Transition

March 8 Steward Team Update on Staff Transition

no_photoSteward Team Update on Staff TransitionMarch 8, 2015

Out of our living room conversation on February 26 regarding Jer’s transition came a few questions and comments that we would like to address. This blog will be the first of many in the months to come to update you on the transition and upcoming hiring. Our goal is to be transparent and communicate all that we can in a timely fashion. In this first post, we would like to highlight four specific questions that arose at and after the Living Room Session:

During this transition, what will communication from Steward Team to the community look like?

  • An update from Steward Team will be posted on our blog within a week following each Steward Team meeting (twice a month). This update will focus on our current process and key information our community should know. A link to the post will be found in the Pulse.
  • Monthly up-front updates will take place in our Gathering. The audio will be captured and posted to the blog.
  • Questions or comments about our staff transition can be sent to Ben Johanson (ben@abluedoor.com). We will set aside time each meeting to discuss these, and any other, questions/comments that have been brought to our attention.

How did the decision to call Dave as Directional Leader come to pass?

  • Steward Team & Hiring Team knew Jer was considering a transition in the coming years and thus both teams considered each candidate for the Pastor of Community Formation with this in mind. During Dave’s hiring process, Jer’s eventual transition was communicated and he accepted his position with this knowledge.
  • When the timeline of Jer’s transition became clear, a discernment process for Dave and Krissy, Steward Team and staff began in which we prayed and discussed Open Door’s next directional leader. Dave’s skills, passions, embodiment of family and previous experience led to a shared conclusion that Dave’s leadership is what we are seeking in the next season of Open Door.
  • In light of this decision, Steward Team wrote a letter inviting Dave to become our next Directional Leader. The letter affirmed Dave’s call to Open Door and spoke of his leadership up until this point as well as what we see in his future.
  • A transition timeline has been discussed with Dave assuming more of the responsibilities of the Directional Leader over the coming months and a formal commissioning on June 21. Jer will be sent by the community the following week (June 28).

What are your next steps toward hiring?

  • Heidi Brandow is in conversation with Dave and Elizabeth to develop staffing options. The next steps are as follows:
    • Heidi met with Dave and Elizabeth this past week (week of March 2) to develop two or three staffing recommendations, taking into consideration our current staff’s strengths and the present and growing needs of Open Door.
    • During Steward Team’s meeting on March 16, Heidi will present the recommendations.
    • After our meeting, Heidi, Dave, and Elizabeth will meet again to discuss and refine the recommendations.

Where are we at financially?

  • Because of the community’s faithfulness we are able to have these transition conversations unconstrained by our financial situation as we have been operating in the black for the fiscal year.
  • We will be putting new avenues of communication into place to provide financial updates to the community. Our intention is for the information to be accessible both on our website and in our Gathering.

Any questions or comments can be sent to ben@abluedoor.com. Steward Team’s next meeting is on March 16. Stay tuned!

With gratitude,

Ben, Brendan, Rebecca, Alison, Tony and Heidi

Elder Transition

Next Sunday, we'll officially kick off our annual Steward Team transition process. Steward Team is a community of elders that is made up of men & women who steward the holistic cultivation of The Open Door Community by listening for God’s dream for us and our context and mobilizing us to participate in His dream coming true (Acts 20:17-38; 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1).

Our elders serve for a three-year term and then cycle off.  This process is intentionally regenerative as it reminds us of our work to continue cultivating followers of Jesus.  Kara Lynch and Charlene O'Brien (2 of our original elders) will be cycling off the team in August.

Here's the road ahead:

  1. Next Sunday, June 1, we'll explore the role of eldership at our gathering and officially launch the process.
  2. On Tuesday, June 10, we'll do a communal day of fasting & prayer that will conclude at Brendan & Emily's home for prayer, silent nominations, and dinner.
  3. Nominations can be emailed to Emily anytime between June 1 and June 15.  Nominations conclude @ 6:30pm on June 15.  Please include your nomination's name and 3 reasons why you feel he or she is a viable candidate for Steward Team.
  4. On Wednesday, June 18, a team of leaders will process Open Door's nominations and make a recommendation to Steward Team.
  5. Our current Steward Team will begin conversations with candidates in July.
  6. 2 new elders will be commissioned in August.

