LifePoint Family and Friends,
In a sermon several weeks ago, I reminded our church family that Jesus is the head of the church. That reality is a comforting, non-negotiable for me. I’m honored to serve as your Senior Pastor, but ultimately, it’s Jesus who is in charge.
That same week, I announced some of the details of the plan for my succession. It’s hard to believe I’ve served at our church for 34 years! Tricia and I are so incredibly grateful to God and to our church family for the privilege of ministry all these years. About 7 years ago, I started conversations with a select few about the reality that one day I would step away from my role as Senior Pastor of LifePoint Church. It just seemed like it was wise to anticipate the inevitable. As one writer says, “Every pastor is an interim pastor.”
I and the other elders want to get this process right! And we want our church to have plenty of time to hear the details about my departure long before I actually leave. So, here’s the plan. We will begin a nationwide search for my replacement beginning this fall. We’ve allowed a year for that process. We will look for someone who embodies the DNA of LifePoint and who is a champion of the liberating message of God’s grace.
Once my replacement joins our staff, I will work with him in a relationship of shared responsibilities and mentoring for up to a year. I’m anticipating that this will be an exciting year of transition for our church. Once the Senior Pastor mantle is officially passed, I will begin a year-long sabbatical as I plan for my next adventure. I’m personally energized by this process and am trusting God to guide us all.
If you missed the church service where I shared these details, it’s not too late to catch-up. Just click on this link or watch the video below and you can experience not only my words and heart behind this news, but you’ll also see a recorded Zoom meeting of the elders. In that video we process together more of the details of my departure and our church’s plans for the future.
I’m still around several more years. I love what I get to do. I have lots of gas left in my tank. And I continue to be honored and humbled to serve alongside each of you as we fulfill our mission of influencing people to find and follow Jesus. And don’t forget, in spite of the Covid curveball, we are still the church—still empowered by God to become the people He wants us to be!
Gratefully in His grace,
Joe Duke
Sr. Pastor