A letter from Pastor Carlos Sibley to the parents and students at Watkinsville First Baptist concerning the change of leadership in our student ministry. 

April 26, 2015

Dear Parents,

Today in our student gathering Joel shared that I have asked him to take on a new role with our church family—Media and Communications Pastor.  This recommendation has been affirmed by the Personnel Team and Deacons and will be presented and voted on tonight at our 6PM Church Conference. Our student ministry is more than just a Sunday morning event; it is a family of students and leaders. Thus, prior to tonight’s meeting I wanted Joel to have the opportunity to communicate face to face his love for the students and families of our church and the excitement of what lies ahead for our WFBC.

The purpose of this letter is to explain a few details related to this transition. Also, I want to provide information about the process and plan for future youth ministry here at WFBC.  

For over a year our Vision 2020 Team has met to look ahead at our needs related to space, staff, ministries, missions, and all things related to our purpose of making wholehearted followers of Christ. Regarding staff needs, two priorities rose to the top—multiplying our efforts in the area of youth ministry and secondly, addressing the need to better communicate our message to a world of people who live and operate in social media environments.  The Media and Communications Pastor will help us deliver our message by strengthening internal communication and developing a strategic presence in the media world. 

This new role will be responsible for practical areas such as web management/development and video production for the purpose of sermon support, missionary reports, salvation stories and ministry event promotion. He will also help our church family and the community around us be better informed through the Sunday Paper bulletin, newsletters, and various social media outlets.

As the job description came together for the Media and Communications role, and as I prayed about the position, Joel was the person that kept coming to my heart again and again.  This work needs someone that understands the DNA of our church, connects with the vision, passion and personality of our staff, and has an understanding about the way a new generation communicates.  Joel meets each of those qualifications and has demonstrated a skill level in previous projects that convinces me he is right for the job.

What about the future of our Youth Ministry?  As the Vision Team looked ahead we were convinced this ministry will need multiple leaders in order to minister to those here now and the many families and teens yet to be reached. In the future we hope to staff our youth ministry with a Middle School Pastor, a High School Pastor, and even possibly a female minister to partner with parents in the discipleship of girls. 

As for now, Joel will continue in his role until June 1st and then assume responsibility of the new position.  A Youth Pastor Search Team will be presented to the church on Sunday, May 3rd with a goal of identifying the lead Youth Pastor by September 1st.  The other positions would be filled then as they are found. During the interim, I have asked Daniel Nesmith to be the point person for our Youth Ministry.  Daniel has served as our Ministry Apprentice for two years and is familiar to many of our teens and parents due to his previous service with children and youth.

Finally, for seven years Joel has poured his life into ministry here at WFBC.  With integrity, diligence, loyalty, humility, and Christlikeness he has made disciples that make disciples.  He has been an eternal difference maker in the lives of many teenagers. When I asked Joel about this new role he said, ultimately he just wanted to serve the local church in any way that would help us advance His kingdom more effectively. I’m so thankful to have a person like that serving on our staff team!

 If you would like to ask any questions feel free to call me (706-255-3504) or email me at carlos@watkinsville.org

In Christ

Pastor Carlos