The beauty of this process is that it creates a communal space for us to listen and be formed together.  I greatly encourage you to participate in it.

I pray a blessing on you and on us as we continue to become a worshiping family on mission.

Yours, Jer

Eldership & Open Door

As we understand it, the church is a community of people, led by Jesus, that embodies the Reconciling Mission of God here and now.  When we talk about the Church, we do so within at least three spheres: Universal (all followers of Jesus that span place and time); Regional (the localized Church represented in myriad expressions); and Local (the particular expression of the Church that is your "home" church). Since the inception of the Church, we have been a communally led organism.  Jesus is the Head and Chief Architect (Colossians 1:18) who leads through a community of elders: men and women who steward the holistic cultivation of a regional and/or local expression of the Church (Acts 20:17-38; 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1).

Elders lead in three ways. First, they Follow in the Way of Jesus (Acts 20:18-19).  They are men and women who are not not perfect but are Rooted in Christ, Woven together as family, Extend Sacrificial Love, and Cultivate others to be & do the same.  Second, they Oversee the Body (Acts 20:28).  They carefully consider the overall health of the church and champion the mission by listening well and guiding the community to live out what we hear Jesus saying to us.  Third, they Cultivate others  (Acts 20:24, 27).  They have the Gospel burning in them; they know the Scriptures; they share freely in word and in life what Jesus is saying to them; and they experientially train others to be & do the same.

Due to the influence that this community has within the larger community, the qualifications for elder-ship are stringent (1 Timothy offers sixteen qualifications in seven verses!).

  • Above reproach: they have wrestled blatant, overt, public, sinful behavior.  They have authentically acknowledged their own sin with others and are no longer captive.
  • Not a polygamist: Marriage doesn't seem to be a requirement of elder-ship.  However, if married, they are living in covenant commitment with their spouse.  if not married.
  • Sober Minded, Self-Controlled: they have control of their appetites.
  • Respectable: they demonstrate a keen awareness of their strengths, weaknesses, limitations, and belovedness by God.
  • Hospitable: they consistently open themselves and their homes to strangers (lost, different, least of these)
  • Not violent or quarrelsome, but gentle: they can graciously disagree.
  • Free from love of money: they are courageously generous.
  • Manage household well: they prioritize the cultivation of their family.
  • Not new converts: they are seasoned followers of Jesus.
  • Good reputation: they are in good standing with those outside of the community (friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc.)

Every year, we go through a process of elder transition for two reasons: First, we want to be regenerative in our leadership process.  If we are serious about cultivating followers of Jesus, we should always have a growing number of people who can serve in the capacity of elder.  Second, we want new perspectives on our Steward Team.  This is helpful in keeping our posture humble and our ears open to what Jesus is saying to us.

Ultimately, our dream is to see heaven and earth woven together again in the East Bay and Beyond.  We believe that this dream comes true as we become communities of people who embody the Reconciling Mission of God from within the spaces we live, work, and play.  Our elders are men and women who lead by living out this kind of life.

 You are invited into our process of Elder Transition.

  1. Nominate someone for our Steward Team by emailing Faye.  All nominations will be kept anonymous.  Nominations should include the person's name and 2-3 bullet points that clearly demonstrate why this person should be considered as a candidate for Steward Team.  Nominations are due by 12:00pm on Tuesday, June 18th.
  2. Join us on Monday, June 17th for a communal fast.  Throughout the day, please pray over our Steward Team (Kara, Tim, Ben, Tony, Charlene, Jer), our Staff (Jer & Elizabeth), our Leaders (Lead Team, Resource Team, Teaching Team), our Community, and our Context.
  3. Join us on Monday evening @ 7pm for a time of Listening & Prayer that will conclude with Silent Nominations and a delicious soup & bread dinner at the Hasegawa's home.
  4.  Nominations are due by 12pm (Noon!) on Tuesday, June 18th.

From there, the list of nominations will be considered by our Lead Team who will make a recommendation to Steward Team about how they should proceed.  Steward Team will consider the recommendation and begin a process with potential candidates.  Our desire is that our two new elders will be in place by the end of August.