The New Executive Team
The Council of Elders has voted on and approved a plurality of leadership in what was formerly known as the Office of Senior Pastor with a Lead Pastor of Direction, a Lead Pastor of Ministry and an Executive Director of Operations to create a new Executive Team.
(WATCH our conversation and Q+A with Lay Leaders about this transition.)
- We remain committed to our Essentials of Faith and particularly, our belief in the inerrancy of Scripture.
- The Transition Team recommended a model with the options of 3 or 5 people in the role formerly known as the Office of Senior Pastor after a season of research and conversation with churches all over the country who have gone through similar seasons of transition.
- Council unanimously voted on the 3-person model, the role descriptions and the three people to fill these roles; Jason Smith - Lead Pastor of Direction, Mike Boulware - Lead Pastor of Ministry and Max Baumgartner, Executive Director of Operations.
- All campus pastors are excited and encouraged about this organizational shift and retain significant leadership function in the church and at their campuses.
- The Executive Team will be building a Senior Leadership Team to support organizational and ministry functions.
- Jonathan Scott and Jason Smith will continue to be the primary communicators on the teaching team, with campus pastors continuing to periodically preach.
A DEEPER DIVE
The goals of an Executive Team:
- Refine and enhance senior leadership focus on each aspect of mission
- Provide collaboration with regards to methods and strategies
- Recognize the significant scope, breadth and capacity to operate an organization of this size and scale
- Increase synergy and innovation to respond to evangelistic and discipleship challenges in a rapidly changing cultural environment
- Provide internal accountability through peer relationships
- Increase the diversity of decision-making perspective on the highest order issues
Our decision to move to a plurality of leaders at the senior leadership level is based on biblical principles not direct models. There are several ways to establish models of senior leadership in the local church. We believe that this model will serve Forest Hill best during this season. It is modeled in the New Testament and supported by biblical wisdom and demonstrates practical advantages.
Click HERE for the Biblical Foundations of a plurality of leadership.
Click HERE for Organizational justification of a plurality of leadership.
Plurality of Leadership
Division of Labor
Responding to Reservations
Jonathan Scott's Statement
Q+A with Lay Leaders
WATCH our conversation and Q+A with Lay Leaders about this transition.
Meet the New Executive Team
Jason Smith - Lead Pastor of Direction
Jason Smith has been on staff at Forest Hill for 11 years, and is currently the pastor of the NoDa Campus. Jason has a Masters degree from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Christian Thought/Theology and is passionate about helping people connect with God and find their purpose, no matter where they are starting from. Jason is a network leader of For Charlotte Mission Network, a gospel-centered network of churches in the greater Charlotte area working together to seek the peace of the Queen City. Jason and his wife Jessica, an artist and designer, have been married for 15 years and have three daughters, Savannah, Eden and Charlotte.
Mike Boulware - Lead Pastor of Ministry
Mike Boulware was born in Lakeland, FL where he grew up the youngest of three boys. He responded to the call of Jesus Christ as a young child.
His undergraduate education includes a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in psychology from Presbyterian College, in Clinton, SC. He received a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Reformed Theological Seminary, in Charlotte, NC. As an ordained pastor, he has served as the pastoral care pastor at Mandarin Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, FL, and in numerous leadership roles the last 15 years at Forest Hill. His passion in ministry is to love people and equip others to do the same so that the Gospel might be known and cause deep transformation in people.
Mike is married to his high school sweetheart Andrea. They have two children, Ashley and Chase. He enjoys going on dates with his wife, playing with his kids, working in the yard and watching a good science fiction movie.
Max Baumgartner - Executive Director of Operations
Max and his wife Gina have been married for 41 years and have three children and two grandchildren. Max has been the Executive Director/COO at Forest Hill since 2008. Prior to Forest Hill, Max was the Board Chair for Charlotte Christian School. And prior to that, Max served as the COO for David Jeremiah's Shadow Mountain Community Church. Max is a proud Navy veteran having completed 11 tours of duty including an assignment as the Supply Officer on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. He is passionate about Jesus, family, learning, and mentoring leaders. His hobbies include hiking, and skiing.
