Pastoral Transition - Q & A

On Sunday, January 21, pastor Karl and pastor Gary started our "Next..." sermon series by sharing some big news with the Cornerstone congregation. 

Pastor Gary will be stepping into the position of lead pastor, and pastor Karl will be staying at Cornerstone in the new role of teaching pastor. 

Here are the details about this upcoming transition in a Q & A format. Feel free to call, email or talk in person to any church leader about these, or any other questions you may have.

Why are we changing lead pastors?

We believe it was God’s will for pastor Karl to be the lead pastor for the last 25 years, but that it is God’s will for pastor Gary to be the lead pastor now.

Whose idea was this?

We believe it’s God’s idea for Cornerstone. But, as far as people are concerned, it is pastor Karl’s desire to do this. And pastor Gary feels ready and called to step into a new position of leadership for our church.

Will pastor Karl be staying or leaving?


If pastor Karl is staying, why is his position changing?

God is bringing new ministry opportunities to pastor Karl and Shelley’s lives, based on what we’ve all done together at Cornerstone for the last 25 years. It is physically impossible for pastor Karl to put in the required hours to be both the lead pastor at Cornerstone and follow God’s leading into these new areas of ministry.

By becoming the teaching pastor, instead of the lead pastor, much of the spiritual and emotional burden of leadership will shift to pastor Gary, allowing pastor Karl to keep teaching, counseling and participating in other ministries at Cornerstone for many years to come. 

How often will pastor Karl teach?

Pastor Karl’s Sunday teaching schedule will be reduced somewhat, as we’ve already seen in the last couple of years due to his travel schedule. But he and Shelley plan to hold occasional mid-week Bible Studies at their home as their schedule allows. With these added in, it is probable that the actual amount of teaching by pastor Karl will remain about the same as it has been in the last couple of years.

Who will lead the youth?

There is a great team of leaders working with pastor Gary to oversee the youth. That will continue under pastor Gary’s guidance, with those already in leadership stepping into bigger roles.

Why does this require a vote?

The choice of lead pastor is made by the voting members of Cornerstone, according to the governing legal bylaws of the church.

Who gets to vote?

All church members in good standing are eligible to vote. Before the pastoral vote is held, there will be a membership class (see the calendar) during which you can learn the requirements of membership.

Are we being asked to choose between pastor Karl and pastor Gary?

Absolutely not. Pastor Karl is stepping down as lead pastor, to take on the role of teaching pastor. The vote is not one against the other. It is an affirmation of pastor Gary to become the lead pastor.

I have other questions – who can I ask about them?

Pastor Karl, pastor Gary and all the deacons are available to answer any questions you may have. Talk to them personally, by email, or by putting a written question in the box at the back of the sanctuary.

What’s happening and when?

Over the next four weeks, we have the following events planned to help us get ready to make this important transition:

Sunday, January 28: Pastor Gary & Ami will cast their vision for the church

Sunday, February 4: Pastor Karl will speak

· He’ll walk us through more details about Cornerstone’s past, present and future

Sunday, February 11: Pastor Gary & Pastor Karl will speak

· This will also include leading the church in an extended prayer time

· The message will include answering questions that have come in

· After the second service, we’ll have Lunch With The Pastors and a membership class

Sunday, February 18: Better Together Vision Sunday

· One 10am service

· Followed by lunch and the Annual Business Meeting

· We will fill three deacon positions, affirm David Pritzos as the new treasurer, and vote on pastor Gary to be our lead pastor