Pastor Andy shared today that he will be resigning his position as Associate Pastor. We know that change can be difficult, and want to make sure you have answers to your questions.
Why is Pastor Andy leaving?
Andy and his wife April have thoroughly enjoyed their time with New Hope Church and in the Tawas area. But as we learn through His Word and our own lives, God has a plan for each of us that we cannot control. Andy and April have chosen to follow God’s guidance to move out of Michigan. Andy has shared this plan with us before he even figured out all the details of how, when, and where, but he wanted to be completely honest and transparent with all of us, so we could all work through this transition together.
Where is he going to go?
Pastor Andy and April are still determining the right place for them. Alabama seems likely – Andy has family in Alabama, his parents and his brother both live there, and his brother may help Andy find a regular job at the company he works at. Andy knows he’d like to go back to school and study more before he pursues another position in ministry, but recognizes that his destination and plans are in God’s hands.
But there must be something else going on!?
We understand that change is difficult to understand, and sometimes it’s easy to expect fault and blame. But there is truly no problem, no one is at fault, and there’s definitely no blame. Coach Brock, Pastor Andy, all the staff, ministry leaders, the Board of Elders, and the Board of Directors have worked so well together for the past year, it’s easy to be sad that Andy’s time with us is coming to an end. Until we remember that it’s God’s will and that Andy and April are following the path that God has laid out for them. What could be more joyous than that? God has a plan for Andy and April, and He has a plan for New Hope.
So what exactly is that plan?
New Hope will search for a candidate to join our staff as an Associate Pastor, the same position that Pastor Andy held. We plan on having the Associate Pastor continue to be responsible for the CPR (Care, Prayer, Response) team, discipleship, and occasional sermons that Pastor Andy handled over the last year or so. However, we know that if an incredible pastor comes along with a passion for a different ministry, it could makes a lot of sense to accommodate a slightly different job description, if that fits what New Hope is all about. (What are we about? We love God, we love each other, and we do stuff!)
Is Pastor Andy leaving right away?
No. He is still working out the details of his move. The plan right now is for him to stay at New Hope for another three or four weeks, and possibly as long as a couple of months, depending on how his plans come together. We look forward to supporting him in this transition however we can, whether that means having him for a month or two or only a couple of weeks.
It could take a while to hire someone new. What’s going to happen until then?
We will split some of the responsibilities up among a few people on an interim basis to make sure everything gets the attention it needs until we find the right full-time pastor. We have a few candidates in mind, but it wouldn’t be right to list them here until we get a chance to talk to them first. Rest assured, anyone we entrust with administering to our community will truly have a heart for service and a love of God.
But do you have any leads for a new Associate Pastor?
We are blessed to have many connections with non-denominational churches throughout and beyond Michigan. We are reaching out to the people we know and helping them understand who New Hope is and what we are looking for. We are confident that this network of people who love and serve God will help us find the perfect match for us and our community.
What kind of person are you going to hire?
There are certain basic skills and experience that we will look for – providing ministry to a medium-sized congregation, a solid seminary education, and an ability to communicate Biblical truths both inter-personally and through preaching. But we will also look for the candidate to be aligned with New Hope’s theology, philosophy and methodology as well as an unwavering commitment to Jesus Christ and a deep love and compassion for people of all walks of life.
What else is going to change?
Nothing. We’ll still have service twice on Sundays (9:03 and 10:48), we’ll have the nursery open for both services, offer kid’s ministries during the late service, we’re getting ready to launch the Forty Days of Prayer small groups (make sure to join a small group!), we’ll have Bountiful Harvest before Thanksgiving, stuff boxes for Operation Christmas Child in November, celebrate Christmas, and keep up with all of the other incredible ministries and outreach that we currently provide.
We are going to miss Pastor Andy and his family terribly. They were all thoroughly entrenched in service here at New Hope and our community, whether it was Pastor Andy’s loving outreach, April’s work with the Impact Kids, or their kids leading worship in the kid’s ministry. They have made an impression that will be difficult to fill. But we are better for knowing them and experiencing their efforts, and we hope that this labor of love has changed them all for the better, too.
Who do I call if I need something?
Just like always, contact the New Hope office at 989.984.5400 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can make sure your request gets answered right away. We hope that you will reach out to any board members or ministry leaders you know if you have questions. And of course, Coach Brock is always available. Remember that God listens to all our prayers; He is our comfort and our companion. We will all rely on His loving guidance and strength to flourish during this transition.
Where can I send Pastor Andy a note?
How can we pray?
Unity and protection of our church family
Encouragement and fearlessness for Pastor Andy and his family
For the strength and wisdom of our church leadership
A clear focus and discernment in the search for an Associate Pastor
God to prepare the heart of whomever He guides to be our new Associate Pastor