New Hire Communication & Next Steps

Friends: 11 months ago (January, 2013), Steward Team had determined that it was mission critical for us to expand our staff and that our next hire would be a Pastor/Shepherd. As the year progressed, our mission of cultivating Jesus followers expanded beyond our Gathering to include Circles.  Our Gathering is designed to help us become a Worshipping Family while Circles are designed to help us become a Family on Mission.  We are watching as the fusion of these two expressions along with the mobilizing of Pastor/Shepherds within our community is contributing to the care & holistic cultivation of Jesus Followers who are Rooted, Woven, Extending, & Cultivating. The growth & fruit is obvious as is the impact beyond the immediate Open Door Community, but so much more is possible.

As Steward Team explored the Pastor/Shepherd hire with Open Door through four Living Room Sessions in January and one Round Table Conversation in April, two things became clear:

  1. Expanding & diversifying our staff to equip & mobilize Open Door into our mission of cultivating Jesus Followers is essential.
  2. The hunch that the new staff member needed to be a Pastor/Shepherd came more from a desire to compensate for where we felt deficient than forming a staff that mobilizes and equips the community for mission.

In October, Steward Team dedicated its entire weekend-long retreat to clarifying how our mission is lived out and determining how that mission is best supported with staff. After consulting with a team of non-profit organizational experts (Dave & Maya Smith, Kate Schwass) and past elders (Tim Halls, Kerry O'Brien), Steward Team has concluded that we are moving forward to expand our paid staff from 1.5 to 2.5 people.  Our paid staff will include Jer, Elizabeth, and our New Hire.

  • 1.5 staff will be dedicated to helping us become a Worshipping Family and will focus on equipping and mobilizing people for ministry in and through our Gatherings.
  • 1 staff will be dedicated to helping us become a Family on Mission and will focus on equipping and mobilizing people into mission within the spaces we live/work/play through Circles.

Here are the immediate next steps:

  1. Job Descriptions will be finalized by Steward Team.  Our goal is to have this completed by the end of the year.
  2. Kate Schwass has been invited to and has accepted the role of co-leading our Hiring Team.  The Hiring Team will be in place by mid-January and will begin their work of developing our hiring process and casting the net internally and externally for the appropriate candidates.
  3. Our desire is to have our new hire in place by the end of April, 2014.

Here are the financial implications:

  1. We will need to bring in $15,700 monthly in order to successfully & adequately staff our mission.  This will require a monthly increase of $4,700.
  2. In the meantime, we have a runway to help us fund this increase due to the Reserve Account that has been building for more than two years. While this is helpful, when we deplete the Reserve Account, it's gone, making this a significant risk that we're willing to take.

Here is our invitation of you:

  1. Would you consider seeding this next step with a significant year-end gift?  Gifts can be given at our gathering and online anytime between now and December 31.
  2. If you are not currently contributing financially to what God is doing in & through Open Door would you please begin through a monthly gift?  Start with a day's wages every month or commit a set percentage of your annual income.  You can set up your account and begin giving online on Dwolla. ("The Open Door Community" ID 812-632-9836)
  3. If you are giving, would you consider increasing your monthly giving by a set percentage or by a day's wages? Adjustments to your current giving are easy to do on Dwolla.("The Open Door Community" ID 812-632-9836)
  4. Please pray over Steward Team, the Hiring Team, and the individual that God is in store to serve with us.
  5. Please feel free to respond directly to Ben Johanson from Steward Team with any questions that you have.

We've never been more excited about how God is weaving heaven & earth together again in and through The Open Door Community.  Greater things are yet to come!

With you, Open Door's Steward Team

(2013) Mission Critical Hunch #2

If we want to expand from a Gathering-Centric Program to Holistic Cultivation, we must strengthen & diversify our leadership staff to include a Pastor/Shepherd.

As Steward Team has explored options for expanding The ODC Staff, two options have surfaced as the most viable roles.

First we could expand to include an Administrator to sustain or even enhance what is.  The problem is that "what is" doesn't seem to be leading us in the direction of holistic cultivation and is extending us beyond our capacities.

Our second option is to expand to include a Pastor/Shepherd to support us as we take new steps into our future.

"But wait...isn't Jer our Pastor?!"

Absolutely.  Yes.  But I am a certain kind of pastor.

In Ephesians 4:11-12, Paul offers a picture of the servant leadership of a local church for the sake of its unity, maturity, & mission-living.  The great surprise is that, rather than describing the characteristics and qualifications for one person, he offers a constellation of five different kinds of leaders.

The Apostle: Pioneer, Innovator, Activator, Vision-Caster, Direction, Mission                   The Prophet: Truth Teller, Growth, Transformation, Faithfulness                                        The Evangelist: Inspirer, Networker, Host, Recruiter                                                               The Teacher: Integrates Word & Life, Wisdom, Systemizer, Instructor                                The Pastor/Shepherd: Nurturer, Soul-Care, People-Developer, Unifier, Community Developer

According the leadership constellation that Paul offers, I am an apostolic leader that teaches.  This doesn't mean that I'm not pastoral.  What it means is that I am a Kingdom-entrepreneur who gives my life to imagining a better, flourishing future & equipping and mobilizing men and women into God's mission for the sake of the watching world.  I'm someone who pushes the envelope on where & how the lived & narrated Gospel could go.  It also means that I don't spend my life investing in the soul-care & belonging of the people on the mission.

A Pastor/Shepherd is one who focuses on the mission by attending to the soul-care & development of the people who are on the mission. This is someone uniquely gifted to help us draw on God’s strength to live out what He’s calling us to. This person helps us pay attention to moments of dissonance, transition, & burn out, and celebrates victories with us. A Pastor/Shepherd helps to cultivate our rootedness as we weave together to extend further.

After exploring both options, our hunch is that by adding the leadership of a Pastor/Shepherd to our staff, we will become more complete as a community and, as a result, more and more people will become cultivated to follow Jesus into the lives of more people in the East Bay & Beyond.

Click Here to for Mission Critical Hunch #3