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Important Announcement

Dear NMC Friends,

More than five years ago, long before COVID turned our lives upside down, a slow transition began taking place when Pastor Dave asked God, “What is the best way to set NMC up for long-term sustainability and effectiveness?” He knew that no one person could lead a church forever; transition is inevitable. He wasn’t (and still isn’t) ready for retirement. But he knew that, in order to create a strong foundation for the future, he and other church leaders needed to begin thinking, praying, and seeking wisdom for what a successful leadership transition could look like.

This began a long series of conversations with the Senior Leadership Team, the Church Board, the Personnel Committee, and other key leaders to discuss what the next few years should hold for Pastor Dave and NMC. They studied leadership transitions in other churches to learn what had gone right and what had gone wrong. They sought God’s guidance for putting the right people in the right roles, at the right time, in order to create the best conditions for NMC to continue being fully committed to its mission.

This week we are announcing the realignment of Pastor Dave’s and Pastor Joe’s roles at NMC. Pastor Joe will now have the title of Lead Pastor, an official designation as the leader, and a contemporary title often used in churches to identify who the point person truly is.

Pastor Dave will keep the title of Senior Pastor, but he will move into a new and exciting role where he will have the opportunity to focus on some specific areas of ministry close to his heart. He will continue to be a valuable resource to NMC, giving his organizational history, network, and counsel to the cause. He will continue to be part of the teaching team. He will provide a continuing theological compass for our future as well as serve as grandfather, father, big brother, mentor, coach, and cheerleader to many.

While this is a shift in titles, the reality is that these two leaders have been working in tandem for 35 years and will continue to work very closely with each other in making leadership decisions and managing the day-to-day operation of the church. This week’s announcement isn’t so much of an abrupt change but serves to bring the whole congregation into a process that has been functionally happening and evolving over a period of time.

“As the Chairman of the NMC Church Board and a member of the Personnel Committee, I have witnessed first-hand the transition process. I have been amazed at the honesty, integrity and respect Pastor Dave and Pastor Joe have for one another. ‘Whatever is best for the church’ is a phrase heard repeatedly over the last 12 months. As we continue this transition together, I ask each of us to use the same phrase. We have an opportunity to build upon the foundation Pastor Dave and Christy have built. It will take all of us working together, in unity, to accomplish this task. I’m confident in the plans we have established and the leadership of Pastor Joe Focht. God has richly blessed NMC over the last 42 years, and we must continue to seek His direction so that His face shines on this ministry for the next 42 years.” - Jamie Lengacher

In this Sunday’s service, we will mark this transition and have a time of prayer together. The entire leadership team of NMC—including Pastor Dave, Pastor Joe, the Church Board, the Senior Leadership Team, the Personnel Committee, and the entire Staff–is committed to seeking the Lord’s wisdom for how this transition should progress in the years to come. And we ask you to join us in praying for Pastor Dave & Christy and Pastor Joe & Jeanne as they navigate these changes.

We know that you may have many more questions. Please watch the above video for a personal message from Pastor Dave, Pastor Joe, and Board Chairman, Jamie Lengacher, and see below for some frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions, please send them to questions@nmc.church.

We appreciate your prayers, grace, and patience as we all lean into what God has for us in this season. We believe that NMC has a bright future, and we are excited for all that God has in store for our church and all those we impact!

In Him,
The NMC Church Board

Jamie Lengacher, Chairman
Randy Suttor, Vice-Chairman
Greg Holden, Secretary
Devon Bechtel
John Beck
Steve Brueck
Kevin Edwards
Rob Geiger-Pergrem
Gail Hostetler
Mark Lantz
Terry Martin
Nate Yoder

Frequently Asked Questions

WHY IS PASTOR JOE BEING NAMED LEAD PASTOR?
While this is a shift in titles, the reality is that Pastor Joe and Pastor Dave have been working in tandem for many years. Over the past decade, Pastor Joe has been leading the NMC staff meetings and has been intricately involved in day-to-day decision making. His gifting has allowed Dave to press forward with many of our regional and global initiatives as well as to speak in various settings. Pastor Joe, being named Lead Pastor, is given an official designation as the leader. It’s a contemporary term often used in churches to identify who the point person truly is.

WHAT WILL PASTOR DAVE BE DOING?

Pastor Dave will continue to be a valuable resource to NMC, giving his organizational history, network and counsel to the cause. He will continue to be a part of the NMC teaching team and provide a continuing theological compass for our future as well as serving as grandfather, father, big brother, mentor, coach and cheerleader to many. This new chapter moves him further away from being the point person for day-to-day operational responsibilities to multiplying leaders in settings where NMC currently is working and new areas we will enter. He will focus more intentionally on The Wise Leader Initiative, which will allow Pastor Dave to work with our partner ministries and position them for long-term sustainability and effectiveness. Pastor Dave and Christy will continue to be a part of the NMC family and remain on the NMC Staff. They recognize that while their role will change, their love and commitment to NMC and its ministries will grow deeper.

WHAT WAS THE PROCESS AND TIMELINE FOR MAKING THIS DECISION?
For over five years, Pastor Dave has been a diligent student of leadership transitions. He has read, studied, visited and interviewed multiple people on this subject. In August 2018, he expressed to NMC leaders his interest in moving into this next chapter of ministry, which began a process of prayer and seeking God’s guidance for an eventual leadership transition.

The next step was that the NMC Church Board asked the Personnel Committee to serve as the Transition Team and put together an official transition plan. The team has spent countless hours seeking outside counsel, consulting with senior staff, and meeting individually with Pastor Dave and Christy along with Pastor Joe and Jeanne. They have exhibited a high level of commitment and have helped to guide this process over the past year.

IS THIS A FANCY WAY TO SAY DAVE IS RETIRING?

No, this is not retirement for Pastor Dave. But it is a step toward finding a healthy, sustainable pace while pouring into the life of leaders that multiply. It’s a new and exciting chapter. And yes, it is uncharted territory!

WHAT IS PASTOR TIM VEENSTRA’S ROLE IN THIS TRANSITION?
Over the past few years, NMC has moved from a single teaching voice to multiple teaching voices. Pastor Dave and Pastor Tim have been coteaching through this past year. Pastor Tim will continue to be a teaching pastor, along with Pastor Dave and others during this next season of ministry.

IS THE LEAD PASTOR ROLE SOMETHING THAT PASTOR JOE HAS ASPIRED TOWARD?
This is something that Pastor Joe is stepping into as a result of faith and leaning into God’s calling for this season. While he has not sought this position, he looks forward to being a part of God’s plan. He highly values the Senior Leadership Team and will rely on their help and input to move the church forward post-COVID.

IS IT WISE TO MAKE THIS CHANGE IN THE MIDST OF ALL THE DISRUPTION FROM COVID?
COVID caused us to seriously look at all circumstances and decisions. After much prayer, discussion and seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit, we are trusting God's timing and believing in His faithfulness. We ask everyone to have grace as we establish what "normal" looks like for NMC and to pray with us for wisdom as we continue to navigate the challenges of COVID.

ISN’T IT CONFUSING TO HAVE A SENIOR PASTOR AND A LEAD PASTOR AT THE SAME TIME?
For some it might be, but as we looked at a variety of scenarios, we felt that this is what made the most sense, would give proper honor to both Pastor Dave and Pastor Joe, and would best position NMC for a bright future. Both Pastor Dave and Pastor Joe affirm their roles and titles, have a clear understanding of their responsibilities, and are committed to work through any needed adjustments as they walk out this process.