A Message From Pastor John (regarding the vote on Jason Meyer)
After Sunday night's All-Church Meeting (May 20) to vote on Jason Meyer as Associate Pastor for Preaching & Vision, Bryan DeWire, Pastoral Assistant to Sam Crabtree (chairman of the search committee), forwarded a summary of the meeting to Pastor John. Here is Pastor John's response ...
I have no memory of any all-church strategy meeting with 800 people in attendance. Last night (May 20), 792 members gathered at Bethlehem’s Downtown Campus to complete the confirmation of Jason Meyer as the Associate Pastor for Preaching and Vision. Of these, 784 confirmed the unanimous recommendation of the elders that Jason be called, beginning his ministry on or before August 1, 2012.
I did not attend the meeting. During the meeting, Noël and Talitha and I (with two grandchildren on the couch) prayed earnestly for God to show his hand in the unity of the people’s approval of the elder’s motion. However, I did send a letter of joyful support for Jason, which Pastor Sam read to the people.
Pastor Chuck led the full sanctuary in singing praise to the One who is so manifestly at work in these days with “Rejoice the Lord is King,” “Agnus Dei,” and “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord).”
Jason was invited to speak and said: “I hope you feel loved by your leaders. They care for you. And my prayer has been that this process would only happen if it’s clear that God is the One making it happen.”
Pastor Sam opened the meeting for questions directed to Jason. Not surprisingly, after seven weeks of being tested, Jason was asked no questions. The Meyers were dismissed and questions were invited.
1) How will we guard against Jason’s needing an 8-month leave? [as I took in 2010]
2) How will we guard Cara and the children against the pressures of the limelight?
3) Will Jason be in the pulpit as little as Pastor John has been in recent years?
4) How do the elders see Bethlehem growing in the next 10 years under Jason's leadership?
5) Do you see the campus distribution focusing more North because that’s where he lives?
The ballots were then collected and the congregation spent time in prayer as the votes were counted.
The count: 784 yes, 8 no (99% approval).
The congregation then sang the Doxology and the elders prayed over the Meyers.
Would you rejoice with me over this turn of affairs? In the last five months God has united the search team, the pastoral staff, the elders, and now the people in an unprecedented way—99% of 792 people united in their sense of God’s leading is simply stunning.
On February 13, 1980, Bethlehem voted to call me as her pastor. The vote was 149 yes, 17 no (89.7%). Thirty-two years later the church is more united than ever behind her leaders. For this I am on my face with tears of thankfulness and joy.
Jesus Christ is the head of this church. And he means to have the glory. Let him have it from your heart and lips. Gather your family and friends and give thanks. Tell him how amazing he is. Exult in the cross of Christ. Without it there could be no such blessings on sinners like us.
We will keep you posted with what the overlapping ministry with Jason will look like in the months ahead. Never cease to pray for your leaders.
With overflowing joy in God’s kindness,
Pastor John Piper
with Bryan DeWire