Transition in Pastoral Ministries
With thankfulness to God and in anticipation of his continuing blessing in the future it was agreed at our 2023 AGM that our Senior and Associate Pastors to transition into an exchange of their ministry roles early in 2024.
THIS RECOMMENDATION FROM THE ELDERS
ON MAKING A TRANSITION IN PASTORAL MINISTRY HAS NOW BEEN AGREED TO
Our Senior Pastor Richard Cutforth announced in the morning service on Sunday 8 October 2023 that, with the support of the elders, he has been planning for some time to reduce his pastoral load as Senior Pastor. At the same time we have been encouraged by the evidence of God’s calling and gifting of Sam Cutforth as he has served as our Associate Pastor. As Richard briefly explained, of the various options we have considered it seems good to us that the church consider transitioning our two pastors in an exchange of their roles and responsibilities. That would mean that early next year Sam would become our Senior Pastor, and Richard our Associate Pastor.
This does not arise from some crisis or with undue urgency. Rather, we are thankful that the church appears to be in a blessed period of God’s grace that makes this a good time to take the steps we are proposing. We have been encouraged by members already talking to us about their own awareness of this being a time for change and the sorts of change that might be good. We ask that members continue to do that, making known to the elders any comments, insights or questions you may have about this proposal or about any other possibilities.
As a Baptist church we are governed through the members as a fellowship of believers under the oversight and direction of the elders. The eldership as a whole, including both Pastors, has been praying about this and seeking God’s guidance as we have weighed various options, and is of one mind in recommending this change. We are bringing this to the church so that the whole church can give the proposal consideration, and join us in praying for God’s leading and unity on our way forward with the wisdom and harmony of God’s Spirit in the light of his word.
Accordingly the elders have placed this on the agenda for our November AGM by way of the “Notice of Motion” given below. If passed it will enable the proposed transition to take place, and for us as a Church to go into next year with shared vision, understanding, and grace.
Motion passed at the November 2023 Annual General Meeting:
That in an orderly manner within the following six months, Sam Cutforth transition into the role of Senior Pastor of Howick Baptist Church and that Richard Cutforth transition into the role of Associate Pastor of Howick Baptist Church.
The intention and effect of this is clear, but it also provides for flexibility in formalising and implementing Terms of Call and Stipends around the practical issues of ongoing church and personal life, and for assisting/inducting Sam into his new responsibilities.
Legally the Pastors are not employees but are engaged under standard Baptist Terms of Call in vocational ministries.
While all Pastors serve the church by preaching God’s Word, ministering pastoral care to members, and (with the other elders) overseeing and governing the church, the Senior Pastor is particularly entrusted with the regular administration of the church, its staff, and its various ministries. [see our Church Constitution]