John Stas

Last night, a quietly monumental thing happened in our church.  John Stas walked out of an elders meeting and he won’t be back next month.  Most of you probably don’t know John Stas.  You may not even know much about our elders…so I thought I’d write a little bit about them today. 

We don’t call a lot of public attention to our “elders” – the group of spiritual leaders who are responsible to God for the health and direction of our churchOur terminology is that they GUARD and GUIDE our church.  They mostly serve behind the scenes, but they were identified and selected as elders because of their deep maturity in the faith, their love for the church, their wisdom and discernment, and that unique combination of strong convictions with a gentle spirit.  I’m one of the group, but the rest are made up from our church body – among them are a managers, an appliance installer, a school psychologist, a small business owner, and more.

What do they do?  They guide our decision-making about major initiatives.  They guard our values and our mission.  They both support me and hold me accountable as the Lead Pastor.  They serve in their own areas of passion – right now some are community group leaders, serving in missions, children’s ministry, celebrate recovery, worship leadership.  Together we all are part of the team that takes communion people each Sunday who can’t get out to church for health or other reasons.  They study theological issues that affect us.  They intervene when someone in the church is being divisive.  They pray for our church – as a whole and with individuals.  They take the lead in developing future leaders.

There is a lot more, but everything I just wrote has John Stas’ fingerprints all over it.  Our system allows for both stability and refreshment among elders so it’s typical for elders to take a break from this role after three – or at the most 6 – years.  But John Stas was willing to be an exception to that and is the only person who has served on the team since we transitioned to this leadership structure over 7 years ago.  Over John’s time as an elder, Suncrest has baptized over 350 people, saw community group involvement go from about 15% to over 50%, launched a 2nd campus (he and his family were part of the launch team),  clarified our discipleship strategy (the 4C’s), and doubled in size. 

That’s amazing to reflect on, but as anyone in leadership knows not every meeting is overflowing with vision and blessings.  There are challenges to be met, issues to deal with, tough conversations to be had alongside the experiences that are so full of joy.  John has handled each one with integrity and grace.  After last night’s meeting, he’s committed to taking the next year off…but I for one hope he’ll come back and serve in this way again. 

If you want to get to know John a little better, I did do a blog about him last year that you can find here:

Thanks, John!

~ by Greg Lee on December 10, 2009.

One Response to “John Stas”

  1. Thanks for your service John. Enjoy Wednesday nights with your family!

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