When I was called to Resurrection Lutheran Church two and a half years ago, the call committee had a key question for me, “how will you handle the present staff?” They were concerned that as the new lead pastor I might want to make immediate radical changes to the staff. I told the call committee that I wanted first to discover the staff’s unique gifts and contributions to the congregation before any changes.
I quickly discovered that the staff was and is talented and dedicated. They each had something to contribute. Perhaps the most notable was the only other full-time employee, Sarah Storvick.
Sarah started working at Resurrection part-time as the Director of Children’s Ministry in April, 1998, overseeing the Sunday School ministry. She brought great creativity and compassion to her work. She cared about each of the children who attended, calling them by name and encouraging their growth in grace. She coordinated Vacation Bible Adventure, First Communion instruction and Camp Wapogasset participation. Over the years her responsibilities grew and she has expanded into confirmation and adult ministries. She not only embraced the mission of calling all people to a Vibrant Life of Faith in Christ, but exemplified what the Vibrant Life looks like. She became a full-time employee in 2010 and was most recently commissioned as the Minister of Congregational Life.
In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins defines several key decisions an organization’s leader must make. The first key decision is “who to keep on the bus.”
The executives who ignited transformations from good to great did not first figure out where to drive the bus and then get people to take it there. No, they first got the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figured out where to drive it (Good to Great, p. 41).
The first thing the apostles did after Jesus ascended into heaven was to select who would take Judas’ place as one of the twelve apostles (Acts 1:12-26). They needed to determine who was on the bus of Jesus’ continued mission.
I am so thankful to have Sarah on the bus of Resurrection. Her steadfast commitment, her dry sense of humor, her compassion and vibrant faith all contribute so much to the ongoing mission of Resurrection. She has even gracious written for my blog when I was away. Tomorrow (Sunday, April 21) Resurrection will celebrate Sarah’s ministry during our Sunday morning worship. Thank you, Sarah, for faithfully serving our Lord Jesus among the people of Resurrection. We are blessed to have you in our midst.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the ministry of Sarah Storvick.
Sarah has been such a wonderful gift to our congregation. When we were transitioning pastors, it seems that each time a pastor left, and tasks were left without a leader, it was announced that “Sarah will be taking that on” and she always did–and she was always successful! She has brought so much joy to our staff, to our leaders, to our congregation and to our visitors. What a gift she is to Resurrection! She is definitely on the right bus!