11 March 2008

Feeling the sting of Lakeview's latest news

(So I said I was back in a big way and then disappeared for a couple weeks. I was in Seattle for a busy conference week and then I came home and was in bed sick for a week. Being sick meant that getting on a computer was at the bottom of the list of priorities.)

News travels fast in these days of the internet. The senior pastor of my Saskatoon church, Dean Angell, has resigned. He's been in that position for approx 15 years so it's sort of a big deal. I was one of the many people that was a student in Dean's youth ministry days and will always be appreciative for his efforts in molding my faith at that stage of life. After that he moved into the adult pastor role where he was influencial in growing Lakeview church and casting a big vision that has put Lakeview on the church map so to speak. Although his departure is a scary thing I can't really say it's a surprise or necessarily a bad thing. Most pastors don't last much more than 5 years so we were blessed to have Dean doing his thing for so long. Perhaps his time had run it's course and both he and Lakeview needed a bit of a fresh start. Dean's been a long time Willow Creek type guy and I believe that our church is now at a stage where the WC style and approach has been played out. It's time for Lakeview to forge it's own identity with some originality and a Saskatoon specific approach. We have a gifted staff and leadership that now has a chance to spend time with God and come up with some new dynamic ways to do ministry in Saskatoon. I think one of the downfalls of having such a gifted/outspoken/public leader like Dean is that he becomes the focus for a lot of people and that's a dangerous thing. I hope that the people of Lakeview use this chance to break away from the habit of being so one-leader captivated and discover what it is to trust the many leaders of Lakeview whilst keeping the main focus on God and the person of Jesus Christ. For Dean, I think this is a great opportunity to start again with the new found maturity from his recent health break. He's a great leader and an amazing communicator...he'll be able to spark a church that's on the verge of big things but doesn't know how to do that. I have no doubt that the Angell family with succeed wherever they go and will always have a warm welcome waiting for them back in Saskatoon.

The major issue with this big news is the mourning period at Lakeview. Some people are upset, some are scared, some are confused, some are shaken, etc. This time will be tough and also very telling. The hope is that the community can rally together as they mourn and then move on. I will be praying that not too many people will leave and that no big division/bitterness will fester. I will uphold the leadership of Lakeview in my prayers as they have big decisions ahead. I will also keep Dean and the Angells in prayer as they seek God's new direction for their family.


Allison said...

You pretty much hit the nail right on the head, Chester.

Grandpa Steve said...

Good for you.

I am blessed by the insight in your words.

Melissa said...

Great post. I hope many people from Lakeview will read this or maybe put it on the facebook discussions. It's a great insight and is encouraging.

Sherri said...

Very good post!

If there's one thing I could add based on the Church meeting the other night - it's to also pray for the Board, that's can't be a fun place to be right now.