Dear Christ’s Family Church,

It has long been God’s ordained design that each of us would invest our faith and commitment into the life of others so that eventually they would stand in the calling God has placed them in; that’s discipleship according to Jesus. It is incumbent in my role as senior pastor to identify and commission Christ’s Family Church’s next leader with our Board of Elders affirmation. Pastor Joe Hannah has afforded me the privilege to mentor him and cast a clear vision of what Christ’s Family Church is called to become. He has been identified by God to our present leadership as the future leader of Christ’s Family Church and the evidence of his anointing is observable.
Trusting in that, Christ’s Family Church will be going through a pastoral leadership transition. Effective Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, Pastor Joe will become the lead pastor of Christ’s Family Church and I will not be retiring but rather functioning in a new capacity as founding pastor, teacher, mentor, support and resource.

Pastor Joe’s official title will be lead pastor. He will be the deciding voice for our spiritual direction with the able insights from the chosen elder board, as well as the head of our staff and leader of every committee and subcommittee that meets regarding our vision, direction and strategy.

This journey began in 1999 when Pastor Joe and his wife Tiffany accepted an invitation to fulfill servant roles at Christ’s Family Church and eventually became ministry leaders. In 2006, Pastor Joe went back to school to pursue an undergraduate degree in ministry. In 2007, he gave up an engineering career to work as an administrative assistant at Christ’s Family Church. In 2008, he returned to school obtaining his Master’s in Theological Studies and was ordained as a minister of the Gospel, all while continuing to grow in his capacity to lead at Christ’s Family Church.

Throughout this process, God continued to instill an overwhelming love for the flock to Pastor Joe and Tiffany enabling them to see themselves at Christ’s Family Church as the future leaders. My wife Vicki and I had many conversations about our future and the future of Christ’s Family Church. We sought discernment from the elders and leaders, and they confirmed the calling of Pastor Joe to be a lead pastor. In every discussion throughout this process, a resounding yes was acknowledged. Numerous voices inside and outside Christ’s Family Church also regarded the potential Joe had for being a future leader. God began to make clear to us all that Joe was the next lead pastor for our church.

Through preaching and teaching, Pastor Joe effectively writes and passionately communicates messages that are biblically-based and apply to people’s lives for Christ-centered life change. His strategic leadership casts vision, inspires and develops methods and goals within a myriad of ministry settings to actively accomplish Christ’s Family Church’s mission. As a shepherd of God’s flock, Pastor Joe willingly stewards God’s people and strives to be an example for them to follow. Pastor Joe exemplifies a commitment to the community as he currently serves as the Hastings Ministerial President, has served on the United Way board and been involved with numerous organizations and events over the years.

We have witnessed that Pastor Joe has been educated formally, but his true qualifications come in the form of anointing, gifting and fruit. He has demonstrated his abilities for numerous years and has the tools to succeed. His development has been extensive and exceeds the preparation the majority of new lead pastors receive.

History has proven that Pastor Joe was a servant first. As a result, Christ’s Family Church has been pursuing him more than the other way around. Pastor Joe is a proven and qualified leader in God’s church and he will continue to reach people for Christ.

 
 

FAQ's


What is happening?

Christ’s Family Church is going through a pastoral leadership transition. Pastor Joe will become the lead pastor, at the end of October and Pastor Paris will move into a role of founding pastor, teacher, mentor, support and resource.

 Is Pastor Paris retiring?

No. The call of God is not a vocation or job, but an assignment given to an individual for the length of their lives; the difference is the seasons of that call. Pastor Paris has labored as a lead pastor for more than 30 years and now moves into a role of founding pastor, teacher, mentor, support and resource.

 How was this decision made?

It has long been God’s ordained design that each of us would invest our faith and commitment into the life of others so that eventually they would stand in the calling God has placed them in; that’s discipleship according to Jesus.

 This journey began in 1999 when Pastor Joe and his wife Tiffany accepted an invitation to fulfill servant roles at Christ’s Family Church and eventually became ministry leaders. In 2006, Pastor Joe went back to school to pursue an undergraduate degree in ministry. In 2007, he gave up an engineering career to work as an administrative assistant at Christ’s Family Church. In 2008, he returned to school obtaining his Master’s in Theological Studies and was ordained as a minister of the Gospel, all while continuing to grow in his capacity to lead at Christ’s Family Church.

 Throughout the process, God continued to instill an overwhelming love for the flock to Pastor Joe and Tiffany enabling them to see themselves at Christ’s Family Church as the future leaders. Paris and Vicki had many conversations about their future and the future of Christ’s Family Church. Discernment was sought from the elders and leaders, and they confirmed the calling of Pastor Joe to be a lead pastor. In every discussion throughout this process, a resounding yes was acknowledged. Numerous voices inside and outside Christ’s Family Church also regarded the potential Joe had for being a future lead leader. God began to make clear to us all that Pastor Joe was the next lead pastor for our church.

 History has proven that Pastor Joe was a servant first. As a result, Christ’s Family Church has been pursuing him more than the other way around. Pastor Joe is a proven and qualified leader in God’s church and he will continue to reach people for Christ.

 What will their titles be?

Pastor Joe’s official title will be lead pastor. Pastor Paris’ official title will be founding pastor.

 Is Pastor Joe qualified?

