About 8 months ago one of our pastors decided that it was time to go plant a new church. At the exact same time as this decision, we had been laying the groundwork for our first multi-site effort. We (the Lead Pastor, he and I) spent a great deal of time praying and talking about whether his new work would be a church plant of our church, a satellite campus, video venue or just have no affiliation with our church at all. Ultimately, our friend made the decision for us.
He wanted to structure this new church in a way that would not fit any of the concepts that we were working on. It had to be it’s own entity with no connection to us.
That was hard.
We looked for a win-win solution for both our friend and our church. He had been a key leader for several years, and a gifted communicator. Our church was better with him, and our church was good for him. We decided that we would try to keep him on staff for close to a year, while slowly decreasing his responsibilities and allowing him to ramp up the new church. Planting a church is challenging, and this would give him financial stability and continuity as he began. It would also allow us to keep him in the teaching rotation, and benefit from his gifts.
There were leaders in our church that challenged me on the wisdom of this arrangement. In business, (and in many churches) once you announce your are leaving – you’re out. But we were convinced that we could make this work. The three us have met together most every week for a time of prayer and accountability. We have committed to communicate and be honest with one another throughout the process. There are times that is easy, and others…well “not so much”.