Below, you'll find a letter that we passed out (to those who could be there) detailing the contents of the meeting. Now that its contents are public knowledge, I'll be able to communicate a little more openly about what's going on.
I would definitely appreciate your prayers...
Dear Riptide parents and students,
Every August, Journey hosts a conference on leadership called the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. I’ve learned a lot from the summit, including what Bill Hybels calls his “three C’s” of hiring. He says that, when looking to bring somebody onto a team, you have to look at three things about the person: character, competency, and chemistry. In order for any ministry team to be healthy, it has to have all three. The people on the team have to love God, they have to know how to do their job well, and they have to be a good fit within the team.
Character is checked, but almost assumed when you join the team. Competency is needed, but it also can be taught in training and increased through experience. But, you can’t teach chemistry. It’s either there or it’s not. Chemistry is really important on a ministry team. But, it’s even more important amongst the leaders. In order for any ministry to achieve its full potential, its leaders have to be on the same page; they have to be able to work together cohesively.
The past 2 ½ years have been filled with a lot of change and success in both myself and Riptide, and we have much to celebrate. But, due to differences in personality and methodology among our student ministries pastor team, they’ve also been tough. During the most recent months, Brian and I have been in prayer and discussion with our senior pastor (Mike Burns), with spiritual mentors in our lives, and with one another about what the best course of action would be as a result of these challenges. Eventually, this led to the decision for me to leave Journey. Even though this wasn’t my idea, after much prayer, fasting and thought, I can say that God has given me a big peace about it.
This has been a very difficult leadership decision for both Brian and I, which we are now trying to navigate through the best way that we know how. It was made especially difficult because it wasn’t brought about by any type of moral failure on my part or ministry crisis in the Middle School ministry. (Those are obvious and easy reasons to decide to part ways.) But rather, it was made out of a desire to see Journey’s student ministries be able to reach it’s full potential; a goal that is bigger than any of the pastoral team.
So, what does this mean in the immediate future for Riptide?
Please know that both Brian and I are available to talk about this transition. We know that it while it could be difficult, it can be endured if we work together. As a result we would appreciate your prayer and support throughout this process. We are praying for God’s best for the future and ask that you would join us in our desire to see this be a smooth and God led transition.
Joshua W. Treece
Middle School Pastor