MEDIA STATEMENT ABOUT THE ROC
I understand that my departure from the Senior Pastor position at The Richmond Outreach Center is a media story, and that the city of Richmond is curious about what has happened. For that matter, so am I!
My wife and I love the ROC. We believed that God had called us to the ROC to lead the church to health, growth, and to become a New Testament structured church. In the words of my 4 year old, “We love the ROC Family.” We still believe that God has called us to the ROC, to minister to the church family, the community and to repair a broken foundation.
We understood that it would be difficult (a sea of red-flag warnings) but we never anticipated anything like what has occurred since May 22 2014. Despite ongoing encouragement from the Board of Directors, and without warning, I was terminated. I would have greatly valued a conversation. I love accountability and love to be sharpened. If I was leading the church in an unbiblical manner – I would repent and seek forgiveness. My hope was to repair and rebuild the foundation of the church, while keeping the ministries running. The ministries to the homeless, the hungry, the poor and neglected are phenomenal. Those ministries would have never stopped. More churches should do those. They are important and represent the heart that Jesus has for those who are hurting.
I feel it is necessary to communicate that I was operating in a 9 Phase Plan (see below). On one of my flights from Atlanta to Richmond, I sensed the Lord give this plan to me. I knew where the ROC had been and the troubles they had gone through…but I was not the hero. It would take time, hard work, and much prayer to see Calm returned to the church. I shared this plan the Executive Team, Church Staff, and some key volunteers.
We are still overlapping in Phases 4, 5, & 6. I had initiated a dialogue with one member of the Board of Directors in regard to the foundation of the church. I communicated to him, if he wasn’t going to support the direction, it would never happen. At this point, I was hoping to open a door of ongoing dialogue, and did not expect to be terminated as a result. I believe the Lord has great plans for the future of the ROC, and my hope is to still be a part of it. I want to see the church functioning as a New Testament Church…and I hope the ROC Family understands my heart.
In 7 weeks, I realize I have no “political capital” among the people. If I am the only one standing in the field fighting for the church – I will do it. The Church belongs to the LORD. Not to me. Not to the Board. Not to the members. It belongs to Jesus & He has revealed the structure of the church in the Bible – and that is good enough for me.
NINE PHASES TO CALMING THE STORM AT THE ROC
Chaos: (Something unexpected happens that disrupts the norm.)
Confusion: (The chaos leads to confusion. Who will solve the problem? Is there no solution? What do we do?)
Crutch: (The response to chaos is reactive, short term, and designed to just get by and hold things together. It is intended as a short term emergency measure. (EMT, First Responders…) This can become accepted as the long term solution if direct measures are not taken to assure staff that the solution is short term. If not healed properly, the culture will grow crooked and chaos will eventually reemerge. The difference between an EMT, and a physical therapist for the same patient…Without the EMT – there is no Physical Therapist! The crutch is good – but cannot be held as the long tern solution.)
Clarity: (God answer’s their prayer by sending a Pastor…the leader emerges with the right solution to the confusion and chaos.)
Communication: (He begins to communicate the vision, the solution, and formulates the steps to calm with conviction.)
Correction: (The Pastor understands the root of the issues and the challenges/environment that led to Chaos. Begins to right the wrong, educate and motivate others. Not why things went wrong, but why things will work right if new vision and solution is followed.)
Core Values: (New core values are defined and accepted. Not who we were, but who we are.)
Collateral: (Wisdom tells us, something must change or the return to chaos is inevitable. Ministry direction, personnel, staff structure, exchange one idea for the new.)
Calm: (The storm has passed, roots are deeper, understanding and direction have been forged and the new normal has emerged. Tender shoots of health begin to grow.)