Monday, May 04, 2009

Otter Creek News

It's been a tumultuous 18 months at Otter Creek, from a staffing perspective. In December of 2007, our worship minister Brandon Scott Thomas announced that he was moving out of full-time ministry and into a new field of labor. Our minister of spiritual formation, Scott Owings, announced in April of last year that he was moving from church ministry into being a hospice chaplain. And in June of 2008, our preaching minister Tim Woodroof announced that he was stepping down.

Like I said, a tumultuous time at Otter Creek.

Well, over the past year, these positions have been slowly filling. We hired Murray Sanderson (blog) to be the worship minister. Sheryl and I have greatly enjoyed getting to know Murray and Jaime over the last 6 months, as well as working and partnering with them in ministry. Doug Sanders has been doing a lot of the congregational care work that Scott did, in addition to the benevolence work that he does.

The one position that hasn't been filled was teaching minister. And honestly, it wasn't as big a hole as I thought it was. Otter Creek was very fortunate to have a lot of men in place that could step easily into a pulpit. We got to experience some of Prentice Meador's last sermons. We've been able to hear from men like Lee Camp, John York, and our Youth minister David Rubio. Some incredible teachers. Like I said, it didn't feel like a huge hole, a big one, but not like the heart of Otter Creek was missing, because the heart of Otter Creek has never been her preachers. Preachers come and go; the people of the church are her heart. However, there was a continual question in people's minds. Who will be the next minister/teacher?

Yesterday, the Otter Creek elders answered that question and announced that we won't have just one, but two. The elders announced the hiring of Josh Graves and David Rubio to team teach. I honestly don't know a ton about Josh. I know that he's worked with Lee Camp some and I've heard him talk once or twice at Zoe. But he did an excellent job when he preached here on Palm Sunday and I really enjoyed that. I know Rubio very well and have talked with him several times. I really think that he is going to be a great teacher for us, moving from youth ministry to adult ministry over the next 15 months with Josh.

I'm honestly not that surprised at a team approach to this. I know many people at Otter that value having multiple voices and perspectives to hear from, much as we've had for the last 9 months, and especially the last 4 months or so, and so to continue that is very gratifying to hear. I am a little surprised at the youth of the team. Josh is 30 and David is 37. I had thought that the elders would choose an older/younger combination, not having both teachers be younger, but it's something that's exciting to see as well.

I'm very excited about this next step in Otter Creek's story. I think the elders and the minister search committee have made wise choices in this decision and I think that teaching that we're going to get over the next year, both theologically and practically, is going to be some of the best we've ever had. I think they are going to encourage us to walk in the way of Jesus with boldness and heart for the world around us. I pray that we as the church will have ears to hear what God will say through these two men and then the hearts to act on it.

Video Announcement

You can also listen to the announcement here.


Royce Ogle said...

We have had a "team" of pulpit guys for years now and it works out wonderfully well. Sometimes they preach together, or take turns but always do a gret job.

I worship at Whites Ferry Road in West Monroe, La.


Jennifer Thompson said...

I am SO incredibly excited about this. I've gotten to know the Rubios pretty well through the youth ministry, and I can't think of a better couple to be in this position. I cry tears of joy right along with Ken Switzer every time I think about it. :) I didn't get to hear Josh live, but really liked his sermon and class when I heard them online. I think this is going to be a great, great step for OC.

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