At our business meeting in May we announced some exciting changes among our staff.
We are in the early stages of a restructure that would bring increased unity to Berean’s family ministries and new life to adult ministries. We are currently working through these potential changes and would still love to hear your feedback, concerns, and input!
Under the new model, Pastor Spencer will move into an Adult Discipleship Pastor role, Kelly’s responsibilities expand to become the Berean Kids Director and Pastor Phil moves into a Family Pastor role, overseeing all family ministries, birth to young adult.
We hope to have these changes in place by September 1st, and we will take steps this summer to make this transition as smooth as possible. We believe these changes will allow us to accomplish the following:
Greater Ministry Effectiveness
For several years, adult ministry responsibilities have been split among five different pastors! This has caused our adult discipleship strategy to be unclear, confusing, and lack continuity and purpose across its ministries. People do not know how to get involved: “What should my next step be?” “Who do I contact?” Discipleship is THE most important thing our church should be concerned about. We need to be helping every person in our church move towards Christ-likeness. A single staff pastor, overseeing all of our adult discipleship, will make us more effective in accomplishing what God has called us to do: make disciples.
We have also seen in the last few years how greater alignment between Berean Kids and SURGE Student Ministries has allowed for greater fruitfulness. Joining these two departments into one centralized Family Ministry will allow for greater cooperation, alignment, and ministry. This structure emphasizes that these ministries are not here to “take your kids and disciple them,” but rather to come alongside parents and help them disciple their children. Many parents have children in both Student Ministries and Berean Kids so a Family Ministry department will allow for a more cohesive ministry to these families.
Better Stewardship of the Gifts of our Staff
In looking at the staff God has brought us, this reorganization makes very good sense. Better utilizing the gifts and passions of our staff will make us stronger and more effective as a church.
Spencer Valeri has been an effective leader of Berean Kids for the last five years. He has a Master of Divinity from Baptist Bible Seminary and is currently working on his PhD in Systematic Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an incredibly competent expositor and growing theologian, who has a huge passion for teaching others to rightly interpret and apply the Word of God to their everyday lives.
Adult Discipleship will be a new opportunity for Spencer but will poise him for a greater impact, considering his education and gifting. He will bring a depth and a strategic approach to discipleship at Berean that will definitely serve our congregation well.
Kelly Canfield has served Berean Kids for eight years as the Berean Kids Ministry Assistant. Over the last several years, she has operated in a leadership and coordinator capacity overseeing, scheduling, and in part leading around 150 volunteers who serve our children. She has an excellent relationship with our volunteers, two children currently involved in Berean Kids ministries, and fresh vision and passion.
When Berean brought in Tony Morgan’s Unstuck consulting group a little over a year ago, one of their tasks was to assess our staff and determine who had greater leadership capacity and gifting than their position permitted them to exercise. One of the top individuals identified in this process was Kelly Canfield. Deploying our staff into positions that will allow them to flourish will make our whole church healthier. We will be assigning administrative help to Kelly to help accomplish much of the day-to-day Berean Kids administrative work. This will free Kelly up from some of her current responsibilities so that she can focus on taking primary leadership of our kid’s ministry.
Pastor Phil Leineweber has been at Berean for three and a half years, serving as Pastor of Student Ministries. In that time, SURGE Student Ministries has seen excellent engagement of students in 6-12th grade. He is supported by the rest of the student team, Matthew Spiegel and Lori Seher, who are both excellent teammates and an integral part of this success. Matt is currently director of junior high ministries. His role would expand and add responsibilities, so that Phil has time to spend with the Berean Kids staff and volunteers. Phil would retain his primary role ministering to our high school students and his pastoral oversight of Berean Kids would have limited visible effect to the students in SURGE Student Ministries.
With three young boys currently part of the Berean Kids ministry, Phil and his wife, Sarah, will bring new passion to this integral ministry. We feel that Berean Kids is one of our “uniquely betters” as a church and we believe we can leverage this ministry for further growth in our church and outreach to our community.