Today I’m continuing to answer questions after my big announcement this past Sunday. Today we’ll look at two questions. One has to do with my plant and the other the future of United.
3. Can I just come up to Harrisburg each week to your new church? The simplest answer is, “Well it’s a free country we can’t stop you from doing that but…” and here’s where I want to give you some things to consider. First, traveling that distance each week will quickly get old. Second, you know that I’m big on you inviting people to come with you each week. Do you really think your unsaved neighbors, friends, co-workers and relatives are really going to want to drive an hour each week to get to church? No, so that’s why you being plugged into a local church is so important. Also, it’s hard to serve at a church when you live so far away. So for everybody’s sake it’s better if you remain at United/CFCOG and help the next guy take things to the next level.
Now with that being said, there will be opportunities for you to come up and serve in some short-term missions types of projects. Some of these will be during the week, others will be on the weekend. I guess what I’m saying is I’d love to see you help once, at the most twice, per year if you feel led to, but again for everyone’s sake….especially yours, it’s best for you to stay plugged in to the exciting things that are happening right here in Chambersburg.
Now I know for some of you this was not the answer you wanted to hear. So here is your option. Pray about actually moving to Harrisburg with us. Earl, the Elders and myself all feel that if someone is serious enough to make the move then none of us should stop it because it will need to be a God thing working in your life. What I mean by that is unless you really are a glutton for punishment then no one in their right mind would want to move, find new jobs, choose new schools, make new friends, etc, unless God was calling them to be a part of supporting me and the vision that God has given me to fulfill. If your seriously interested, I’d love to talk (firstname.lastname@example.org), but please make sure you’re motivation is to follow God not just follow Gilbert.
4. Who will be taking your place at United? Again the honest answer is I don’t know. Today an ad will be placed with the largest church staffing organization in the USA. Also, I and others have plenty of friends nationally that are a part of relevant ministries and so we are contacting them so they can think through their network of contacts for a possible right fit. Also we’ll be getting the word out through our denominational publications. I love what Galen said on Sunday, “Obviously if God is leading Gilbert to Harrisburg, it means He is leading someone else here”. I do truly believe that and what you can be doing is praying for the hiring team to make the right choice. That team is made up of people from all demographics of the church but primarily people who call United home. They will do their best to find someone to take United to levels I never even dreamed of. Also be praying for whoever that is that their heart would be open to God’s leading as they read an ad or hear about the opportunity.
Ideally within the next few weeks the team will have enough resumes that they can begin narrowing the stack down and actually begin the interviews. Again ideally we’d like to see someone in place during May so that there can be a brief overlap between their starting and my leaving. However, I know the hiring team and Council will not rush the process and just bring someone in for the sake of having someone on staff. Earl and the Elders are committed to having United be carried on as well if not even better than it currently is so if that takes longer, then it takes longer. In the short-term they may cause some temporary discomfort but in the long-term it will be very beneficial. If you have any questions about any of this, I know Earl would love to hear from you. email@example.com