Normally, a church might have to do a nationwide search to fill shoes left by someone like Baxter Wynn, but when Kendra Plating appeared at a Visitor Luncheon in 2014, it was as though God was out ahead of us, raising up the right person “for such a time as this” to help us meet the challenge of the day. She gave us a seamless transition and expertly oversaw the church’s “culture of care” during a season of growth and change.
Among the many things I’m grateful for as my job title changes to “Minister of Pastoral Care” is that we will retain Kendra’s many gifts. She will continue to keep office hours (9am-2pm Monday-Wednesday). She will continue to provide leadership for worship, Grief Support and other small groups. She will continue to visit our homebound members, and she will be available for counseling and consultation for which she’s the best-suited member of the staff. What a bargain!
My job? Well, let’s be clear: my job is not to do all the pastoral care at First Baptist. I love this church, but frankly, that’s your job! At First Baptist, “every member a minister” is an organizational principle, not just a slogan. My job will be coordinating our Pastoral Care efforts. The goal is not merely to make sure every person is ministered to, but that every member has the chance to be a minister.
It’s a daunting task. I still see faces I cannot match with names, and I still haven’t figured out how to be in two-or-more places at once. I’m going to need lots of help. Can I count on yours?