Perhaps you’ve heard, but if you haven’t, we wanted you to know: I announced my transition plan last weekend at the end of the service. In two years, I will pass the leadership baton to my son, Michael, and I will assume a new role on staff at Life Center. The full text of the written announcement is below. You can also see the video of the announcement in church here.

If you have questions, please email us at, or feel free to talk to me or Michael or any of our staff. Exciting times!  The best is yet to come!

Pastor Joe

Transition Announcement

It has been my great joy to be the lead pastor at Life Center for the last 40+ years. We believe that God is leading us into a new season and that it is time for us to begin to transition to a new leader. In two years, I will pass the leadership baton to my son, Michael, and I will assume a new role on staff at Life Center.

Michael has grown up at Life Center (and in our home), and has our church’s DNA bred in the bone!  He is prepared for this role both practically and educationally. Michael has been on our staff for the last 8 years, most of those as our high school pastor, and most recently as the team leader for our Next Steps Team, overseeing all of our adult ministries. His leadership has been consistently well received. He has also been a member of our staff leadership team, and of course, you have experienced his excellent preaching as a member of our teaching team. Michael earned a BA in theology from Whitworth University and a Masters Degree in Ministerial Leadership from Southeastern University. Michael is 30 years old, married to Sara (our nursery director) and they have two adorable kids, Paxton (3) and Capri (1).

My selection of Michael as my successor has been a several year process of prayer, observation, discussion, collaboration and mentoring. Our denominational supervisor has given his blessing, and our staff has received the news well and enthusiastically thrown their support behind Michael. We are confident that God is leading and will use Michael and our team to lead us into a bright future. Our best days are in front of us!

We are planning a graduated transition from my leadership to Michael’s over the next two years. It will look roughly like this:
First 8 months: I lead, Michael watches.
Second 8 months: we co-lead.
Third 8 months: Michael leads, I coach.
Over the two year period, we will gradually transition leadership and speaking responsibilities from me to Michael, passing the baton in January 2021.

I am transitioning, not retiring!  I will continue to be on staff at Life Center and be on the teaching team. My specific role is still in formation, but I have no shortage of ideas!  I have lots of energy and ideas and look forward to years of fruitful ministry with you!
My prayer is that God will pour out His grace on us through this transition, that we will attack our mission with fresh energy and effectiveness, and that each of you will devote yourself to Jesus and our church afresh. Please pray with us!  The best is yet to come!