July 10th and 11th I took the staff at the church and their families over to the JW Marriott in Orlando for our staff retreat. First of all it was an awesome time to just hang out as friends and people and refresh... not as staff and all the business talk. Suncoast you are blessed with some awesome people leading! BUT, Monday we huddled up and spent the day seeking God's direction for the church and learning some new things about momentum and about how to close the back door of our church. We had some really hard conversations, honest ones, and I wanted to share with you some of what came out of that retreat.
The first thing, which we have talked about already this year a couple of times and made public, was the need for a new location/building. There are a lot of reasons why, but the bottom line is we are actively looking for a new place to call home. Ideally, this would be something much more permanent where we didn't have to set up and tear down and do church in a trailer. A few doors have opened and others have shut, but we are looking! The area we are looking for is from Collier Parkway to Gunn Highway along SR 54 just to give you an idea.
Another thing that came out of it was about me, specifically that I do too much. I know some of you wonder what a pastor does all week, but I spend my time split between planning the weekend service, doing the daily operations of the church, preparing messages, being the "shepherd" and the thing that gets pushed to the side is being the leader. AND, to be honest someone can do everything I do except lead and preach. That is where I am most effective. So, I need to hand off a lot of what I do. Right now we are looking to bring on staff a programming director who would plan and prepare and execute the Sunday service. Rita and Crystal do a great job with their areas and Steve leads the band, but all of the other elements of the service itself would fall under this persons responsibilities. This would allow me to spend my time preparing my message and actually lead. You can't work on your church if you are too busy working in your church! If we are going to get better as a church then I need to stop being the bottle neck!
The last thing was I need to stop doing set up. So, we need two more guys to jump in and be on the team. It is an every other week commitment and we get going at 7:30am at the school. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
There were other "tweaks" that came out of the retreat that we will be talking about soon, but wanted to share these three with you. I think it could be an exciting fall at the Suncoast :-)