Monday, February 22, 2016


At the close of all three worship assemblies at Crossroads Christian Church this past weekend, I announced my ‘retirement’ as Senior Pastor, followed by Chairman Paul Speciale’s announcement of the elder’s decision to call Evangelism Pastor Patrick Garcia to serve as the next Lead Pastor, subject to a vote of affirmation by the congregation scheduled the weekend of March 5-6.  In recent years, the elders and I have prayed over and discussed a succession plan that would be seamless, momentum-building and God-honoring.  By God’s grace it has come together and will unfold strategically over the next 3 months, with my final weekend on May 21-22, 2016.  [In addition to my public announcement, there is information available in hard copy at the Connection Center and online at] 
According to Dr. Henry Cloud in his book, Necessary Endings, three questions need to be asked when approaching such a season of change: 1] Is it the right time?  2] Is the right team in place?  3] Is there an obvious successor?  The answer to all three questions is a resounding ‘yes!’  The time is right.  Crossroads is strong… spiritually, relationally and financially… with a united leadership vision for the future.  The right team is in place.  The elders, pastors, directors and staff are all together on the same page with Crossroads recently being recognized as a Certified Best Christian Workplace. 

The obvious successor, Patrick Garcia, has been on our pastoral staff for 3 years.  His faithful family of origin, his strong sense of God’s calling on his life to preach and lead, his dynamic home church, his undergraduate [AB at Cincinnati Christian University] and graduate [MA at Lincoln Christian Seminary] education, his marriage and family, his experience working pastorally in two different mega-churches, all more than qualify him for this role. 
Though younger in years, Patrick has the maturity of a much older man.  And of course, with a younger lead pastor, there is the probability of a longer tenure, which typically serves a church well.
Personally, I am glad that it was the unanimous judgment of our elders to bypass what other churches or businesses might consider ‘proper protocol’ by doing a national search for my successor.  I don’t have to worry that Patrick Garcia is Biblically sound and that he lives a life of integrity.  I know what he believes theologically.  I have watched him act and react in discharging his day-to-day ministry responsibilities.  I have observed him as a husband and father.  I have seen how he responds with humility in his successes and how he confronts challenges with God-confidence.  Preparation for trustworthy leadership involves a season of demonstrated followership.  As one of our staff pastors, Patrick has been a conscientious follower and, in the future, he will be an exceptional leader.
In the book, Transition Plan, authors Bob Russell and Bryan Bucher assert, “Resumes, degrees, interviews, ordination papers, references, and trial sermons may tell us some things about a potential candidate for the ministry.  But when it comes to really understanding that candidate – his character, his work habits, personality traits, and family relationships – there is no substitute for working alongside that person over a period of time.”  
The Bible reveals the fact that the Kingdom of God is blessed by prayerful, thoughtful transitions… Moses to Joshua, Elijah to Elisha, Jesus to the apostles and Paul to Timothy.  It has been the prayer of our leadership at Crossroads that the Tri-State area and the world will be blessed for many years to come by the leadership succession that is happening in this little corner of God’s global Kingdom.  As a church, we lift up our united prayer… “Lead on O King Eternal.”

Pastor Ken

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