Congregational Meeting Update
From the Leadership Team
Hello Northpoint Family,
A Congregational Meeting was convened on February 9, at 4 p.m. We welcomed new members, had a financial update, and provided updates on our recent progress. Below is a recap of that meeting and some thoughts from the Elders:
Progress on NL Moore Recommendations
We are making good progress on the responses to NL Moore’s Recommendations. Out of the 32 or so specifically defined responses, 17 have been completed, 9 are actively being worked on, and 6 are soon to begin discussions.
The Elder Search Committee completed its work and passed ten names to the Elders in January. The next steps are conversations with each of these men with the goal to move 3-4 forward into a vetting process. We expect to end that process with names being brought forward to the body for affirmation after Easter Sunday.
Great Staff and a New Staffing Model
The Lord has blessed us with staff who love the church, serve well, and anchor down our ministry efforts. Volunteers also work tirelessly to minister in so many areas. Going back about 18 months or more, we have seen expansions and changes in staffing.
We called Tony Chute as Interim Pastor and Taylor Mendoza as our Pastor of Youth Ministries. We have expanded the roles of Tamene Menna as Director of Outreach and Care, Amber McEwen as Administrative Manager of Facilities, plus Corie Saunders as Ministry Associate for Finance and Accounting. More recently, we called Steve Dahlgren as Interim Worship Director. We have also seen God provide new staff to our team after recent departures and retirements. The Lord has been active in His effort to bolster our staff and support our ministries.
As we plan the future, we are exploring and leaning into a modified staffing model that includes part-time staff at the director/pastor level. This model looks to part-time staff who hold down vocational work in academia, or in the public and private sectors. We see this in Tony and Steve. They are full-time staff at CBU, yet the Lord is using them to anchor our ministries. So, we have already started using this model as you see a mix of full and part-time staff. We look to use the people that God has brought us and those who we reach out to.
Dr. Chute’s Role
Many of you have spoken to us with comments like, “Tony is a blessing; sure wish we could keep him.” As he mentioned at the meeting, he is a pastor at heart and has grown in his love and affection for the people of Northpoint, and in his deep desire to serve the Lord by shepherding and teaching here. Given that, he began considering the possibility of coming on as a full-time pastor about a year ago but wanted to allow the pastor search process to move forward. Although he recognized that NL Moore’s assessment showed Northpoint was not in a healthy position to call a pastor, he and the Elders began conversations about the possibility of him staying on as pastor.
Our new staffing model opens the door to the exciting possibility of moving Dr. Chute from an interim to a permanent staffer. Were this to happen, his role would expand a bit at Northpoint, but he would still retain his position at California Baptist University. His activity here would be a blend of shepherding, teaching, and preaching as he continues his pulpit duties, all the while serving as a professor, administrator, and writer at CBU. His wife and children have given their blessing to him for this endeavor, as have several close friends and colleagues at CBU.
We have had discussions amongst the Leadership Team and with Tony to delve into possibilities. We will also seek input from other churches in the area that have a similar model. In the meantime, we want you to pray about these things with us.
There are still some things to work out. We will work through open questions on the staffing model and Tony’s position, like:
- Is it Possible? Can this even work, given the mix of part-time and full-time staff?
- Is it Beneficial? Will this enable us to expand ministry and serve the body well?
- Is it Sustainable? Can this solution carry us forward for many years to come?
We will gather the existing Pastoral Search Committee and begin discussions to define a process for vetting Tony and the positional responsibilities. As we explore alternative pastoral structures, we will also look to other staff areas that might be needed. Since Tony will not be onsite during the week, we will need to research bringing on an executive director/pastor. This would be a full-time position with oversight of staff and ministry coordination.
Please pray for us as we seek to follow the Lord’s leading in planning our staff. Pray that we can define roles, responsibilities, and oversight in such a way that we continue to expand ministry, anchor our teaching, support our staff, and reach beyond our campus to a hurting world.
The Leadership Team