Pastor Transition Team
With the church calling Chris Johnson on July 23 to serve as co-pastor with Don Guthrie, the senior pastor transition effort shifted from the Pastor Search Committee to the Transition Team, which consists of Don Guthrie, Chris Johnson, Aaron Hufty, Blake Coffee, Jane Witcher, and William Nichols (chair). Serving in an ex-officio capacity are Thomas Faught (deacon chair) and Byron Bexley (pastor search committee chair).
The Transition Team’s purpose is fourfold:
• Be friends with Don and Chris, serving as support and accountability partners throughout the transition and helping coach and nurture both men throughout the process.
• Prevent a potential leadership vacuum by helping ensure Don and Chris have an effective transition of responsibilities and duties, which each understands and positively embraces.
• Create documents that
– avoid legalism but provide a constructive framework for transition;
– articulate clear expectations for Don and Chris;
– define guiding processes and responsibilities; and
– record the transition narrative and agreements.
• Prayerfully serve as an objective body able to navigate emerging situations throughout the transition process to help ensure Don, Chris and the church abide by transition intent, commitments and agreements.
The planned transition period will be a “two preachers, one senior pastor” construct. While Don and Chris will both preach during the transition, Don will maintain his role as the senior pastor until the Transition Team senses it’s time for Chris to assume those responsibilities (planning for summer 2018). Once Chris assumes the senior pastor role, he and Don will continue sharing preaching opportunities until Don’s anticipated retirement in the summer of 2019.
A Prayer to be Humble
"Thank You, Jesus, for being our model of a humble servant. We pray for Don and Chris and for all our pastors and staff as they humbly submit their lives to You and to each other for the sake of Your work here. Fill this body with Your Spirit, equipping us to serve together in humility, in harmony, and in unity for Your glory and for the sake of Your kingdom. Amen"
A Prayer of Welcome
"Father, thank you for the privilege to welcome Chris, Amy, Avery and Ellie Johnson to the First Baptist Church family and we humbly renew our commitment to seek your Holy Spirit’s guidance as we participate in this time of transition for Chris, Don, their families and this church. We remain confident in your sovereign and perfect plan to lead this church in this city at this time, and we look forward with great anticipation to serving you in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. Amen."
A Prayer for Details
"Lord, there are a thousand logistical details still to be worked out surrounding the Johnson's move here this week and next. We hold those details before you with con dence, knowing that you are a God of details. Your presence during this transition process has been clear. Thank you, Lord, for continuing to make the way straight. Amen."
A Prayer for Guidance
"Our Father, Lamentations reminds us that Your mercies are new every morning. Through Your mercy, we have been led by a wonderful shepherd leader and staff. In Your mercy, You are now sending a new shepherd to serve with them. By Your mercy, we are being prepared for this new season. We trust You to guide each of us in Your ways in the days ahead."
A Prayer for Discernment
“Father, we now have the names of the prospective co-pastor and his family for whom we have been praying. We lift Chris, Amy, Avery and Ellie Johnson before you as they join us in praying for discernment. Their current church, Chalk Bluff Baptist Church in Waco, also joins us in this prayer process. Show us your will. Make your desire clear for us as we all explore the exciting possibilities of a new chapter ahead.”
A Prayer for Relationships with City Leaders
"Father, as we look toward a transition to a prospective new senior pastor, help him establish and grow cooperative and courageous relationships with our city's leaders. Thank You for the opportunity to participate in Your work in San Antonio through this downtown church. We pray for the Holy Spirit's leadership as our Pastor Search Team continues its work and may we glorify and serve You well in this city."