"Well done, EBC!"
"What can you celebrate?"
The question hung in the air for a while as our new Lead Pastor provided an opportunity for leaders to share encouraging stories with the other teams represented.
There were some exciting reports of God's provision, community engagement, and faith decisions - but as I let the question settle in my own heart and mind, I began to realise that what our church community was experiencing overall was worthy of exuberant celebration.
It's easy to overlook, but leadership transition in a church community is hard work, and when it isn't handled well - well, let's just say it often isn't handled well.
As I look back over the last 3-6 months, I am super-proud of Edwardstown Baptist Church. Saying good-bye to our much-loved Pastor Joe and his wife Michelle so generously, and being able to recognise the "rightness" to appoint Pastor Dale in succession - well done, God's people!
Leadership transition in the life of a church is 'vulnerability personified' - at best, it can equate to stagnation, and at worst - it can be just plain ugly. In fact, I would go so far as to say that churches are renowned for making transition ugly - and EBC is certainly not immune to that characterisation.
But we are in the midst of seeing what's possible when we refuse to give into the fears that so easily bubble up.
After being on the leadership group for 5 years, I step into a break from the role as Elder with a deep sense of satisfaction - it IS possible for a church community to journey into the unknown together - with trust in God, respect for each other, and a sense of expectation for the future.
I can't wait to see what God has for His people as we accept His invitation into the next season of His mission together.