What is being announced?
Bobby Bridges has decided to retire as Lead Pastor of MRBC, and is proposing that Doug McPherson, our current Family Pastor, be considered as his successor.
What led up to this decision?
Bobby considered several factors leading up to his decision to retire from the Lead Pastor role including Judy’s recent retirement and the arrival of his grandbaby. Many of you who were involved in hiring Doug will remember that it was discussed that the long-term plan was the possibility of having him succeed Bobby. Other churches have taken a similar path recently to ensure stability during a transition like this.
What are Bobby's future plans?
Bobby has decided to stay on the MRBC staff in a newly-created position called “Care Pastor”. This is a reduced-time role in which Bobby will continue to do what he is so passionate about – which is caring for other people. Since the role is reduced-time, this will allow him additional freedom to spend with family and to serve in other ways in the community that fit his gifting and call. Planning and care has been taken to ensure that he and his family will be financially stable.
What does the role of Care Pastor include?
The Care Pastor provides leadership and oversight to all ministry efforts to meet the material, mental-emotional and spiritual needs of the congregation. Working under the supervision of the Lead Pastor, the Care Pastor will partner with volunteer leaders to create and implement a comprehensive plan to provide pastoral care to the congregation and community, in support of our God-given mission to make disciples of all nations.
How many hours will Bobby work and what days?
Bobby will no longer keep office hours, but will be ministering in the community.
Will Bobby still make hospital visits, perform weddings & funerals, etc?
Yes, as a member of the staff, he will still do these things as part of a rotation.
Who will lead the Wednesday night prayer service?
Bobby will continue to lead this service in his role as Care Pastor.
Why are we proposing this way forward?
Bobby loves this church so much that instead of creating a vacancy by abruptly retiring, he has carefully led this process to ensure stability and momentum for MRBC. He and Doug chose to work with a Succession Advisory Team who have been instrumental in planning this transition.
Who is the Succession Advisory Team?
The Succession Advisory Team is made up of not only church members, but also an outside person who was asked to advise based upon her experience. The Succession Advisory Team is Sandra Warner, Ralph Parks, Glen Gotcher, Anita Gormley, and Becky Biser from the Tarrant Baptist Association. Since December they have been meeting together to prayerfully discern the process they should follow, and create timelines and events surrounding this succession.
Why wasn’t a pulpit committee convened?
Bobby, Doug and the Succession Advisory Team carefully reviewed our church constitution. The constitution only addresses what should happen if the Lead Pastor role is vacant. Since that is NOT the case, they were led by God to develop this plan. The Succession Advisory Team all believe wholeheartedly that Bobby came to this decision to retire on his own, and that Doug is the right successor for this church and our community.
Where are we going as a church now that this is happening?
There are a lot of exciting plans for the church in the coming days, plans that Bobby has initiated. We will continue to move forward with these plans, including the renovation and modernizing of our facilities, and our approach to worship. Over the next four weeks, Doug will preach a series of messages that will highlight the direction he believes the Lord is calling us to go as a church. At the heart of it is our commitment to doing what the church has always been called to do: making disciples of Jesus among all people.
What are the next steps?
• Two Town Hall sessions over the next week to ask questions about the transition: Wednesday, April 18th at 6 PM and Sunday, April 22nd right after the morning service.
• On the afternoon of Sunday, May 6, you will have time to visit with Doug and Rebekah and hear all about Doug’s vision for our church and our community.
• On Sunday, May 20, there will be a vote to elect Doug as MRBC’s new Lead Pastor, and begin the transition to handoff the pastoral duties in the summer.
• Bobby’s last Sunday as Lead Pastor will be Sunday, August 12, and of course we will celebrate this step with he and Judy, and all of their contributions to MRBC.