When I was called as Senior Pastor six years ago, I began writing an annual letter. My intent was to give insight into where Sheridan’s ministry is and where I hoped we might go together. I keep writing it each year because of the positive feedback I receive.
I love our team. The longer I am in this privileged role of being the Senior Pastor at Sheridan, the more I appreciate the character of our team. This goes beyond our staff and includes our elected leaders, as well. We are far from perfect, but like most teams
These days I have been marveling at our longevity. Many of us have been together a long time. Even the newer members of our team feel like they have been part of our “family” for years. I believe that every organization does better with consistency. This has been proven, especially with churches. The longer the leadership stays intact, the stronger the organization.
One of my hobbies is to study management principles. (I only wish I had more time to do so!) The reason organizations are more successful when the leadership is consistent is because the culture and system become ingrained and nearly second nature. In other words, we know who we are and we know what we’re about. Those who are successful within any system give up a portion of themselves for the greater purpose of the organization. Again, this is especially true in the church. In that way, the putting to death one’s personal identity models the person we point to, Jesus Christ.
The great Lutheran theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, said, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” I see lots of “dying” in our ministry. Our staff works hard. Our Council members give of themselves – sharing their expertise and their precious time to enhance the ministry. Countless volunteers are using their gifts abundantly. So much sacrifice yields so much Christian love and care.
The thing about consistency is that it generates authenticity and creates trust. The longer we continue to be present, our true nature is revealed and it is clear that we are who we say we are. As the church, the longer we serve together in meaningful ways, the clearer it becomes that Jesus is who we proclaim him to be.
In a conversation about leadership, the author of the Book of Hebrews says it well. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” ~Hebrews 13:8
I remain privileged to proclaim Jesus as our servant and savior, in this place, with this team and with you.