With the recent decision from Joe Fleener to take up a position in leading a new church plant in Christchurch, the elders have been meeting to discuss future staffing for HBC. There were many things for us to consider, including:
- Strengths and weaknesses in the present ministries of HBC
- Areas where leadership is most needed
- The replacement of the Associate Pastor
- The ongoing need to train new pastors and leaders
We realised this was not a task that could be accomplished in just a few weeks. A full assessment of these things may take some months. At the same time the elders needed to consider the present staff – i.e. who the Lord had given to us right now.
This led us to a discussion about Jonathan Macfarlane and his future. We wholeheartedly believe that Jonathan has the call of God upon him to be a minister of the gospel and that we as a congregation have witnessed the necessary gifts and abilities that accompany such a call. However, further development in leading, shepherding, preaching, counselling as well as experience in general pastoral work (other than youth) would be helpful before he ventures off into his own ministry.
We therefore saw it as both prudent and timely to offer Jonathan a full-time position as an Assistant Pastor so that these things can be developed. Jonathan will be working closely alongside myself in carrying out general pastoral duties as well as picking up some of the administrative load that Joe has been carrying. He will continue to lead the Youth ministry and will also take up some new leadership responsibilities.
Jonathan and his wife Lauren have accepted this invitation enthusiastically and are looking forward to ministering amongst us all in this new role. Working two jobs has not been easy for Jonathan and he is looking forward to focusing and channelling his energies in the one thing he loves doing. Jonathan’s new role comes into effect on May 1st with a special commissioning service on Sunday May 4th.
We believe that you as a congregation will do all you can to support this in prayer and encouragement and we look forward to seeing what the Lord will do in and through them.
On behalf of the elders of HBC,