*Corrections have been made to this post.
Some of you have asked us what will happen if we don’t call Sarah as our minister. The honest answer is, we don’t know. But we can give you some idea of the possibilities.
First, you should know that Wildflower is not eligible to enter the “second phase of search” that we mentioned a while back. That only applied to churches that were unable to find a Candidate. We found a Candidate — Sarah. So if the congregation does not vote to call her, then the 2019-2020 search process, and our work as a Search Team, is over.
*Wildflower may at that point be lay-led. Some old-timers remember our days of being lay-led. It’s an incredible amount of work for the Worship Team and would require a lot more volunteers helping with that process. We’d survive, and probably have some great lay-led sermons.
The church may decide to enter the search process for 2020-2021. That would require selecting a new Search Team. The decision not to call the person that this Search Team recommended would show that the congregation has a lack of faith in the Search Team, so a new one would need to be found. Additionally, ministers in the search process would learn that our congregation had not voted in favor of the Search Team’s recommendation in 2020, so it would be the new team’s responsibility to explain to ministerial candidates why that happened and why it likely wouldn’t happen a second time.
Depending on the reasons that people choose not to vote for Sarah, the congregation may decide that we are not ready for a called minister after all. The church could pursue an interim minister or another developmental minister like Brian. The congregation would need to vote to approve that process, and then the Board would decide who to hire without congregational input.
One thing that will not happen is that Brian will not stay on as our minister. His time with us will end June 30, 2020, regardless of whether we call Sarah as our minister or not.
The Search Team has worked hard for the past year to find a minister that we think will serve Wildflower well in the coming years. We deeply appreciate and honor the trust you have placed in us for this work. And we trust you, the congregation, as well. We trust that you will vote on May 3 and that, regardless of the outcome, you will make the best possible decision for the future of Wildflower Church.
*The original paragraph read “Wildflower would very likely at that point be lay-led for at least one year, possibly more. Some old-timers remember our days of being lay-led. It’s an incredible amount of work for the Worship Team and would require a lot more volunteers helping with that process. We’d survive, and probably have some great lay-led sermons. But our membership numbers would likely decline, if the past is any indication.”