June 2014 Congregational Letter :: New SAMP Staff Positions

June 4, 2014

Dear Friends and Family at St. Andrew’s,

As summer settles in the staff along with the vestry review the previous year and begin the process of prayerfully outlining the next ministry year and then seek to discern the budget.  As a part of our process we evaluate every dimension of our life at St. Andrew’s.  This year’s end-of-ministry year also involved the search for a Men’s Ministry leader who would build upon the good work Kurtz Smith did these past seven years.

Because Kurtz had made his intention to return to the business world known to me in January I had a few months to complete a thorough search process, a process in which I spoke to both lay and clergy candidates inside and outside of St. Andrew’s.  As a part of the process I asked a number of the men involved in the leadership of Men’s Ministry, the Vestry and staff to be prayerful partners in the discernment process.  Additionally, I sent them a list of the qualities that I was looking for in the man who would assume leadership of our Men’s Ministry.  Those qualities included the following:

      • Biblically and theologically astute.  I wanted someone well grounded in Scripture and able to communicate the full counsel of Scripture, applying it faithfully to the lives of the men in our parish.  I wanted someone who is also grounded in theology, understanding how the faith has been understood and worked out throughout the centuries and able to draw against that knowledge to minister to our men.
    • Relationally-minded.  I wanted someone who has as a priority and chief value the development and deepening of the relationships of our men within the parish.
    • Experienced.  I wanted someone with a proven track record. I wanted someone with ministry experience and a demonstrable record of initiating, building and leading a ministry.
    • A team-builder.  I wanted someone who can build and lead a team; someone who is good at delegating responsibility while maintaining overall oversight and ongoing coaching for the various leaders.

BMorganAs I interviewed the potential candidates it became clear to me that we already had the best-suited candidate on our staff, The Rev’d Brian Morgan.

In his eight years with us as one of our priests, Brian has had responsibility for our LifeGroups, Pre-marital process and our Marriage Ministry.  As the LifeGroup Ministry Leader Brian inherited a ministry with 15 LifeGroups and he has grown that ministry to over 90 LifeGroups.  He developed a new LifeGroup Leader recruiting and training process, a coaching/huddle structure for existing LifeGroups, and worked with Men’s and Women’s Ministry Leaders (Kurtz and Cassie) to recruit, train and coach their leaders.  Brian also worked with City Church to launch their LifeGroups.  As the Ministry Leader for our Pre-marital and Marriage Ministries, Brian had responsibility to create something that did not exist prior to his arrival.  And again, he has demonstrated substantial fruit.  On average we have 50 weddings a year at St. Andrew’s.  Brian developed a six-session pre-marital process (cumulatively, that is 300 pre-martial sessions every year) which also involved recruiting and training 70 laymen and women to serve as pre-martial – and then marital – mentors to our couples.  Hand-in-hand with his pre-marital work, Brian also implemented the Marriage Course at St. Andrew’s which has had just over 700 participants.  In all of these ministry responsibilities a clear pattern has emerged; Brian has been able to cast a vision, recruit and train to that vision, and then release those leaders to lead with him supplying ongoing coaching and encouragement.

One afternoon after I spoke to the clergy about the leadership transition to take place in Men’s Ministry, Brian asked me if he “could have a shot” at the leadership position. In our conversation I discovered another dimension of leadership that he possessed of which I was not aware, Brian is a graduate of NOLS, National Outdoor Leadership School (he was a wilderness backpacking guide, a whitewater rafting guide and a caving guide), – the leader in wilderness education – complementing nicely the robust outdoor ministry that our Men’s Ministry has developed.  Quite honestly, I liked Brian’s enthusiasm, I liked his initiative and I’ve seen the fruit that he has produced these past eight years.  And so, It is with great pleasure that I announce that The Rev’d Brian Morgan will be assuming leadership of Men’s Ministry at St. Andrew’s!  As a part of this move Brian will also be moving his office from the 3rd floor of the Ministry Center to the current Men’s Ministry office, upstairs in Caitlyn Annex.

The second staffing change I’d like to announce is that with Brian assuming Men’s Ministry he will hand-over LifeGroup leadership to Drew Miller.  In this role Drew will oversee all LifeGroups across the St. Andrew’s spectrum.  Drew is a part of the leadership team at City Church and he currently assists The Rev’d Todd Simonis in a variety of aspects on Sunday mornings at City Church. Additionally, as a LifeGroup leader, Drew has grown and reproduced his LifeGroup three times, raised up multiple leaders and is the coach of 5 different LifeGroups at City Church.  In addition to these volunteer ministry positions, Drew has served on the staff at St. Andrew’s for the past year as the Administrative Assistant to the Assistant clergy.  He has a broad background in ministry having served previously as an intern under The Rev’d Mark Cooke at a parish in New Bern, NC.  Drew is a 2011 graduate of Furman University with a degree in sociology.