Questions about Resurrection Online (3 of 3)

Why are you leaving Resurrection Online?

Over the past three years a stable worship platform has been created and the significant theological reflection have been completed. I have been able to play a significant role in shaping the framework and future direction for Resurrection Online. One of my gifts is to help clarify a direction and next steps for ministry. I feel that I have been able to see this accomplished for Resurrection Online and look forward to see where the ministry will go from here.

Who will lead Resurrection Online?

Travis Morgan will be moving from a staff position at Resurrection West to lead the Partner Church project and Resurrection Online. The Partner Church project is preparing to move from a planning to pilot phase and Travis will be able to provide leadership and guidance during this critical transition. Travis is a gifted leader who will be able to provide strategic direction and move the vision for Resurrection Online forward. Travis’ gifts and skills will help Resurrection Online to take the next step.

What is the future direction of Resurrection Online?

The focus will be on connecting people in person instead of building community and discipleship opportunities specifically for those that worship online. The next steps for Resurrection Online are to:

  1. Continue an excellent online worship experience
  2. Increase the number of people that are worshiping online
  3. Increase the people who connect in person as a result of connection with Resurrection Online.

What will happen to online congregants who have connected with you?

As with any pastoral transition, I will seek to transition the connection of those that worship online to Travis Morgan as the next leader of Resurrection Online and when possible to a local church.

Questions about Resurrection West (2 of 3)

Why are you going to Resurrection West?

Resurrection West has experienced steadily increasing worship attendance and participation and this growth is anticipated to accelerate with the move in to a new building in the fall. These circumstances have created the need for an additional pastor to serve the congregation.

What are you looking forward to at Resurrection West?

I am excited to be involved in pastoral leadership in ways that have not been possible at Resurrection Online, including leading worship, teaching, offering in person care and guidance. This role will provide an excellent opportunity for me to stretch and grow in ways that will be valuable in my continued pastoral and spiritual formation. Most of all, I want to serve where I am most needed and there is a clear need for an additional pastor at Resurrection West.

Transition to Resurrection West (1 of 3)

I am going to serve as an associate pastor at Resurrection West beginning August 15. I have enjoyed being part of Resurrection Online for the past few years. I am excited to be involved in pastoral leadership at Resurrection West, including leading worship, teaching, offering in person care and guidance. This role will provide an excellent opportunity for me to stretch and grow in ways that will be valuable in my continued pastoral and spiritual formation.

Travis Morgan will be moving from a staff position at Resurrection West to lead the Partner Church project and Resurrection Online. Travis is a gifted leader who will be able to provide strategic direction and move the vision for Resurrection Online forward. There will be some immediate changes and the transition will be completed in the months ahead. Will you please let me know if you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, feelings or opinions about this transition?

Church Online within The United Methodist Church

My apologies for a lack of regularity in blogging. I have been in the midst of ending my role in Congregational Care and beginning my new role as Internet Campus Pastor at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. I am excited about the possibilities of building a Christian community online where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. You can worship with us at http://live.cor.org – a site which will be continue to be updated in the months ahead.

Will you please send me an email at andrew.conard@cor.org with “Resurrection Internet Campus” in the subject line if you have ideas to share about  shaping the future of church online within The United Methodist Church?

I hope to hear from you soon.

Transition: Pastor of the Resurrection Internet Campus

Beginning November 1, I will be pastor of the Resurrection Internet Campus. Here is the news from the communication to our congregation on Friday.

Did you know that over 1,000 people per weekend worship with us live, on line? These are home bound, folks who are sick, members who are out of town, members who didn’t make it to worship and people who live in other cities. We now have a group of residents at Tall Grass Creek who gathering together to worship using the live webcast every week? We have persons in other parts of the country who want to use our live webcast to start “house churches” or to offer a contemporary worship option in the evenings for their congregations. We anticipate that in the Kansas City area the live web stream will be the entry point for many younger adults who will start worshiping with us online before they ever set foot on one of our campuses. With the appointment of Steven Blair we will focus Andrew Conard’s full attention to developing our Internet Campus and ways to use our Internet webcast to welcome new people to faith and to shepherd them.

You can read the entire email here.

I am excited.

Transition: M-R Pastor of Congregational Care

This week, Bishop Jones announced that Rev. Steven Blair will be appointed to Resurrection on November 1 and will be responsible for those whose last names begin with M through R. You can read the full update to Resurrection here.

I have known Steven for several years and he is an excellent pastor and a great communicator. I believe that his presence at Resurrection will have a positive impact on the entire congregation. I am excited to have the opportunity to be on the same staff and continue to learn from him.

I will be ending my role as pastor of Congregational Care and beginning a role as pastor of Resurrection Internet Campus. I am excited about the potential for in this role and believe that it will be a key part of continuing to build a Christian community where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians.

In between the ending of one role and the beginning of another is a time of transition. Over the next 44 days, I invite those of you who are currently part of the M-R pastorate to set up a time to meet with me if you would like to have a one on one conversation about the transition. I hope to arrange an event before November 1 to give you an opportunity to hear about my new role and have an opportunity for closure as I depart my current role.

