A dear friend of mine is a member of Oakhill. I asked him how the search for Max Lucado's replacement was progressing. Here is the two part reply. I thought some of you would be interested.
We'll see -- this isn't the first time they've gone through these gyrations, though it is the most publicized -- Nobody new yet. A couple of times before they've tried this thing of bringing in "executive minister" to "run the staff, facilities, etc." and have Max "just write and speak" relieving him of any admin/overhead type distractions. It hasn't worked out for the prior couple of attempts -- it all always ends up back on Max's plate -- because it never actually gets off of his plate --
So if he's going to get it done this time, he's going to have to handle it differently, even when it hurts -- even -- well -- you know the politics of personalities in church lead-preacher situations -- So long as Max is in the building -- it is going to take one unusual person to come in there and get it done -- who is genuinely competent to get it done, who is not a "second stringer" -- who's nevertheless willing to hang around on full time front-and-center permanent second string -- while the first string guy is in the background trying to be something else -- but in fact being first string --
At least -- this is the short & sweet of what has been wrong with the prior attempts. Either they get a real "second stringer" -- who's not competent -- or they get a first stringer who is competent -- and won't tolerate the reality as it becomes apparent to him -- despite all the verbal protests to the contrary -- They need to "call it one way" and have it "be another way." Well -- a second string guy would play that game -- but they won't keep a second string guy. A first string guy doesn't need that package.
So -- like I say -- "we'll see" -- and nobody new yet.
Part 2 --
For a postscript historical summary on this string --
What I was trying to say is they will have to find a guy who is first string in form, first string in competence, and is willing to be second string in function, while allowing Max to be first string in function and second string in form.
A second stringer just can't handle it -- though he'd love to -- he just can't do it. They've had one of those. It didn't work. It takes a first stringer to get it done -- And a first stringer is going to insist on the function to go along with the form. They've had one of those -- and he left to go be first string in both form and function -- somewhere else; in fact returning to executive-ship in commercial industry (as compared to religious industry).
The best shot they've had yet was a young, first generation immigrant, who was also a first generation convert from the Islamic faith who'd been disowned by his entire family for converting. He came here, was the "singles" minister -- had the spiritual depth, the dynamic presentation (not sure about his large-scale admin. skills) -- but he took the singles ministry from 75 up to -- I don't know -- 600 members -- in about 2 years -- . And if they weren't growing in spirituality as well as numbers, it wasn't because he was failing to challenge them with hard truth to match pleasant truths -- he was doing that. He was the in-house "groom" for -- a first stringer in training -- and another congregation nabbed him as their 1st string, lead minister (Fareed Tulbuh -- not sure of the spelling on the last name, but that's the way it sounded). He was "on the verge" of stepping into that slot when he was hired away -- probably closer than he realized (or maybe he did realize and that's why -- as a competent first stringer -- he ran at the first chance he got).
SO -- This is definitely and firmly the third time around on this attempted transition -- and if we count Fareed, it's the fourth attempt -- and doing the exact same thing under varying labels, etc. ---
On the positive front, they're projected to be debt free at the end of the year -- They were mounting a 30m (could that be right? I think it is) -- building campaign -- they did their usual "40 days of faith," -- They only raised about 2/3s the down payment they were wanting, and noted that fewer than 40% of the congregation were participating at all in the funding -- so they canceled and offered refunds. Very few refunds were taken -- so they used what would have been down-payment money on "full buildout of the main campus" to pay cash for a few peripheral projects (youth building, substantial upgrades to pre-existing satellite campuses, etc.)
So I don't know --