When AGIF’s founding pastor, Nate Showalter, announced his retirement, the elders decided to hire an intentional interim pastor to guide the church through its season of significant change. Interim Senior Pastor Rick Cryder arrived in May of 2017 and is currently working closely with members of a Transition Team and the elders to do an in-depth study of AGIF’s history, identity, core values, mission and vision. The results of this study will provide critical guidance in the search for a new senior pastor. The Transition Team is made up of nine members of AGIF appointed by the elders.
An interim pastor is a temporary shepherd who ‘is called into a congregation that has lost its installed pastor and has subsequently chosen to be intentional about how it utilizes the weeks, months, or years of its forthcoming interim period. The congregational leaders have chosen to be wise stewards of this often unplanned time ‘between the no longer and the not yet.’ Having had special training in this itinerant pastoral ministry, the interim pastor is equally intentional about serving a congregation that has claimed its interim period as a God-given opportunity for reflection, study, learning, renewal, and preparation for the future’ (Temporary Shepherd by Roger Nicholson).
This transition period of time is estimated to last between 12-18 months, during which time Pastor Rick leads the church through a proven five stage process. AGIF is currently in stages two and three. In stage five the elders appoint a pastoral search team to select a new senior pastor candidate to present to the elders and congregation for approval. We hope this search team can be assembled by December of 2017 and that a new long term senior pastor will be getting settled in Shanghai by the Fall of 2018.
Abundant Grace is an extraordinary church with extraordinary opportunities in front of her. Please pray that we will humbly walk with God during this time of change, receive His vision for the future and pursue it with Spirit-inspired passion, love and unity.