Yes. Pastor Joe has been educated formally (Bachelor of Science in Ministries; Master’s in Theological Studies), but his true qualifications come in the form of anointing, gifting and fruit. He has demonstrated his abilities for numerous years and has the tools to succeed. His development has been extensive and exceeds the preparation the majority of new lead pastors receive.

 Why is Christ’s Family Church transitioning to Pastor Joe?

God revealed to Pastor Paris that he was to give the inheritance of his 30-plus-year ministry to the next generation before he was unable to help with the future success of the new leadership. This transition is focused on modeling leadership development and succession, and not a leader who is obsolete, worn out or in crisis.

 When will this happen?

In October 2015, we will symbolically and legally pass the baton of lead pastor from Pastor Paris to Pastor Joe.

 Why is Christ’s Family Church making this transition now?

Pastor Joe is an extraordinary leader whom God has prepared to lead a church of our size and larger. We feel compelled to engage him for the mission at Christ’s Family Church and Hastings needs his kind of leadership. Pastor Paris is 60-years-old and desires to have the energy and drive to be a strong supporter of the future leadership of Christ’s Family Church, rather than be absent from it.

 What will Pastor Paris do after this transition? What will his duties consist of?

A clear description of Pastor Paris’ role at Christ’s Family Church has been developed. Pastor Paris will assist Pastor Joe, Christ’s Family Church and the community as a former lead pastor and a seasoned resource. For the next several years, Pastor Paris’ role will include teaching, preaching, training leaders, community liaison, mentor and business partner.

 Will Pastor Paris still preach?

Pastor Paris will continue to be a valued part of Christ’s Family Church. Pastor Joe has asked Pastor Paris to continue to preach numerous times throughout the year. Pastor Joe sees himself as one of the teaching pastors, but not the only teaching pastor.

 Will Pastor Paris still serve as an elder, trustee?

Pastor Paris will continue to serve as an elder and trustee all the while training others to receive the baton.

 Will Christ’s Family Church hire a new assistant/associate pastor?

Pastor Paris will continue to be on staff, so no immediate action will be needed. Christ’s Family Church has always been and will continue to be fiscally responsible, and will continue to evaluate the staffing needs to serve the kingdom.

 What is Pastor Joe’s job description after the transition?

Pastor Joe’s official title will be lead pastor. Based on Christ’s Family Church’s bylaws, the lead pastor has all the leadership responsibilities including: the deciding voice for our spiritual direction; the public leader and face of Christ’s Family Church; president of our legal entity called Christ’s Family Church Inc.; head of our staff; and leader of every committee and subcommittee that meets regarding our vision, direction and strategy.

 How has Pastor Joe taken on leadership roles and responsibilities prior to this?

Through preaching and teaching, Pastor Joe effectively writes and passionately communicates messages that are biblically-based and apply to people’s lives for Christ-centered life change. His strategic leadership casts vision, inspires and develops methods and goals within a myriad of ministry settings to actively accomplish Christ’s Family Church’s mission. As a shepherd of God’s flock, Pastor Joe willingly stewards God’s people and strives to be an example for them to follow. Pastor Joe exemplifies a commitment to the community as he currently serves as the Hastings Ministerial President, has served on the United Way board and been involved with numerous organizations and events over the years.

 What will be different in the initial months after the transition?

The difference in style, content or direction will be minimal. The mission will not change as that was and continues to be directed by God to the whole body of Christ’s Family Church, and is the foundation on which this ministry is built.

Is Pastor Joe now the manager of all the church staff?

Pastor Joe has been managing the office staff for more than two years and will continue until we are made able to move that responsibility on to other shoulders, but not before. Additionally, Pastor Paris will have more available time to serve administratively as his lead pastor responsibilities are diminished.

Will Pastor Paris and Pastor Joe switch offices?

Yes.

Will Vicki continue to work in the office?

There are no immediate plans for change. Vicki will serve the ministry of Christ’s Family Church under Pastor Joe’s direction.

Should Christ’s Family Church look at other candidates for the lead pastor role?

The assignment of pastoring Christ’s Family Church was not determined by the mind and voice of man. Pastor Paris and the elder board have seen the need to multiply and mentor the next generation of leaders. At no point in time has Pastor Paris believed the future leader of Christ’s Family Church was outside of the flock. God began to build Christ’s Family Church’s new lead pastor in 1999.

Who will Pastor Joe be accountable to?

Pastor Joe is first and foremost accountable to God, which has been the governing factor for Christ’s Family Church. We also have accountability built into our bylaws that help the church survive inappropriate leadership. Also, our pastors submit themselves regularly to local leaders and pastors for adjustment and encouragement.

What happens if attendance goes down or if long-time members depart following the transition?

If attendance were our goal this might be an issue, but we have followed God’s directive to raise up leaders, disciple makers and follow biblical mandates of appointment. We will continue our mission and strive to reach people and bring them into a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Can Christ’s Family Church financially afford this?

All that we do is a step of faith. Christ’s Family Church has been called to reach the city and beyond. We have been fiscally responsible through the years so that one day this very thing can happen. Affording this has always been a factor, but obedience is far more important.

Who can I call if I have a problem, need prayer?

In the same way that you interact with both pastors and the elder team today, the same will be true after Pastor Joe and Pastor Paris adjust roles.

What will be the process for communication? Are we going to put it on the website, newspaper, cable TV, video?

We plan to evaluate the use of all forms of media, but it is important that Christ’s Family Church’s flock and the community not see this as some drastic move, but rather the natural next step for the health of Christ’s Family Church.