I care about making a good transition.

I have some ideas about what might be most helpful, but also look to you for guidance. In past pastoral transitions, what has been most helpful for you? What has not been helpful? What guidance do you have for me for making a good transition?

Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes

Right now I am transitioning back to Kansas City after time in Louisiana on a mission trip with the youth from Resurection. Hopefully more about the trip soon…

I first read Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes by William Bridges in the summer of 2006. I took the opportunity to read this book again this spring. The content is excellent.

Bridges addresses the common elements in all sorts of transitions in life. These range from the natural transitions in life time, relationships and work. In his own words,

“The subject of this book is the difficult process of letting go of an old situation, of suffering the confusing nowhere of in-betweenness and of launching forth again in a new situation (Bridges, 4).”

Bridges works through these three movements of a transition in ways that seek to make meaning out of each step. It is encouraging to me to know that when in the middle of a transition there is a framework around which to wrap the experience. While each transition is individual, there are common elements of all transitions that hold true across our life and the lives of others.

I find this book to be helpful each time I read it. It has also provided helpful guidance for my calling as a pastor. I will continue to look to this book for insights in transition and commend it to you.

Internet Campus Pastor – July 1, 2009

One month from today, I will transition from my role as pastor of congregational care to internet campus pastor. Here is the official announcement in the senior pastor’s eNote:

Andrew Conard will move from his responsibilities of congregational care for persons whose last names begin with N – R and instead he will focus on developing ministries, small groups and providing care for the 1,100 people who are currently worshiping with us online each week and expanding our “Internet Campus.” I’m excited about this as it marks a significant investment in the future. I am convinced that within five years as many people will worship with us online each week as worship in our Sanctuary. We are trying to understand what this means and how we do ministry in this new digital age. We’re also looking at starting “house churches” where people might worship via the webcast in homes.

I am thrilled to have this opportunity and very excited about the potential. I have been working with Clif Guy with a strategic project team made up of congregants – staff and non-staff since the beginning of the year to chart the direction for the ministry.

I am committed to living and leading the purpose of the denomination and the purpose of Resurrection in this role:

  • … to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
  • … building a Christian community where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians.

This is going to be a lot of fun.

Speedlinking – May 6, 2009

President Elect / Pastor Appointee

I think that leaving and arriving well is one of the most important responsibilities of an itinerant pastor and we could learn from the transition team of the President-Elect of the United States.

One of the striking differences between a pastoral appointee in The United Methodist Church and the President Elect of The United States is that the President Elect gets to start working with a team of people that will continue working with the President when she or he is sworn in to office.

A United Methodist pastor may know where she or he is to be appointed in July but is not able to really start working with the people of the new appointment until day one. Having been in only one appointment, I am not even sure how much intentional information, if any, is shared by the outgoing pastor.

The United Methodist system seems highly inefficient when compared to the level of preparation that an incoming president is able to make. Therefore, I suggest the following changes:

  • The outgoing pastor gives daily email briefings to the incoming pastor about the goings on of the church and people. This will help the incoming pastor move into the rhythm of the people.
  • If there is an assistant working directly with the pastor, the incoming pastor will imediately be able to consider hiring a new person if the current assistant is not a good fit.
  • The incoming pastor will begin to communicate with a weekly email or announcement in worship – to begin to share some of who she or he is with the congregation.

Strategic Planning in the UMC

Does the itinerant system in the United Methodist Church work against strategic planning?

I want to be an excellent strategic planner and have been thinking more about how this works in the United Methodist Church. I suggest that it is important to look at a strategic plan for several years into the future. I recognize that a plan will include specific goals for each year, but there needs to be a long range overall mission and vision that directs these goals.

Here are my assumptions:

  • The average United Methodist pastor will be in an appointment five years.
  • The pastor will most likely initiate and lead a strategic planning process for a congregation.
  • When a new pastor arrives she or he may seek to reformulate the direction of the congregation.

With these assumptions longer term strategic plannign does not seem to be likely for an average United Methodist congregation.

I believe that this is not necessarily the case. The laity in the congregation could lead and own the process and live it out in a way that would be compelling and effective. This would make it easy for another pastor to step into and continue the direction. Also, I believe that there is an important place for pastors to enter a congregation with humility in response to the congregation and the former leader; to seek to listen more than direct in first interactions in a new congregation.

What do you think? Are my assumptions fair? What about conclusions? What has your experience been in this area?

Clergy Transitions at Resurrection (2 of ?)

As Judy Long O’Neal transitions to Shawnee Heights on July 1, there is an open associate clergy position at Resurrection.

Jeff Clinger has been appointed to Resurrection beginning July 1. The transition has been announced to the conference and to the congregation and on Jeff’s blog.

I have come to know Jeff through the blogosphere. We first met in person at Leadership Institute 2007.

Welcome to Resurrection, Jeff!