After much Spirit-led discernment and prayer, the elders have an announcement about a significant leadership transition at Reach. Watch the video from Sunday to learn more.
Many different emotions may rise up within you as you hear this news. We’ve created a guide to help you invite the Spirit and those you trust into your processing. You can also email in a written message or upload a video of encouragement for the McCormacks.
Pastor Scot Pollok is a long-time mentor and friend to the McCormacks, and served on Reach’s Advisory and Accountability Board when our church was first planted in 2013. He has since been a frequent visitor and guest speaker, preaching for us as recently as this past summer. Learn more about who Scot is and his heart to help serve our church through this time of transition by watching the video below.
Scot preached at Reach for the first time in 2013, and served on Reach’s Advisory and Accountability Board when our church was first planted.
Scot’s preaching to us in June was a powerful moment. His sermon ended with the opportunity for those present to come forward and take a puzzle piece home as a reminder that we all have a specific role to play in this greater family. Scot felt compelled to take a piece home himself, not knowing that he would soon be playing a more significant role in our church. If you missed it, watch it here.
We care deeply about walking well with our church into the coming season, which includes clear and transparent communication. We’ve prepared some expected questions and responses below, but if you have any further questions or concerns, we invite you to reach out to our Elder Team.
Brian and Emilie, after much prayer and with the support of the elders, have discerned to the best of their ability that their assignment at Reach will soon be coming to completion.
It has been over 12 years since Brian and Emilie moved from Texas to Seattle to plant a church on the Eastside. Although they have never had plans or aspirations to do anything other than care for this church in this city, in December of last year they started feeling what they now describe as a “stirring” — an unshakable sense that change of some kind was coming. This came in a time of excitement and health in the life of the church, and fulfillment in the life of the McCormack family — so as they prepared to go on sabbatical this past summer, they did not expect a transition away from the church they saw born in their apartment living room a decade ago. Still, their first extended break in 15 years of full-time ministry provided time and space for unprecedented amounts of prayer and conversation together – in which the word “completion” came to describe what they were sensing about their assignment at Reach and their time in Seattle.
Immediately upon returning from sabbatical, Brian and Emilie sought out time with each of the elders, not to inform them of a finalized decision, but to invite them to pray and discern alongside them. After time for prayer and a sequence of conversations, the elders ultimately gave their support, confirming this trajectory for a healthy transition to take place in good timing.
The McCormacks' Farewell service will take place on Sun 3/5/2023.
After seeking counsel from voices and churches we trust, Brian and the elders agree that an end date in March 2023 would serve Reach and the McCormacks well.
When this transition was announced in early October, Brian and Emilie did not have another job lined up. Similar to how the Apostle Paul would move to a new location upon sensing his assignment in a given place with a given people had finished, the McCormacks felt compelled to seek out what their next assignment may be. Just a few weeks later, a compelling, unexpected possibility presented itself, and has since become their confirmed plan for the season to come. Here's a message from the McCormacks on what's next...
"In March, our family will be moving to Texas to lead Breakaway, which is a bible study for college students that meets on the campus of Texas A&M University. This 33 year-old ministry is attended by thousands of students each week, is the place where Scot Pollok (Reach’s interim teaching pastor and our dear friend) became a Christian, and had a profound impact on Brian in his high school and college years as well.
Texas A&M is the largest university in the country, and Breakaway represents an opportunity to impact the next generation with the Gospel in a way we simply could not have imagined. We really believe this season will be one of thriving for our family as we fight the same fight but on a different front. Not long ago the Barca Group reported that biblical Christianity in America has passed the point of irreparable decline, UNLESS two things happen: 1) the planting of many healthy, vibrant churches, and 2) a genuine move of God among college students and young adults. Giving the last 13 years of our lives to the process of planting Reach (and the four churches planted through her) has been a thrill and a joy. If we see God move among us in a similar way as we start this new adventure, we can only imagine what the kingdom impact might be.
Reach will always be home, and we will always feel like proud parents. We have every intention of staying meaningfully connected to this family for the long haul, we are committed to serving and supporting the elders and staff however we can, and we plan to be back often to celebrate all that God is surely going to do in and through Reach in the years to come."
Although the transition of co-founders will be a significant change, the most important things will remain the same.
Reach will still strive to see more people saved, more disciples made, more leaders trained, more cities served, and more churches planted to do the same. We will still seek to be “both/and” people who worship in Spirit and Truth, share the Gospel and seek justice, and walk in both boldness and humility.
We will use this new season to recommit to our identity and mission as a church, recruit and empower new staff members in key roles, and capitalize on the fact that we come into this transition in a place of health, strength and confidence.
Executive Director Rob Garey and our incredible staff will continue to lead the church as they already have been (since Brian's 2022 sabbatical) with the support and oversight from our elder team.
Brian will continue to serve as Lead Pastor role until March 2023. Scot Pollok — who has been Brian’s mentor and friend since Brian was 16, and an important friend of Reach since the inception of the church — will be serving as an Interim Teaching Pastor through 2023.
Scot has over 20 years of pastoral experience, is a sought after speaker, and is known for his passion and experience crafting cultures of discipleship. Scot began preaching monthly at Reach in October, before stepping into the fullness of his role in January, when he has been preaching twice a month, and spending meaningful time investing in our elders and staff.
We are always discerning and evaluating what the best design of the Staff Team is to best serve the people of Reach and help the church accomplish its mission. In 2023, Reach will be seeking a longterm Teaching Pastor for 2024 and beyond.
No, there’s really not.
Sadly, many of us have been conditioned to assume announcements like this one are only part of the story, omitting the messy truth that is actually the cause of such a transition. That is simply not the case here. Relationships among the leaders of the church are healthy, strong, and united. There is no conflict, or discipline, or sin involved. The strength of key relationships and the healthy trajectory of the church are the foremost reasons why the possibility of a transition was so hard for the McCormacks to consider, but also why there is confidence that this timing is divinely orchestrated. Reach’s best days are very much yet to come, and this season will prove to be a meaningful step into them.
The elders of Reach are here for you. Email them any time: email@example.com