New Brethren Church

Why we’re bringing Pastor Leno back




Many in our church constituency are asking for an explanation of the impending pastor shuffle here at our church so this statement is the board of administration’s attempt to explain the situation.



Our boomer Pastor Leno had served us well for 17 years and had a regular attendance of about 500 every Sunday morning—the largest attendance in our community. However, after 17 years as senior pastor, some on the board felt pastor Leno was on auto-pilot and our audience was no longer growing. The real energy in our church—especially among the emerging young adults—was the new contemporary venue on Saturday night that Pastor Conan was leading (he is the pastor with the unique hair). His Saturday night venue was running about 250 and we thought (at the time) that if we moved Pastor Conan to the Sunday morning hour that many of the older folk would stick with him and he additionally would bring many new young adults to that service too.  Since Pastor Jay was only 60 years old we thought we’d keep him but put him in a new spot—leading a large new Sunday school class at 9:30AM.  It seemed to us like a win-win proposition last year.



Well, we were wrong. Our Sunday morning worship attendance has now fallen to half—about 250 which is about the same that Pastor Conan had in the Saturday “emergent service” and the new Sunday school class led by 60-something Pastor Leno has only 250 people—about half of what formerly attended all our adult classes before the change. Older adults left the morning service and the young adults simply did not follow Pastor Conan to the Sunday morning hour.  Consequently our church’s income has collapsed and we simply must admit the change was a mistake. Some of our people left the church and are now attending Pastor Letterman’s church down the street and we are worried that we won’t be able to pay the bills here at New Brethren Church.



The board decided we need to reverse our mistaken change. We are bringing Pastor Leno back to the Sunday morning worship hour, hoping to win back some of the members who left. Likewise, we decided to return Pastor Conan to the Saturday evening slot again. We can see no other resolution of our situation but to reverse out mistaken decision.



Whenever a board makes changes there are ramifications. The good news for the older folk is that pastor Leno has agreed to come back to Sunday mornings. The bad news for the younger folk (and for us all) is that Pastor Conan has refused to return to the Saturday evening service. He feels that he “hasn’t been given enough time” to build the Sunday morning service and that eventually many of the young adults who complained about our too-traditional morning worship will start attending eventually. Worse, you may have heard that Pastor Conan is announced he is leaving our congregation.  There are rumors that Pastor Conan may be planting a church nearby sponsored by another denomination. We hope if that does happen that many of our own young adults will not follow him to this new denomination and will stick with us and keep attending the new Saturday service which will now be under the leadership of Pastor Jimmy Fallon.


Please be patient with us and stick with NBC as we make this difficult switch. We hope your loyalty was not just to a pastor but it was loyalty to our denomination.


So what do you think?

During the first few weeks, click here to comment or read comments


Keith Drury   January 19, 2010