At Two Cities Church we have six staff values. They are a basic agreement, a basic way of operation for loud our staff. These are commitments we’ve made to each other and God and we believe that these values will help shape the culture we hope to continue to build. We didn’t make these up. We borrowed them from North Point Ministries in Atlanta, GA because we’ve seen them create exactly what we feel every community needs. That is, a church that unchurched people love to attend all for the purpose of leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
These values are hard to live out. As soon as we put these on paper, they began to be challenged by our circumstances. In particular, the one staff value that has been the most challenging is Remain open-handed.
We have had the amazing company of fantastic couples who believe in the mission of Jesus Christ, as expressed through Two Cities Church. But the job market in Fresno and Clovis has not been good to us. There have been three critical and key couples who have had to move away due to job opportunities outside of our area. They all wanted to stay. They collectively applied to what seems like hundreds of jobs in our area, but ultimately got one somewhere else. They are now a part of our extended family!
Dale and Susy Cobb lived in Visalia and drove 45 minutes just to come to small group every week. They move to the central coast for a new job opportunity. Erica and I had the pleasure of having dinner with them a couple of months ago and we miss them.
Mauro and Chelsea DeBenedetto joined our team and a few months later he was hired on full-time as a worship pastor at a church in one of the out-lying Fresno communities. You can see Mauro’s baptism video here.
Eric and Tracy Bomgardner have been an essential part of Two Cities since we moved back to town from Santa Rosa, Ca. Eric recently accepted a job in the Seattle, WA area. Tracy is still in town for a few more months, but we already miss Eric at our services and groups. Eric remains on our board.
Chris and Lisa Hansen are our most recent couple to move. Chris left for Dallas, TX while Erica and I were recently on vacation. He has been on a job search for a long time. He got a great job in Texas and Lisa is moving out in a couple of weeks. We will miss them dearly.
It’s difficult to remain open-handed, but what choice do we have, right? These are circumstances beyond our control, like most things. Here’s what we know, every loss we experience in terms of people moving away is an opportunity for new people to step into a greater role. For example, Chris Hansen was leading our Guest Services team as a volunteer director. As soon as found out he got the job, we began to imagine who God might use to fill that role and I’m thankful to say that someone else has already stepped up. (More on that in a future post.)
Staff values are important because they help govern your responsiveness to challenge and they shape the culture you create. These are not statements on a piece of paper, these are guidelines to which we hold ourselves. And at this point, this one in particular, is difficult for us to live out… but we trust Christ, that His plan is being made perfect and He is motivating a host of people to get their hands dirty in the ditches of relationships and ministry at Two Cities Church. You might even be one of them.