John Piper
Date Given: 
February 19, 2008

This is an update on how the pastoral staff and elders are thinking about the way three campuses work. Little by little we are learning how to structure for being one church on multiple campuses. God has been very good to us. It is typical that we find ourselves blocked in one path only to realize that the Lord is showing us how to do things better.

For example, we are seeing increasingly the value of campus-specific staffing. The clearest instance of this is that each campus has its own worship leadership, Chuck Steddom Downtown, Dan Holst North, and Rick Melson South, each with different teams of singers and instrumentalists. Fred Johnson is the Pastoral Resident for Neighborhood Outreach North, and Chris Koepke holds the same position for the Downtown Campus. Melvin Brown focuses on Community Relations Downtown.

Gil McConnell oversees Child and Youth Discipleship at the North Campus, and Bud Burke holds that same position for Downtown/South. The South Site is not far enough along in its development to afford its own child and youth staff. Jon Nowlin oversees the Young Adult (High School) Discipleship at the North Campus, and Kempton Turner holds the same position for Downtown/South.

Jack Delk is the Adult Ministries Pastor North with an all-church emphasis in marriage ministry, while David Livingston is the Adult Ministries Pastor South with an all-church emphasis in small groups. We have still not replaced Sherard Burns, and so the Downtown Campus does not have its own Adult Ministries Pastor. That’s a concern to us, and we invite your prayers.

Some of us are All-Church staff. That means our ministry cuts across all the campuses. For example, Erik Hyatt and Brad Nelson in Missions, Mary Delk in Women’s Ministries, Tom Eckblad in Counseling, David and Sally Michael in the Family Discipleship Department, Joyce Heinrich over all our nurseries, Ken Currie over College Ministries, Kenny Stokes as Lead Pastor for Spreading, Sam Crabtree as Lead Pastor for Life-Training, Jon Grano in Operations, and Tom Steller in TBI.

What we have come to see in all this is that something like a “campus pastor” is needed on all the campuses. This presently exists in a hybrid way North and South. Both these campuses were started under the visionary leadership of Dan Holst and Rick Melson, respectively. Both hold positions which we have called “Pastor for Worship and Vision” because they lead worship and oversee the vision of the campuses. There is no person at the Downtown Campus with precisely this configuration of responsibilities.

We are presently moving toward a more full-blown “campus pastor” role for each campus. The “campus pastor” would be the main buckstopper on the campus. He would be like an onsite “senior” pastor for that campus. The campus-specific staff would report to him, and if anything was not working well on the campus, he would feel the responsibility that it get fixed. Rick and Dan hold hybrid positions at this point, covering both the campus pastor role and worship. Downtown we are thinking that for the time being we will create another hybrid, namely, Kenny Stokes, as the campus pastor while he still wears the hat of Lead Pastor for Spreading.

None of these campus-pastor configurations is ideal. The role as we are conceiving it calls for more attention than any of these men can give with their present responsibilities. That is not a surprise or a discouragement. It is the way staffing is gradually transformed as we learn how to do multiple campuses. We see these campus pastor roles emerging over the next year or so to the point where each campus has a clear leader who oversees the campus-specific staff. These campus pastors will join the “lead pastors” on the lead team (Grano, Crabtree, Stokes, Piper) which meets weekly to provide unified oversight to the church.

Would you join us in prayer for these emerging campus-pastor roles. We think they hold great potential for good as each campus strategizes to care for its people, and to reach its neighborhoods.

Loving to be in this ministry,

Pastor John

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