Why is Pastor Crawford leaving Fellowship Bible Church?
We encourage you to visit the webpage at fellowshiproswell.org/search to hear from Pastor Crawford regarding the new direction God is leading himself and Karen. Pastor Crawford believes that God is calling him to a new season where he will be able to spend more time with his children and grandchildren, speak and preach at various events and conferences, work on various book projects, and pour into the next generation of leaders. We are thankful that Pastor Crawford is not leaving because he is tired, burned out, or reacting to negative issues. Rather, he is modeling for our church family a life lived in obedience to God’s plan and call.
What is the process for selecting the new Senior Pastor?
The process to select the new Senior Pastor has numerous steps that we anticipate taking about six months. We have begun the process by identifying a Search Committee that serves as an extension of the Elder Board. The committee’s role is to help facilitate the process by working with the identified search firm that uses a thorough, consistent process to identify, qualify, and evaluate all potential candidates.
After the search firm and the Search Committee have identified the top candidates through prayer and the evaluation process, the candidates will be presented to the Elder Board for the final decision and call of the new Senior Pastor. The Elder Board is accountable and responsible for making the final hiring selection of the Senior Pastor. After the selection is finalized, there will be a time of transition as the new Senior Pastor joins our church family and Pastor Crawford moves into his new calling and season. You may follow updates on this timeline at fellowshiproswell.org/search.
Our prayer is that the Lord would guide and direct each step of this journey as we faithfully move forward. Our heart is to steward this undertaking with excellence and also be open to how God leads in, through, or outside of the process. We are confident the Lord knows who our next Senior Pastor will be. We invite you to join us in prayer that the hearts of our Elders, the Search Committee, and our Fellowship Family would be aligned to God’s heart throughout the entire selection process.
How was the Search Committee selected?
Over the past year, the current chairman of the Elder Board, two former chairmen of the Elder Board, and Pastor Crawford have been praying together. Out of that prayer time, the Search Team was created to be inclusive of Elders, former Elders, staff, and members of our congregation to serve as an extension of the Elder Board. Rob Consoli, the Chairman of the Elder Board, recommended the Search Committee members as well as the outside search firm. In response, the Elder Board approved moving forward with the recommendations. The Search Committee along with the hired search firm and the entire search process all serve under the authority of the Elder Board.
Can you tell me more about the foundational qualifications needed for the new candidate the elders and Search Committee will be seeking?
While we continue to pray and seek God for the right candidate to lead Fellowship Bible Church, there are a few foundational qualifications we are seeking. We are seeking a Senior Pastor who aligns with who we are as Fellowship Bible Church. In this way, we are seeking a leader who is a skilled Bible teacher and can also be a keeper and speaker of our church mission and vision.
We continue to be committed to our mission of making disciples who make disciples. As such, we will seek someone who aligns with and embodies this mission. We will seek one who aligns and fully embraces Fellowship’s Statement of Faith from a biblical and theological perspective.
A final foundational qualification is for one who is committed to diversity and able to speak and minister in a multi-ethnic and multi-generational environment. Our desire is for a Senior Pastor who has a heart to celebrate and minister to people with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and generations.
What role will our Fellowship Family have during the selection process for the Senior Pastor?
The primary role of our Fellowship Family is to be in prayer. This is the most vital and integral role of the process. We know that we cannot take a single step in the process without God’s help and direction. We invite you to pray as individuals, as children, students, families, groups, and Sunday Communities, with the Search Committee and Elder Board for the man God has chosen for this calling.
Another role will be to provide input through a church survey submitted to those within our Fellowship Family.
Fellowship is an Elder-governed, staff-led church. We believe the Bible teaches that the local church is to be governed by a group of godly men who meet the biblical qualifications for leadership (1 Timothy 3; Titus 1). This group of men shepherd and govern our church through prayer, visioning into the future, and ensuring the resources it takes to fulfill our mission.
As part of their responsibility, the Elders are entrusted with making the final decision and call to the next Senior Pastor of Fellowship Bible Church. As we are an Elder-led church versus a member-led church, there will not be a member vote to select the new Senior Pastor.
How can I be praying for Fellowship Bible Church during the transition?
Thank you for asking! As mentioned before, our prayer is that the Lord would guide and direct each step of the process as we faithfully move forward. We ask that you also pray for the man God has already chosen for this calling. In addition, we have a prayer section at fellowshiproswell.org/search for more specific prayer requests.
How can I ask more questions or express a concern?
We welcome your questions and concerns. The best way to direct those is through the webpage at fellowshiproswell.org/search. Click on the email the search committee button to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.
How will I get updates?
We are committed to communicating about where we are in the search process with frequency and clarity. As such, the Search Committee and staff communication team will be working diligently to provide timely and appropriate updates throughout the process. The best place to receive updates is through on our website at fellowshiproswell.org/search. This will also be communicated through eNews and our Sunday Worship Services as appropriate. If you haven’t already done so, you may sign up for our weekly eNews at this link or at the footer of our website.
Does COVID-19 impact the search process?
We do not believe COVID-19 will impact this process in a negative way. On the contrary, our hope is that even with the limitations placed on us by the season we are living in, our Fellowship Family will be united together in prayer for what God has next for Fellowship Bible Church!
Dear Fellowship Family,
In 2005 I responded to God’s leading to come and serve as the Senior Pastor here at Fellowship Bible Church. These past 15 years have been some of the best years of our lives. Karen and I are so grateful to God for the relationships, experiences, and the love that we share with our church family. We are better people and followers of Christ because of the privilege of serving you. What a gift!
About three years ago, I began praying about our future. As I prayed, I had this growing sense that the Lord wanted me to transition from my role as Senior Pastor. About a year ago, I began meeting with some trusted advisors and prayer partners. God used them to confirm this decision. Now, I want you to know that I am not tired, I am not burned out, neither am I reacting to any negative issues or circumstance. I love serving and ministering here at Fellowship Bible Church. But I sense that the Lord wants to raise up a younger leader to serve and shepherd our church toward those wonderful things He has in store for us.
The Elders have approved a transition plan and I will continue to serve as Sr. Pastor through Easter Sunday (April 4, 2021). Between now and then, we will be conducting a national search to identify God’s next shepherd for Fellowship Bible Church. Please join us in praying for wisdom and God’s favor during this process.
So, what does the future look like for Crawford and Karen? We’re not leaving the church. Fellowship is our home church. We plan to spend more time with our children and grandkids. I will continue to speak and preach at various conferences and events, work on some book projects, and encourage and pour into the next generation of leaders.
I am humbled and so grateful to God for what He has done these years in and through our church. He has given us clarity about our mission and vision and the gift of unity among our leaders. God has given us a wonderful, capable staff team and so many mature, committed volunteers, and a loving church family. I am so excited about the future of Fellowship Bible Church!
Thank you for the joy and privilege of serving you.
In His Love and Mine,