A new associate pastor in 2017
Dear Brothers and sisters at Stromlo
Following the vote to approve Dan as our next Senior Pastor, I shared with the congregation our follow-on plans for seeking an associate pastor for 2017.
In brief, the council needed only to prepare for one variable. If Dan was not nominated or approved as the new Senior Pastor, then he would likely remain the Associate Pastor, at least for 2017. If Dan was approved as the Senior Pastor, then Dan would be seeking an Associate to join him as soon as possible.
To expedite the potential for an Associate to be available to join Dan and Stromlo in 2017, the council made a number of enquiries and followed different leads about possible candidates. When it became clear that the Selection Panel were looking seriously at Dan, we approached a potential candidate and talked with Dan and Skye about this person. Dan was keen to pursue the potential to work with this person.
After Dan was interviewed by the Selection Panel and informed that he would be nominated (on Sunday 18th September) the council approached Dan about arranging an interview with the potential candidate that week, before the Evers went on holidays. This was arranged quickly and Dan, together with the council, led an interview on Wednesday 21st September.
After deliberations, listening to sermons, checking with referees, and following a number of meetings with the potential candidate, Dan and I (with the support of the council) offered the candidate a position as Associate Pastor, subject to Dan’s appointment. The candidate understood clearly that if Dan was not appointed, then there would be no formal offer.
There were two particular reasons for moving this process along in the background.
- The candidate was receiving strong interest from other FIEC churches, and at least 6 FIEC churches were looking for pastors in 2017.
- If we waited until after Dan’s formal appointment to begin the process, then it was highly unlikely we would find a suitable pastor to assist Dan for 2017. This would have placed considerable additional strain on Dan in his first year as Senior Pastor.
Following the vote last Sunday, we made a formal offer to Paul Avis to become Associate Pastor at Stromlo from 2017. Paul enthusiastically accepted this offer, giving the following reply:
I’m really pleased to hear that Dan was voted in as Senior Pastor this morning. I’m delighted to accept your formal offer to join the team as Associate for 2017. Zoe and I will be thinking of and praying for you, Dan, and all at Stromlo with the plans of the next few months. Looking forward to talking further soon.
Paul is married to Zoe and they have a little boy, Eddie, and another child due in December. We will share more information about Paul with you in time, but a brief introduction to Paul, in the form of his CV, is attached below for you to look over.
Here are a few words from Dan:
I am thrilled that Paul has accepted the offer to work in the role of Associate Minister. From my interactions with Paul he strikes me as a humble, godly and capable man. He is eager to see the kingdom of God grow and God’s people equipped for ministry. I believe that Paul will make an excellent addition to the staff team at Stromlo and will be a good compliment to myself, Sarah Rootes, and other leaders in the church. Paul comes with a good understanding of independent evangelical churches and is familiar with life and ministry in Canberra.
I understand that some of you at Stromlo have known Paul and Zoe in different contexts. We have heard good things about them from some of you. While Skye and I had not met them, we connected when they visited Stromlo earlier in the year. We had them over for lunch and got to know each other a little. I’ve also been able to meet one on one with Paul. Further, we talked about ministry possibilities together at the FIEC conference in September. Coincidentally, Paul was the recent speaker at our Ultimate youth camp and we have received positive feedback about his talks and interpersonal ministry.
I am very much looking forward to working alongside Paul and partnering with him in gospel ministry at Stromlo into the years to come.
We are grateful to God for his provision for Stromlo. I am personally excited that God has graciously given us the Dan and Paul to lead us into the future. I thank again the selection panel for their work in identifying and nominating Dan. And I thank the council for their diligence in preparing for the future and working towards being able to offer the position of associate to Paul.
My plans are to formally finish at the end of January 2017. I will take leave from just before Christmas, to refresh before starting the FIEC National Director role in February. Dan will be inducted as the new Senior Pastor at the beginning of February.
Please be praying for the Evers and Avis families. Pray also for our church as we go through a process of transition.
Yours, in Christ
Dave McDonald (and Dan Evers)