Fellowship Dallas is excited to announce a transition in leadership. Through much prayer, fasting, research, and consideration, our Elder Board has named Kurt Pressler the next Lead Pastor of Fellowship Dallas. Check out this video for the full announcement from Elder Board Chairman Joe Harn and Lead Pastor Gary Brandenburg.
In 1998, I began my career in the business world and moved to Dallas, TX. That was the year I met a pretty Protestant girl named Martha, who invited me to her church called Fellowship Dallas. She, and that church, would change my life forever. First of all, I married her, and we have three awesome sons together. Second, it was Fellowship that helped me fully grasp the grace of God, and my place and purpose in the Kingdom. Over the past 18 years, I have served at Fellowship as a member, elder, and staff leader. I’m humbled and honored to step into God’s call on my life to be the next Lead Pastor at Fellowship Dallas.
For a one-year period beginning on Sunday, September 17, 2017, Gary and Kurt will serve together as Co-Lead Pastors.
After Gary first initiated a conversation with the elders about his transition and succession, the board entered a season of learning about succession that included:
During this period, the board also established a succession task force made up of 4 elders, a volunteer leader in our church with extensive expertise in senior leadership transitions and organizational change, and our outside consultants. This task force engaged in even deeper learning about succession and also worked on creating the list of both external and internal candidates to consider.
Our outside succession consultants advised the board to give preference to internal candidates over external candidates unless, as part of the transition, the board wanted to change the culture and/or the mission and vision of the church, in which case an outside candidate would be necessary to confront the status quo and make needed changes. The board did not see a need for such changes. We are excited and confident about Fellowship’s mission of calling each other to live out our God-given purpose in Christ every day, and the vision of becoming a training and launching ground for more than 10,000 men and women who will discover and live out their unique, God-given, Kingdom purpose in Christ by 2026. The elders are also pleased with the current culture that is being formed at Fellowship.
Having this clarity and comfort level about who we are, what we’re doing and where we’re heading challenged the board to look more holistically at the succession question and not simply find an experienced Sunday morning preacher. They knew we would also need someone who was passionate about and committed to the new mission and vision to which God is calling us and who would capably lead the staff, leaders and the entire congregation in pursuit of them. All of these factors pointed the board toward an internal candidate who was already familiar with and actually helped create the new mission, vision and culture, in addition to possessing the other qualifications they were looking for. The best such candidate was Kurt Pressler.
Once the elders determined that Kurt was the best internal candidate to move forward with in the succession process, they required him to spend 9 months being coached and mentored by an outside professional, experienced executive coach/mentor. This was not only fruitful for Kurt, but it also provided the elders with another source to help them evaluate Kurt and his readiness to take on the Lead Pastor position. The coach/mentor is very supportive of the elders’ choice of Kurt.
The board also had Kurt vetted by a well-known outside search/placement firm. Here are supporting results from that firm’s assessment of Kurt:
Yes! Gary and Kurt will be team teaching with Gary preaching at least half the time. This will allow Kurt time to gain experience and increase his preaching effectiveness with input from Gary and establish himself in other aspects of the Lead Pastor role, such as oversight and leadership of staff.
Please email your questions to Questions@FellowshipDallas.org and we will get back to you with answers as quickly as we can. Feel free to contact any of our elders with your questions as well.