Over a year ago, we engaged an outside consulting firm called “Unstuck” to assist us in evaluating our present condition as a congregation and guide us in decisions for effective, Kingdom centered, ministry into the decades ahead. The results uncovered needs for clarifying our values and enhancing our communications, doing some “positioning” for challenges we can realistically foresee in the years ahead, and moving ahead with some urgent tasks today.
One of those urgent tasks was a reorganization of our ministry structures to better accomplish our ministry priorities. This took on immediate status as our Minister to Children, Beverly Hughes, decided to resign to focus on family and personal concerns. The “Unstuck” process had prepared us for attending to “Family” ministry and the opportunity to align major components of our congregation with the call of a new Pastor to give focus to that area.
Early this year, the Elders and I agreed that we could benefit from the accountability and expertise of engaging an outside entity that would assist and enhance our search for a Family Pastor. We contracted with the Vanberbloemen Search Group, a respected entity with expertise in these endeavors. They guided us in the process of determining our needs, developing a Position Description, as well as providing a nation-wide search for appropriate candidates.
Early in May of this year, we were presented with 4 viable candidates who had interest and experience in this area of ministry. A group of “stakeholders” were invited to join the Elders in exploring God’s affirming direction to the single candidate best suited to the needs and future hopes of our congregation. These stakeholders represented Children’s and Youth ministry, Deacons, missions, as well as a few other congregational leaders. We were led to a single candidate, Bobby Cook, to present to our congregation for affirmation. The congregation overwhelmingly voted to call Bobby to be our Family Pastor. Bobby will be joining us around July 10th, and you will have the opportunity of hearing him preach at both services on July 17th.
Bobby brings the right mix of experience, education, and sensitivity to God’s Spirit to shepherd this important component of our church’s ministry. He will be overseeing and coordinating the ministry to those elements of our congregation from “birth to college”, with attention to encouraging families in their spiritual development. I can already sense the blessing this will provide to our church as Bobby brings his unique gifts to ministry in our community.
You will have ample opportunities to meet Bobby and his lovely family as we get closer to the fall and their move is completed. Join me in welcoming him and praying for him, his wife, Kim and their 3 sons, as they make this transition to Woodbridge and First Baptist Church.
In His grace,