Lead Pastor Transition / Church Updates

August 13, 2020

In Romans 15:13, Paul writes, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” That overflow of hope is something we know you have held tightly to in this very full season, and it is something we believe God is calling us to help bring to our communities.

This last week we began a process of intentional reflection and conversation to begin developing plans for the future of our church in this next season and beyond. This work by members of the staff and elder teams produced a tremendous amount of unity, belief, and alignment around the most important things for the ALC family.

As a result, we have launched several action teams to begin developing plans around our desired church culture and values, clarity around organizational structure, strengthening our communication and decisions around in-person gatherings.

We are so incredibly grateful for your prayers and encouragement – we felt them last week during our planning meetings and encourage you to continue joining us in prayer for the future of our church and the Church of Portland. We plan to begin sending these emails weekly with notes from different members of the team to begin providing more regular communication. In addition to encouragement and current happenings, we will let you know about the different opportunities you will have to step in and learn more.

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19

When we lean into God and humbly ask Him to do something new in and through us, He always provides. Our best days are still to come, church family. Thank you for your faithfulness!

– The ALC Elder Team

July 11, 2020

Abundant Life Church Family,

This continues to be a difficult season for many, and we ask that you continue to join us in prayer and service to those in our church and community. With the resignation of our Lead Pastor Jeremy Jernigan, some questions have emerged regarding the circumstances around Jeremy’s resignation, the interim plan for teaching, church leadership, and the future of Abundant Life Church.

Over the past few months, individuals within our church including Elders, staff, and church family members raised serious concerns regarding church culture, staff culture, leadership accountability, theology, vision, and the direction of Abundant Life Church. To honor those concerns and the Biblical role of Eldership, the Elders and Pastor Jeremy held many special meetings and discussions in hopes of addressing, learning, and growing from this feedback. After several months of discussions, the Elder Board proposed instituting a time for the group to pause, reflect, and pray while discerning how to navigate these concerns. As part of this strategy, the Elder Board proposed a four-week break from teaching, blogging, and otherwise communicating to create space for the entire Elder Board to reflect, meet, and navigate the concerns raised. Shortly after the Elder imposed pause Jeremy declined to discuss any of these matters further with the Board and decided to submit a letter of resignation.

Please know our intention was not for Pastor Jeremy to resign but to work together. We were clear and intentional about moving forward and working together with Pastor Jeremy.

The Board did not silence Jeremy from addressing racial issues. As a church we are committed to living a life of love and humility as demonstrated by Jesus Christ; a love and humility that stands up, confronts, and dismantles social and racial injustices (Micah 6:8). We value diversity and want all to find a place of grace and peace at Abundant Life Church. Likewise, our church and its leadership continue to be a church that cares deeply for vulnerable and displaced people.

The Board is working together with the staff at Abundant Life Church to continue moving forward as we begin the process of identifying a new Lead Pastor. In September we are planning a church family meeting to discuss the current process and to give more information regarding the pastoral search. Our pastoral teaching team is planning our next message series and will continue to teach on weekends.

We ask that you join us in prayer for our staff, our church family, and our community. Our love for Jeremy remains and we desire the best for him. We ask that you pray for Jeremy and his family as they pursue this next chapter. We hope you will join with us to work together to fulfill our calling based on John 10:10. We believe God is going to show up in powerful ways and allow our church to be a lighthouse within our community.

If you wish to speak directly with an Elder or member of staff, please e-mail Leadership@alcpnw.com.

In Christ,

The Elder Board

June 29, 2020

To Our Abundant Life Family,

We have missed gathering and worshipping with you in person these past several months.  We understand that these are exceedingly difficult times and we are proud how the staff, volunteers and church body have continued to gather online, serve and support those in our church family and the community around us.

We are writing today to notify you that Jeremy Jernigan has submitted his resignation as Lead Pastor of Abundant Life Church. This decision was reached after several months of meetings, reflection, prayer, and the conclusion that this is best for Jeremy and our Abundant Life Family.

Going forward, the Elder Board will work with staff and leadership to develop an interim and eventual long-term plan to steward and grow the over 30-year foundation of Abundant Life as a lighthouse of God’s love and, truth and advocate for justice and mercy in this community.

We are unwaveringly committed to protecting the essential beliefs of the Church, the mission of Abundant Life Church remains:

“Giving ourselves to make the Gospel good news for others.”

 And we continue to hold up John 10:10 as a guiding scripture:

“…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

We are very appreciative for the passion and service that Jeremy contributed over the past three years and we hope you join us in thanking him, and praying for him as he moves into a new season of service for God.

Most sincerely,
Your ALC Elder Board

July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020

We are very grateful for your love and faithfulness. We acknowledge that this has been a challenging season on many fronts, however, we are so encouraged and inspired by the prayers, letters of encouragement, and honest concerns we have received from you.

We want to share with you the steps we are taking as an Elder Board to address concerns and to prepare for the future selection of a new Lead Pastor.

Over the next two months we will be pursuing an intentional path of listening, discerning and unifying for the future of ALC. We are starting with and covering this process in prayer and scripture and we are dedicated to seeking the Will of God at every step. We invite you to join us in this effort by praying wherever you might be every Monday between 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

We have invited Chris Yarco to support us in this process as a trusted consultant. Chris serves as the Lead Executive for Willamette Christian Church and she has been providing leadership coaching across the Northwest and the Country to serve churches addressing seasons of transition, change, decline or momentum. Chris has a love for the local church and a deep respect for the ministry of Abundant Life Church. She and members of her staff at Willamette Christian Church, Hope City Church and Beaverton Christian Church have previously collaborated with members of the ALC staff. We have been encouraged by their reputation, by their love for Jesus, and by their willingness to walk with us.

Chris will help facilitate important conversations, capture our team’s insights, ideas, wisdom and inspiration and help catalyze them into strong action plans that will help serve our governance structure, our ministry plans, and our search for a new Lead Pastor.

This week, we began a series of facilitated meetings with Chris, our Elder Board and Staff to ensure that we are clearly hearing all concerns and that we are identifying the most important areas to focus on to ensure the long term health of our ministry. In August, we will dedicate two full days to reviewing all aspects of our ministry and we will launch specific plans as a result of that time. In September, we are planning a church family meeting to discuss the progress and to give more information regarding the pastoral search.

It is our unified belief that we have an opportunity before us to lay an even stronger foundation for our future and we are truly excited for what God will reveal. Building upon the incredible ministry of the last 31 years, we believe that the best days for Abundant Life Church remain in front of us.

We ask for you to pray specifically for Chris, the Elder Board, for our Staff, for our church family, and for God’s protection. We also ask for your prayers for this process, and we commit to ongoing, regular, and clear communication with you on our progress.

Most sincerely,

 

Your ALC Elder Board