Someone once said, “The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” That is so true! Any change requires the awareness of a need for change to take place and the acceptance that it must happen. If there is one thing that is 100% true in church, it’s that in order to continue moving forward there must be change. So that is something we at Cornerstone will continue to do in order to lead more people to know and serve Jesus.

Something that I, as the lead pastor, have become very aware of over the last year is that the pastoral ministry has increased greatly at our church. Josh Agerton and Brian Johnson were acting in associate pastor roles during their time here and helping me in this area. Now that they are gone and the load is increasing, our Personnel Team and Executive Team have realized we cannot continue to move forward with one pastor on staff trying to manage all the care needs, counseling, weddings, funerals, crisis, preaching, teaching, etc. We also know that we will never grow beyond the size of the platform on which we do ministry. To expand the ministry, we have to first expand the platform. So we have decided to add to our pastoral staff. The best way to fill any new role is to first look within the church and find someone who has the church’s DNA already. If that doesn’t work, the next step is to find someone who is connected to the church or has experience in the church in some capacity. We have used that philosophy of hiring for years. We are using it now to find staff to fill these pastoral roles. So with that, I’m excited to share with you that we are changing the roles of Lee Cadden (College Pastor) and Pat Bethea (Youth Pastor) in order to move them into an associate pastor capacity.

CaddenLee1Lee’s new title will be Associate Teaching Pastor. His job description will now include regularly teaching on Sunday morning; leadership and direction for all of our Equip sessions; point person for our Nicaragua partnership; director of our intern program; and leadership of our college ministry. He will also continue to assist in performing weddings and funerals, as well as offering counseling and prayer.

BetheaPatPat’s new title will be Associate Pastor of Care and Connection. His job description will include leadership and coordination of pastoral care (hospital visitation, funerals, crisis, etc.); providing counseling; helping people get connected to our church (baptism, membership, connect class); point person for local missions; as well as teaching and preaching.

We will be transitioning Pat out of Youth Ministry over the next year. He will continue to be our youth pastor through the Fall as we are working to hire someone to fill his role. We hope to have that position filled by the end of this year. Pat will mentor the new youth leader through the Spring and will be their direct report once on board. So the great news is Pat will continue to help give vision and leadership to our youth even in his new role!

I’m excited for Lee and Pat to take their next steps in ministry right here at our church! We are blessed to have them and the gifts they bring to serve our church and community. Please pray for them as they step into their new roles (officially this Sunday 6/26). Pray for our Personnel Team as they seek out that next person to carry on Pat’s great work with our youth. I’m praying we will all see this change as a good thing that is moving us forward as a church and helping us expand our mission.

Rusty Hutson
Senior Pastor