July 17, 2019
Forest Hill Family,
On behalf of the Transition Team, we are so very grateful for your partnership in the Gospel and for our life together as a church family.
As we begin a new season at Forest Hill, there is renewed excitement from our congregation, volunteers, staff, Transition Team and Council to more effectively change lives through the transformational hope of the Good News of Jesus Christ. We see it happening within the walls of our campuses, in the neighborhoods where are campuses are situated, and in the Greater Charlotte area as a result. And we are expectant to see this transformation spark new Gospel life in the next generation and in those far from God or disillusioned with the church. From teenagers and families to empty nesters and singles, there is evidence that God is doing something special at Forest Hill.
As seen on the May 18th All Campus Serve Day, more than 500 Forest Hillers served across two states, three counties and multiple communities sharing the love of Christ through word and action. What a remarkable display of Christ’s love for all people!
On two different evenings this Summer, people have come together to worship and pray over the site of our future FHC- Eastland campus; praying that the Lord will use this shared site partnership, between Forest Hill and a Movement Mortgage-sponsored charter school, to be the hands and feet of Christ in Charlotte’s eastside.
And, on June 19, our church experienced its first ever All Campus Worship Night. It was a powerful night with a sanctuary filled to the brim with raised hands, praises and worship to our Lord. If you missed it, you can watch it HERE. We are excitedly planning the next worship night for our church family sometime in August.
In addition, the Transition Team has been prayerfully and diligently seeking how God could uniquely use Forest Hill Church in His Kingdom and what organizational model would enable us to do that in the most effective way.
We have reached out to churches across the nation – both similar in size and reach to FHC and those much larger – to hear what they have learned about leadership structure post-transition and how it has shaped their organizational structure moving forward. We have compiled a lot of information and recommendations regarding organizational best practices, Senior Leadership models and more from the best and brightest minds in Church leadership. We have submitted these recommendations to our Council of Elders – with plans to communicate next steps to you in the coming weeks under their guidance and leadership.
This is a new season for the life and ministry of Forest Hill Church. As we have prayed about this new season, one verse in particular keeps appearing again and again to us – both collectively and individually.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?...” Isaiah 43:19
The more we talk to churches across the nation and partners around the world, we see that indeed the Lord is doing a new thing and we are excited to be a part of it.
Through a commitment to prayer, to God’s Word and to the movement of the Holy Spirit, we believe that the Lord is leading FHC to a new place. We sit in anticipation for all the ways the Lord is going to use this church and its people for His glory. Please know that we are always available for your questions, concerns and prayers. It’s our great privilege and great honor to help lead and care for Christ’s church.
On Behalf of the entire Transition Team;
Mike Boulware and Tom Emmrich, Transition Team Co-Chairs
Work Group Updates:
Sub-committees/work groups have been created around Care, Culture, Church Model, Communications, and Teaching. Each of these work groups desires input from all staff and hopes to well-represent the variety of voices and experiences we have here. Work groups may reach out to lay leaders and congregants for input as well.
Transition Team Members:
Co-Chairs: Mike Boulware and Tom Emmerich
Council: Tom Emmrich, Deidre Foster, Tom Mullis
Senior Staff: Max Baumgartner, Mike Boulware, Andy Guthe, Gentry Eddings, Jonathan Matos, John Parker, Jonathan Scott, Jason Smith, Andrew Weiler, Rebecca Woodman
Email the Transition Team.
Here are the first action items of a few of the work groups:
Teaching: Jason Smith and Jonathan Scott have pulled together a work group that well represents diversity among gender, age and ethnicity to discuss messaging and sermon series and how to reach people for Christ. They are currently meeting with teams to discuss topics related to 1 John - our summer series.
Communications: Stacey Martin and the communications team will conduct a communications audit to assess how and what we’re communicating now and how it can be improved in the future to optimize transparency and timely communications.
Culture: Forest Hill staff has completed the first in a series of culture surveys. The Cultural Team is unpacking these responses.
Click HERE to see FHC's Culture/DNA document.
Model: Very first step for this team is to be in prayer and ask this question, "God, what role would you have Forest Hill play in your Kingdom, in this city/region?"
Our Essentials of Faith
FHC's Governance Document