joel’s news may have come as a surprise, it was not a surprise to God, who we believe has been working in Joel’s life and in the life of our church to prepare us for this transition. We wholeheartedly affirm Joel’s call to a new field of ministry, which we believe God has been preparing Him for, and are grateful that Central has been an important part of his life, shaping him for this new endeavor. Central has always been a sending church, used by God to send people into the world to do the work of the Gospel. We believe that we are being called to send our Senior Pastor to a new ministry, and we are excited for Joel as he follows God’s call.
We trust that just as God has been preparing Joel and Myndi for this new ministry, He is also preparing a new leader for our church. We trust God’s timing to bring us a Senior Pastor who will welcome the opportunity to lead Central into an exciting new ministry season. Over the past few weeks, the Board has been laying the groundwork for this transition, making plans for the formation of a Pastoral Search Committee, and beginning the process of securing an interim pastor. Joel has had one-on-one conversations with each staff member, and the Board has made a plan for staff coverage moving into the interim. We are grateful for the many leaders God has placed in our church and believe He has equipped us with all we need to move faithfully into the future.
There are many exciting things happening in the life of our church; God is faithful, and we trust He will continue to lead us in the months ahead. As Joel said in his letter, the ministry at Central doesn’t stop; we will continue to do the Kingdom work God has called us to here in the Midway. We will be communicating with you regularly in the days and weeks to come. Please be in prayer for us, for the Lawrence family, for our church staff, and for our church family.
Over the past 7 years, Joel has reminded us time and again that we are to be a people fully dependent on the Lord. What an opportunity for us as a church to lean into the hope and trust into which we are called. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. Oh, for grace to trust Him more.
The Board of Stewards: DeeAnne Bonebright, Rob Boyd, Dave Hansen, Lorilyn Hoglund, Tim Horn, Alice Magnuson, Adam Rynkiewich, Jackie Tollers, Catherine Westby