SENIOR PASTOR ANNOUNCEMENT – 8 APRIL 2018
This weekend Senior Pastor Dale White and his wife Wendy announced that they would be concluding their ministry at HumeRidge Church of Christ at the end of 2018, their twenty-first year.
21 years is a long ministry by any standard and comes on top of predecessor Bruce Armstrong’s 18 years as Senior Minister. Indeed, the Church has had just three Senior Pastors in half a century!
“A Twenty-First is commonly a cause for celebration and transition,” said Pastor Dale, “and so we look back on many amazing achievements and wonderful times as we transition to our next venture.”
Mr White mentioned several highlights over these 21 years, including 560 people baptised; the congregation doubling in size; the staff team growing from 4 to 18; the construction of a 1500 seat auditorium, café, playground and office block; and a number of new ministries or programs.
Dale spoke highly of the capable, consistent, committed staff team with whom he has worked over these years; and the effective, supportive Board of elders with whom he has served.
“Wendy and I started at HumeRidge as a young family with great hope and energy. We have continued to serve to the best of our ability and have made many deep and long-lasting friendships here,” said Pastor Dale. “Nevertheless, we have sensed God’s timing for us to conclude our ministry at the end of 2018.”
Dale said that this ‘whisper’ of the Holy Spirit had been nagging away in him for a while, but that he and Wendy had both sensed God’s leading for the timing of this decision since earlier this year. They met with the elders last month prior to making the announcement today. Dale quoted Henry Blackaby who wrote in Spiritual Leadership (p.256), “Wise leaders know when the time has come to exit graciously and allow a new leader to step in.”
Dale added that he and Wendy will now lean into God to discern their next assignment. “There is a difference between a calling and an assignment,” he said. “God’s calling to ministry is permanent; but our assignments may change. “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29).
Dale said that in making this decision there are many different feelings – a mixture of grief, relief & belief all in one. There is grief in planning to say some goodbyes; and relief as the role is at times difficult and stressful. “But most of all,” he said, “there is a very real belief that God has great things ahead for us; and a that He has the future for HumeRidge Church in His hands.”
He concluded with his very favourite verse, “I am confident of this, that God who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6). Wendy added another verse, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) “Whilst we do not see the future,” she said, “we step forward in faith and trust in God’s future – for ourselves and for the Church!”
Dale White will continue to lead the church and the staff team as normal until December. Our Elders and Senior Leaders are now meeting and praying together about the future of ministry leadership at our Church, believing that God has this Church firmly in his hands.