January 10, 2019

(Click here to view the PDF of the January 10 Newsletter)

From the Pen of our Senior Pastor John Jones…

I am tremendously honored to work at Covenant and serve alongside our wonderful staff. I am also very humbled because many people do not have what I have. For many, going to work means being greeted with politics, conflicts, underappreciation, and frustration. I am thankful to God that I get to work in a place of mutual encouragement, friendship, and spiritual edification. It really is an honor to work with the Pastoral Staff and Support staff of CPC.

Over these past few months our Pastoral Staff, in particular, has really come together as a team. Each week I meet with Dan Steere, Eric Mullinax, Jake Bennett, Jeremy Gaines, and Jeremiah Hill to spend time in prayer and study together, and also to coordinate our efforts so that we serve the church body well. With this in mind, I want to introduce two updates to the way our staff is organized.

First, Pastor Dan Steere will officially serve as the Training Pastor of CPC. Though a part of the Pastoral Staff for several years, he will now play a more prominent role by helping us deliberately train emerging leaders and by providing instruction to strengthen our current elders. Pastor Steere will continue to travel and teach with Equipping Leaders International (ELI). As a church with a large number of people new to Reformed doctrine and Presbyterian church government, a Training Pastor will be an extraordinary gift to CPC and an important part of our pastoral team moving forward.

Second, Pastor Jake Bennett will begin serving as the Executive Pastor of CPC. An Executive Pastor supervises and pastorally cares for the entire Support Staff. This person promotes the efficiency of our church by organizing processes and policies, and by equipping staff in their ministry to the church body. He will ensure that all operational functions of the church (admin, communications/IT, legal, finance, facility) are able to efficiently deliver the vision of the Pastoral Staff. Pastor Bennett is a trained counselor, a consultant to our denomination, and has many years of experience managing a large staff in a large organization. The entire church body will benefit from a fluid relationship between the objectives of the Pastoral Staff and the structure and work of our Support Staff.

There will be kinks along the way as our Pastoral Staff becomes better organized. With the ordination of Jeremiah Hill later this year, however, CPC is preparing for good pastoral coverage: congregational care, counseling, worship and music, youth and young adult discipleship, ministry vision, and staff organization. In the near future, we want to deepen this coverage by adding someone to lead evangelism and outreach into our community.

Please know that all of our pastors and staff are committed to working well together to serve you. Each of the pastors are available to meet with you for prayer, encouragement, and assistance; you should never hesitate to ask any of us to meet with you. In God’s grace, we desire to serve our church family to the very best of our ability.

I also want you to be aware of your active elders in 2019. With a new website coming soon, it will be far easier to communicate this to you. We are grateful to have three nominees in training right now, one as an elder and two as a deacon. They are preparing for election in the summer. Elder Mark Stevenson will be leaving the office of elder to join in this nominee training process before standing for re-election as deacon.

This month elders Jon Harris, Nick Lazor, and Mark Griggs have returned from their Sabbaticals. However, four men will be either entering or continuing  a Sabbatical year: Dean Elwood, Jeremy Gaines, Tony Horton, and Tom Schreiner.

Also, for their many years of service, we are grateful to confer the status of Elder Emeritus to three elders: Tom Lowe, Mark Lander, and Tim Owens. This honorable status means that they are always welcome to attend session meetings, but they will no longer be permitted to vote.

Your active elders for 2019, including myself and Pastors Mullinax, Bennett, and Steere, are Ernie Brown, Jason Brown, Kent Brown, Jason Coffey, Tony DeMarco, Todd Gaither, Danny Grant, Mark Griggs, Jon Harris, Ken Henry, Jim Hildebrand, Dee Hobbs, Nick Lazor,  Adam Sanders, Todd Smith, Jay Spalding, Howard VanderGriend, Mike Walker, Mark Wilson, Tracy Wright, and John Wykoff.

Finally, please keep in mind that at Covenant we practice a shepherding model in which members and regular attendees are each assigned an elder. The Bible calls elders to not only watch their own lives (1 Tim. 4.16), but also the lives of those in the church (Heb. 13.17). Please receive these men as they lovingly reach out to you, both to get to know you and to learn how we, as elders, can be praying for and supporting you.

~Pastor Jones