The Leadership Transition Team is pleased to announce that the interview process is complete, and on behalf of the team I will announce the names of the six men the LTT is nominating for election as our first Elders. The announcement will be made in both worship services. After the first service, you will find booklets in the foyer with the testimonies of the men. We would ask that you take one per family and that you read those carefully. It is our belief that when you hear the names, you will rejoice and praise God for His leadership in this process.
When the announcement is made Sunday, a timeline will be shared that leads to the election event. That timeline will appear on the church web site next week. Please come with an expectant heart. If you must be gone this Sunday, the testimony booklets will be available at the church during the week and will be in the foyer again on the Sundays leading to the actual vote.
I encourage you to read below the thoughts of one of the LTT members concerning the six men whose names you will hear this Sunday. Written by Jason Goings late last night following our last interview, the article captures the heart of this entire process.
God bless you , church. It is a joy to serve with you as your Senior Pastor. Thank you for the love and encouragement and prayer that we have sensed during this entire time of seeking God’s will for our part of the Body of Christ.
– Brother Andy
God moves in mysterious ways. His grace and work is a marvelous thing to behold and a humbling thing to celebrate. For the past two and half years I have served on the Leadership Transition Team for our church. Our quest has been to present to the First Baptist Belton family qualified men for an up or down vote to become our first body of elders. Eventually the process led to us interviewing six men (and their wives) and tonight we completed that task. The Leadership Transition Team joyfully agrees that all six of these couples are worthy elder candidates.
Having sat with and interviewed each couple I am compelled to share what all six of these men model for our church family:
- Strong Work Ethic
Each one of these men has a story of valuing hard work. None of these men are whiners as they have a proven reputation for “rolling up your sleeves” to do the necessary (and sometimes impossible work). I loved that each one seemed to testify about seasons of their lives that called for them to push through for the sake of something beautiful, meaningful and good. These are not weak or lazy men.
- Strong Commitment to Learning
These are educated men. It was never the intent of the Leadership Transition Team to look for men with degrees or scholastic achievements. In fact, I cannot remember that question ever coming up. Not all of these men have achieved the same scholastic goals but that’s only because they had different scholastic goals. However, what they do all have in common is their pursuit of knowledge. I enjoyed hearing each couple speak about growing their minds and their pursuit of learning. These are not foolish or childish men.
- Solid commitment to teaching and understanding Scripture These men not only value the teaching of the Scriptures but they love and feel compelled to be one who teaches it. They hunger for God’s word and are passionate about the word of God abiding in the hearts of every member in our church. When asked about cultural or societal pressures, every man referenced the need to know the Bible. When these men are squeezed, the Bible comes out of them. These men will not stand for First Baptist being biblically ignorant.
- Leading through pain and difficulty These men shared stories of great hope, joy, and oneness with Christ while at the same time sharing specific and personal moments of trial, pain and suffering. I loved hearing how God had pulled them through difficult times and how He enabled them to lead with zeal, courage, and brokenness. These men have suffered loss and failure yet know the joy of seeing God work through it all. These men are not given to self-pity, but hope-filled trust in a sovereign Lord.
- Humility in marriage Watching these couples interact during the interview was a true joy. If there are some who are concerned about male leadership or the future of ministry to women, you need to know these men. These marriages are pure, romantic, holy, fun, playful, and inspiring. The smiles on each wife revealed a contentment that cannot be manufactured but instead displayed a pleasure of being married to a humble man. These men honor and serve their wives.
- Humility in service to the church These men love this church. They have devoted many hours in service for the equipping, stability, and future of this church body. They have served publicly and privately and have done it with the humility of Christ. They have given so much of their lives, families, and gifts to First Baptist Belton. These men are active, faithful, and loyal members.
- Decisiveness With a biblical foundation, passion for the church family, and compassion for the unchurched these men will not back down or procrastinate in making Spirit-led decisions. As their stories would unfold, I would hear about tough decisions that were made that would reveal the level of faith each one has. As the couples shared, I was impressed to hear the confidence that they have in God’s leadership which leads them to act and live boldly. These men are not wishy-washy.
- Imperfect but saved I love that each man that sat before us did not try to make much of himself. When they referenced any transition, success, progress or achievement it was always in humility admitting that God’s grace is the reason. Not one of these men would dare say that his work ethic, commitment to learning, teaching ability, leadership experiences, marriage, service or decision making is worthy of eldership. All of them humbly submit to the truth of their own salvation; namely, that they are saved and the men they are today because of the grace of God poured out on their lives -only deserving of Hell, never deserving of God’s favor. These men know what it means to be saved and they celebrate it with all their lives.
I never sat out to write this blurb about these men. However, after finishing the last interview I was inspired to notice what all of them have in common. First Baptist Belton, the Leadership Transition Team believes that these imperfect men are worthy candidates for eldership.
– Jason Goings