PASTORAL TRANSITION DETAILS
On September 12, 2021, Pastor Jeff Maness notified the congregation of Element Church that he believes the Lord is calling him onto something new in ministry.
On September 12th, I announced my resignation as Lead Pastor of Element, effective on Monday, January 10th of 2022. I have not been asked, nor was I required to step down for any reason outside of my desire and obligation to follow the Spirit’s leading.
After many hours, over the course of several months of prayer and fasting, consulting family, friends, and colleagues, and following dozens of confirmations through Scripture, books, sermons, podcasts, and friends, we believed it was time for us to step down and step into God’s new land for us. Just as God called us to start Element Church 14 years ago, He is now calling us to let her go.
I will be leaving Element in great hands. Yes, there will be some difficult transitions ahead, but God has assembled a phenomenal team of leaders on staff, on our Leadership Council, and on the volunteer teams here at the church. I make this decision from a place of deep love and respect for all of them, and 100% confidence in their ability to move Element forward into her new land as well.”
-Pastor Jeff Maness
On Pastor Jeff and Sabrina’s latest Podcast episode, they dive into the full backstory of how God brought them to this decision and where God has called them to go.
Transition Next Steps
We have selected an interim lead pastor to help bridge the gap between Pastor Jeff’s departure and the hiring of our next lead pastor. The interim pastor will preach and help carry the vision, provide leadership for church staff, as well as be available for pastoral care needs of the congregation.
We are excited to announce that Dr. Derry Long has been named as our Interim Lead Pastor. He began serving at Element Church on a half-time basis on December 19, 2021.
Dr. Derry Long has served in ministry for over 45 years in many roles – pastor, church planter, pastoral coach, regional overseer, and international teacher. He was a lead pastor at Evangelical Churches for 27 years in metro and rural areas. He was superintendent of the Western Conference of the Evangelical Church from 1994-2000 with oversight of 30 churches. He was chief strategy officer for Journey Church in Bozeman from 2006-2017, and pastoral coach for Harvest Church and its five campuses in Montana and Wyoming. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham, England, and started a consulting company. He grew up on a farm in North Dakota. He and his wife, Marcy, have been married for nearly 50 years and have three children and five grandchildren.
The Leadership Council (Elder Board) is utilizing the services of Vanderbloemen, the leading church executive search firm in the U.S. to assist in the pastoral search.
On February 22, the Leadership Council and Staff were formally presented with six of the top candidates from the 70 applications received since the position opened. Four of those candidates were selected for formal interviews with the Staff and Leadership Council. In complete alignment the Leadership Council prayerfully selected two candidates for the next step of an onsite interview, but both candidates declined to take the next step with us at this time. We are hopeful this too is answered prayer and the Lord’s leading. Vanderbloemen will soon present additional candidates and we will repeat the interviewing process. Please continue to pray the Lord grants wisdom and discernment as we take our next steps.
On April 26th, the Leadership Council and Staff will be presented with a new round of potential candidates. We’re asking for the church to pray for continued wisdom and discernment as we prepare for this next step.
Once a match is found The Leadership Council will vote on who will become the next Lead Pastor of Element Church.
Lead Pastor Position Information
We believe God is right now actively calling the next person to lead Element Church. We also believe we should take an active part in getting the word out about the position. Here’s a short video our staff put together to help share what we believe Element Church needs in a new lead pastor.
If you’d like to share the position description with someone via email or social media, please use the following Vanderbloemen link. Applications will not be accepted by the church directly but must be submitted via the Vanderbloemen website.
We will continue to provide regular updates on select Sundays and ask for the congregation to pray over specific milestones throughout the process and will post any pertinent updates here.
DO YOU HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS OR NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT THE TRANSITION?
CONTACT OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DEREK MOWERY
Office Hours: Monday – Thursday // 9AM – 3PM