When Does Pastor Lee Take Over?

There seems to be some confusion about when Pastor Lee will take over as Senior Pastor even though both he and I have made it clear several times in the past. I advised against it when people wanted to make a special video to celebrate Pastor Lee becoming the 4th Senior Pastor of Seoul Baptist Church, because I felt that it was like throwing a big bridal shower when the wedding is still years away and might confuse people, making them think that he is taking over immediately.

As I’ve said before and am saying again: I will retire on the last Sunday of August 2012. Pastor Lee will take over the next day. Until then, I am the senior pastor of Seoul Baptist and Pastor Lee is the co-pastor, just as he has been. He will continue to help my ministry as co-pastor.

People were probably confused because we took the vote to accept Pastor Lee as my successor a full year and a half before my official retirement date. I asked for the vote to occur early for 3 reasons.

First, I wanted to give Pastor Lee time to find a church at which to serve in case he was not chosen as my successor. Second, I wanted to give him enough time to find staff members to help him after I retire. (He needs to find a pastor to take over the singles ministry from him and help in church-wide ministry.) Third, I wanted to give him time to prepare himself to become a senior pastor and make plans for our church’s future by taking seminary courses, touring mission fields, and visiting churches that are known for being successful in ministries we are interested in. (He needs these kinds of experiences because he became a Christian as an adult, at the age of 31. His only experience in church life is in his former church where he was saved and Seoul Baptist church.)

As I said before, I would like to give Pastor Lee enough time to travel freely. Starting this spring, he will be visiting and studying at several places for the next year. During this time, I will stay in Houston doing ministries without Pastor Lee’s help, even taking over some of his duties.

I will be away for 6 weeks, including the entire month of May, leading as many meetings as possible before I need to stay here while Pastor Lee travels. This doesn’t mean that Pastor Lee will be gone the entire time. He will probably stay in Houston most of the time and even conduct some of his duties. But he will not be bound by his usual duties and will be allowed to travel any time he wants.

I’d like to perform all of my duties as Senior Pastor until the day I retire, not becoming lax in my duties because my retirement is nearing. I hope all of you help me in this regard.

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