Using Gifts: Two Exciting Leadership Announcements at Vintage Church

By vintagechurch  -  On 13 Mar, 2015 -  0 comments
As some of you may have heard, we recently made two joyful announcements about the leadership of Vintage Church, and we wanted to share them with you here. Ephesians 4 tells us that although we are one body in Christ, each of us is equipped with special gifts for the work of ministry and the building up of the body of Christ. We acknowledge these gifts and are excited to announce that Matt Stevens, lead pastor of Vintage Church Downtown, will be transitioning to a new full-time role to serve all three Vintage churches as Executive Pastor of Communication and Creativity (effective September 1). With diligence and careful consideration, the elders of Vintage have selected John Fooshee, lead pastor of Redeemer Community Church in Johnson City, TN, as the new lead pastor of Vintage Church Downtown, to serve as Matt’s replacement. John will begin at Vintage on July 15.

As Scripture tells us, the local church is an organism. Ephesians 4 describes how that organism moves, works together, and functions as a whole. But the church is also an organization that reflects the special gifts of members within that body. In April of 2014, the elders at Vintage wanted to take a comprehensive look at the staff and each person’s special gifts. Through the lens of Vintage’s twelve-year history, a few things became apparent.

Early on, Vintage had a strong creative and innovative voice that was used in every aspect of the church. That voice—the look and feel of Vintage—was compelling to the city and helped people more clearly see why we worship Jesus and give all that we have to him as we know, live, and advance his gospel. Over the years, the expressive way that Vintage communicated its mission was diminished. Although that voice wasn’t lost, Vintage was missing out on some of the creative ways we used to engage the city. We realized that in early years, Matt Stevens was leading that effort. This realization led to the question: how can we get more of Matt’s time leading communication, building creative efforts, and re-establishing the rich voice Vintage used to have in proclaiming the gospel within the city?

To accomplish this would mean that we would need a lot of Matt’s time—more than he could give as lead pastor of a church. And we didn’t want the growth or health of Vintage Church Downtown to be sacrificed in the process. We worked with Matt to develop a new role, the Executive Pastor of Creativity and Communication. Matt accepted this new role and will begin the tasks associated with it effective September 1. In this new role, Matt will oversee the creative expression of the gospel throughout Vintage Church—everything from overseeing series design and creative effort to guiding the way we talk about who we are, what we do, and why it’s all for Jesus. Alongside lead pastors and worship leaders, Matt will serve all three Vintage churches by leading the music, liturgical, design, and communication ministries. By overseeing the creative vision of Vintage, we hope the result will be a renewed consistency, purpose, and unity in the shared identity among each Vintage church as wholly dedicated to Jesus and furthering his gospel.

With Matt’s new role, it was important to find someone who was gifted to lead a local church in the same way Matt was gifted to lead creative vision. It was important that this pastor share Vintage’s beliefs in the importance of knowing the gospel, living the gospel, and advancing the gospel. It was important for this man to be familiar with downtown Raleigh and the opportunities and challenges of sharing the gospel here. It was important for him have a passion for the city he lives in and to feel a burden for the lost.

Over the years, John Fooshee had many conversations with leadership at Vintage and had developed a deep peer relationship with our church. Over the past 18 years, he has worked in established churches and has planted two churches. At Redeemer Community Church, John’s love for the city and passion for Jesus have shown through in the way he leads ministries with such zeal. He has been a leader of leaders within the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, and a caring pastor to his people of Redeemer Community Church.

After considering dozens of potential candidates for the job and prayerfully considering the gifts of each one, the directional elders unanimously felt that John was the right man for the job. John accepted Vintage’s offer as the Lead Pastor for Vintage Church Downtown, and he will begin on staff effective July 15. You can hear a sermon John preached at Vintage Church Downtown on March 8 here, and you can also read his blog post about the transition here.

We look forward to welcoming John this summer. He and his wife, Lindsay, have been married for twenty years and have four unbelievable children: Sterling, Kate, Wesley and Aiden. John attended University of Texas, King College and Dallas Theological Seminary.

We hope you’ll join us in prayer over these transitions and join us in encouraging these men and their families as they continue to explore the gifts God has given them. If you have questions about either of these announcements, we’d love to hear from you at info@vintagenc.com.