Sunday Service Time: 9:30 AM

August Update  (8/14/21)

Phos family,

As you might imagine, enduring the loss of our founding pastor in the midst of a pandemic has been difficult to say the least. After Jeff’s passing on August 1, 2020, we were advised to take time to grieve, seek counsel, and allow the church family (including all of us) time to process and prepare for a new pastor.

Now that a year has passed, we are eager to share with you what is happening behind the scenes. And, we are certain many of us are anxiously awaiting news about the progress we have made! We hope you will be encouraged and able to specifically pray for Phos after hearing our updates and future plans.

We began the search for a pastor by bringing on a seven member elder board who is serving at this time as our pastor search team. The team met with outside consultants including senior leaders from two different organizations who work specifically with churches searching for a pastor. Next, they built a search process timeline from recommendations given to them. Currently, they are meeting individually with each staff member to hear their hopes for Phos and to set up support for them. You will be receiving a more specific update from the pastor search team soon.

Meanwhile, our Phos staff learned to operate in this season without a senior pastor and filled in gaps where necessary to continue to shepherd Phos well. The staff does not lead alone, though. Three teams are currently in place to guide Phos: the staff (to carry out day to day ministries and equip the saints for the work of those ministries), the trustees (to bring on a pastor search team and provide financial accountability), and the elder board (to serve as a pastor search team and to protect the spiritual integrity of Phos).

However, while these teams each have their own roles, there are a few unique challenges to address before welcoming a new pastor. Recognizing this, a team (for this season only) has been established to hold the role of senior pastor for decision-making purposes and to allow us to take the necessary steps to ready us for the future. The team is called the Unity Team and includes one representative from each of the three teams. We are that team writing you today: Adam Davis (representing the trustees), Laura Cochran (representing the staff), and Donovan Mosley (representing the elder board).

There are four specific tasks we are working through that will ensure that the senior pastor presented by the pastor search team steps into a church with a strong foundation. Here are those four tasks:

  1. Bring on New Trustees: The historic role of trustees at Phos was to work alongside Jeff in specific seasons to provide advice regarding property changes and large financial decisions. The original trustees served in this capacity for several years and in one of the first trustee meetings after Jeff passed, they came to the consensus that their main task in this season was to put a pastor search team in place. And, now that their final task is complete, it is time for a new group of trustees that is fresh, energized, and able to serve with the new pastor well into the future. This behind-the-scenes team will still assist in property changes and large financial decisions and will also provide financial accountability with regular meetings to plan, review, and report spending to confirm that Phos is stewarding money well. That new group consists of Eddy Arnold, Theresa Stewart, Julie Wilson, and Hartley Winters. In addition, Adam Davis remained on the board of trustees to help the team begin their new role.
  2. Provide Consistent Communication: Our hope is to provide consistent communication so that you can know what is going on as well as how to pray. Beginning with this update, you will see regular updates (at least monthly) both at PhosChurch.com (under Phos Updates) and in your email if you have signed up for emails through a Connect Form.
  3. Solidify our Structure: Phos is a young church, established in 2008. And, while bylaws (a living document outlining the governance of an organization) have been in place to direct the operations of Phos, we recognize the need to review and adjust the bylaws as Phos has matured. We are currently working on this document to provide the new pastor and the staff with the authority to lead, but with checks and balances built in through spiritual guidance and accountability provided by the elder board and financial guidance and accountability provided by the board of trustees.
  4. Plan with our Staff: A significant challenge we face is that none of our current staff is full time. All nine staff members are part or quarter time and many have other jobs outside of ministry at Phos. The staff has done an excellent job serving above and beyond for many years. However, we would like to explore options for how we might be able to financially maintain a staff including some full time ministers. To begin that process, we will be working with the staff to see how God is calling them individually and what their future at Phos might look like.

In reflecting about the last year, we see how God has been moving by calling leaders with humble hearts and an eagerness to walk into the future with Phos. And, we are confident He is preparing the way as we continue to work through the above tasks to welcome a new pastor as well. We are excited to see what God does next!

Thank you for your prayers, your patience, and your faithfulness,
Adam Davis, Laura Cochran, and Donovan Mosley Unity Team