Part of German law and work culture is that any worker automatically starts work with a 6 month trial. Either parties - employer or employee can terminate their agreement without explanation. We have just experienced this as a church. The newly installed pastor came to the personal conclusion that it was not a good fit and to the shock of the leadership and membership informed the body that he would no longer remain as pastor.
It took two years to find and install a German pastor, so this was not only a disappointment, but also a challenge to begin the process again. It has been a learning curve for sure and we will revisit some of our interview process to identify and inform as to our particular church culture. In the meantime I have been requested to step back in a provide stability and direction. Getting to the goal line has unfortunately meant that it will have included a fumble - being the first time for us personally and corporately, we have had to write the book for future church plants who desire to have a smooth transition.
Pray for the church as they process rumors and accusations - Satan desires to destroy and injure.
TRAVEL AND SPEAKING
I have been requested to speak at a couple of churches across Europe and our first stop in May was at the church pastored by Tarl Reeves and Justin Rhodes. These men have been able to replant a dormant church with an exciting and growing attendance. I spoke three times to their men and church body during our 10 days in London.
At the end of June I am scheduled to fill in for a church in Belgium, whose pastor was informed his residency visa would not be renewed from within the country, he would need to reapply from the U.S.A.
These dates were scheduled prior to our new pastor resigning, so I will honor those dates which also challenges our leadership to preach in my absence. The group of godly men has risen to the occasion and their presence is now more evident to the membership for which I am so thankful.
Praise: Church leadership has grown through the shock of leadership change.
Prayer: Focus on reaching out with the Gospel, even unplanned changes alter your immediate focus.