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PASTOR'S PERSPECTIVE
BY REV. DR. NATHAN HART
Legacy and Vision
June 21, 2018

The Fruit of Chuck Davis’s Legacy
 
We all know Chuck Davis as an anointed preacher, effective teacher and author, and visionary leader.  These public aspects of his ministry are plain to observe.  What many might not know, but what I have a had a front-row seat to for seven years, is how profoundly humble he is in his desire to see his team flourish.*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* 
*|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Chuck is countercultural in this aspect.  While many leaders feel threatened by the success of their colleagues and team members, Chuck allows them to shine.  I am an example of someone who has benefited from this leadership style.  It would have been natural for Chuck to limit my growth as a preacher and staff leader—many senior pastors do that to their associate pastors.  Instead, he fostered my growth, created an atmosphere in which it could reach its fullest potential, and celebrated it.  I am inexpressibly grateful and also inspired to pass along the same kind of leadership to every team I lead henceforth.  And I know I am not the only one who Chuck has influenced in this way.  Chuck often speaks of legacy.  One of his most enduring legacies will be all of us who are now thriving in faith because of the atmosphere of growth he created over these last 11 years.  In the same way John the Baptist said, “Christ must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30), Chuck has modeled for us a leadership posture that was not all about him, but all about Christ.  Much more could be said about Chuck’s legacy, and there will be time for us all to celebrate him in the weeks to come.  It might even take years for us to wrap our minds around the exponential impact that God has had, through Chuck, on us and our community.  What a gift!
 
Our Future Vision
 
I feel energized to run alongside the Holy Spirit as he leads this amazing church into God’s good purposes for us in the coming years.  I’ve been having a hard time staying asleep at night, not because of anxiety, but because of so many “downloads” of church vision that God keeps sending me.  I look forward to these ideas being tested and refined by the Elders with input from the congregation.  To that end, we are designing a churchwide survey to be distributed this fall, with which I look forward to getting an honest assessment of where we are as a body and how God wants to lead us, use us, and shape us.  I am sensing that God has so much more Kingdom expansion he wants to do in us and through us.  Thanks to Chuck’s faithful leadership, truly amazing Elders, a united and top-shelf staff team, and the constant sustaining power of the Holy Spirit, we are in a great position as we enter this next chapter.  We have the opportunity to go from strength to strength and I, for one, am feeling exceedingly optimistic about this new season as we continue our vision to know Christ and make Him known.
 
Gratitude
 
As I wrote in my letter to the congregation at the conclusion of the Search Committee’s process, Nancy and I are deeply grateful for their work and the efforts of the Elder Board over the past few months.  Knowing that this particular group of people was praying and seeking discernment along with the entire congregation gave us great peace throughout the entire process.  We are also grateful and humbled by the outpouring of love and affirmation from you all.  Monday night’s unanimous vote is the greatest encouragement and affirmation a pastor could ask for.  Thank you.
 
As I look toward the future that God is unfolding for Stanwich, I will be unspeakably grateful to be a “steward of his grace” (1 Peter 4:10), continuing the heritage of Nate Adams, Neely Towe, Chuck Davis, and so many saints who preceded them as shepherds of this flock.  Surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us all “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1b-2).  He is our Good Shepherd; he holds our lives and the future of this wonderful church in his able hands.
 
Pastor Nathan

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