In Sunday’s message and then again in this week’s “Inside Today’s Experience” I made the announcement that Chelsea Miller will be leaving our staff. If you missed Chelsea’s letter from yesterday, you can read it here.
Any time something like this happens, there are bound to be a lot of questions so I wanted to answer them here for you. Then tomorrow check back into this blog for more info on the plan going forward.
Q. Why is she leaving?
A. Because it is how God is directing her. As I mentioned Sunday, many times God will ask us to do things that aren’t comfortable and require sacrifice. Having worked with Chelsea for the past 18 months I know how much she loves your kids and how much it pains her to be called away but doing what Jesus asks us to do must always be our first priority. Again you can read her thoughts here.
Q. But you said she’s still going to attend ECTV right? Why would she do that?
A. Because she still believes in the vision of ECTV and has made many good friends here. In other words, she’s feeling called away from her staff responsibilities but not the church.
Q. OK Gilbert what did you do to upset her and make her want to quit?
A. Nothing. I may not be the world’s greatest boss but Chelsea and I have a great relationship. Over the months she became not just an employee but a close friend and someone I protect like a little sister. She would tell you that I’m not perfect but that I tried to support and encourage her each and every step of the way.
Q. Ok was she fired then?
A. No Chelsea was doing a great job. Nothing made me happier than seeing kids each week come running out excited about what they had just experienced in the kids theater. When I hire and then evaluate people for job performance, it’s based on 3 things…Character (are they growing to become more like Jesus), Competency (can they do the job) and Chemistry (can they get along with other staff and those they are called to lead and minister to)…by each of these measures Chelsea was doing very well.
Q. You’ve mentioned the tight finances at the church a number of times, was she laid-off for financial reasons?
A. No. While yes, like any church plant, we’re struggling to get a financial base, things are not so bad that Chelsea had to be laid off. In fact, I’ve told the staff that if we were ever to get to that point that I’ll be the first to sacrifice salary before I’d ask them to or have to get rid of one of them.
Q. Will you be hiring someone to take her place then?
A. Short-term the answer is no. Again I’ll be posting tomorrow what the plan looks like going forward.
Q. Seriously this would be so much more fun if there was some big controversy or scandal…are you sure you’re telling the whole story?
A. YES!!! It’s sort of a shame that as a pastor I need to do posts like this in the first place. Unfortunately though because of the mistakes of church staff in other churches over the last couple of decades, it’s almost become a necessity to keep the rumor mill from churning. The most unfortunate part of that is, that as Christians, we’re to always look for the good in others first off but many times we are the meanest, gossipy bunch around. For that, shame on us. Again the truth is, Chelsea was called here by God and now she is being called away. I applaud her for following what God is asking her to do when it would have been very easy to just keep collecting a pay check. My prayer is that all of us would be as obedient.
Q. What specifically can I be praying about?
A. First, be praying for Chelsea. While she was only part-time with us, this is going to put a bit of financial pressure on her. Again though I so admire her faith to do what God wants even at the risk of personal discomfort. So pray that God will provide to make up the difference. Also, be praying for her as she seeks God for what her next step is in her own service to God. Again the plan is she wants to stay with us at ECTV, but who knows what God might have in store so pray that His perfect will be done in and through her.
Second, be praying for the children of ECTV. While all of this might make sense to us, for them this can be a confusing time. Why is she leaving? Did I do something wrong? Does she not like us? etc… I want to encourage you to begin preparing your children now. Over the next few weeks the kids will begin noticing some changes so hopefully we can make the transition as smooth as possible…then on March 18th we’ll have a big going away party for Chelsea where not only will we celebrate but also encourage them to always follow God’s will. One thing that will help is that the kids will still get to see her in the hallways before and after church so were praying that will take away a bit of the sting of losing her in the actual theater.
Third pray for the rest of our staff, especially Chad, as we work to build on the awesome foundation of Children’s Ministry that Chelsea has already laid.
Finally, pray about your part. Again more details will come tomorrow but we need 25 of you to step up in various roles in Children’s Ministry to make sure that it not just survives but thrives. If you’re interested in taking the next step, click here to get more info and begin the application process.
Q. Final question. Should vegetarians eat animal crackers?
A. OK now you’re just being weird, talk to you tomorrow. 🙂