June 27, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We hope you are all well and being blessed beyond measure with the joy of the Lord!

The Transition Committee has met several times since our last letter and has several items to bring to your attention concerning our transition. In light of Pastor John’s recent health issues, we have been meeting and are prepared to move forward confidently in the Lord’s leading.

There will be an all-church town hall meeting on Tuesday, July 24th from 7:00-8:00 pm at Radiant Christian Life Church to discuss the pastoral transition. Please come prepared with your questions and to hear a review of the process.

Just to clarify the upcoming transition, Pastor John is not retiring but will transition to the role of Pastor Emeritus. The Transition Committee will recruit and hire a “Senior Pastor Elect” who is expected to become the new Senior Pastor. The congregation will have the final vote on moving the Senior Pastor Elect to the Senior Pastor role following the opportunity to work with the new pastor and hear him preach and lead worship. Pastor John will then assume the role of Pastor Emeritus.

The Transition Committee will screen and select the best candidate and hire that candidate as the Senior Pastor Elect, who will be paid an associate pastor level salary. The “presentation process” is the transition period, during which that person is serving the church, preaching over an extended period of time, and building relationships with us. On or before February 1, 2020, at the conclusion of the presentation process/transition period, the voting membership of the congregation will formally vote to install the Senior Pastor Elect as the Senior Pastor.

Members of the congregation should immediately begin talking to the congregational committee about the attributes and qualities that are important to them in a senior pastor. This must be done prior to the presentation of the candidate to ensure that this input factors into the candidate selection. The congregational committee will then present all member input to the transition committee for their consideration. Since this candidate is being hired as an associate pastor, the traditional process for a senior pastor is being modified.

Here is the extended timeline for the transition process.

June-Aug 2018: The pastoral search committee shall interview candidates for the senior pastor elect and provide the information to the transition committee. The selection process may include meetings between the candidates and the transition committee members, including listening to the candidate preach for those local candidates.

Aug-Sep 2018: The pastoral search committee shall meet and discuss all candidate information and report their findings to the transition committee. The transition committee will then select one candidate and make an offer. Once the candidate accepts, he will be hired as the Senior Pastor Elect.

Q4 2018 – Feb 2020: The presentation process will be conducted. This process may include but will not be limited to open forums, scheduled meetings, preaching and conducting other ministry functions related to the senior pastor role. This period will be completed by February 2020 but, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, may be completed prior to this date.

Feb 2020: The transition committee will preside over an official meeting of the congregation at the completion of the presentation process to discuss the election and any issues with the senior pastor candidate and to establish the date for the election by voting members of the congregation. Secret ballots will be utilized; a two thirds majority of all votes cast shall be required to constitute and election. The Indiana District of the Assemblies of God Superintendent or designated representative shall oversee this meeting.

Just as a reminder, as of 05/31/2018, our actual revenue is at $169,911 compared to a budgeted $189,863, resulting in a revenue shortfall of $19,952. The future of our church depends on the continued faithful giving of those who worship here. Thank you for continuing your support.

Please pray for us as we work to complete this transition keeping with God’s will for Radiant Christian Life Church. We look forward to seeing you at the townhall meeting on July 24th.

God bless you,

The Transition Committee

Transitional Committee Members

Transitional Committee Members

If you have any questions, you may contact any of the Committee Members: Erin Durnell, Coleman Obasaju, Steve Gentry, Resa Glover, Zack Ritz, David Brown, Mark Mattingly, Bryan Kercheval, David Langebartels, Stephanie Schwebach, Dee Head, Kathy Cernero, and John Cernero.


Transitional Planning Committee Photos.jpg

May 7, 2018

Dear Radiant Family.

The Transition Team met at the end of April and wants to inform you that we are putting a timeline in place for the hire of a new Associate Pastor who will eventually assume the role of Senior Pastor. The timeline is as follows:

·         May – Finalize the job description and qualifications, determine the compensation package and identify potential candidates

·         June/July – Interview the possible candidates

·         August – Select the best candidate, prepare a job offer and make the offer

·         September – Candidate considers and accepts the offer

·         October 1st – Successful candidate begins serving as the associate pastor

 We are excited as we step out in faith and follow the Lord's leading for Radiant. This transition offers an exciting opportunity to continue what makes Radiant Christian Life Church special while merging in new ideas to make it better.

As was mentioned on Sunday, April 29th, meeting our current budget is critical to our being able to move forward with this transition. As of that announcement, our First Quarter general giving of $81,600 was $20,000 short of our budget of $101,600. We need to meet our budget to have a successful transition. Please prayerfully consider how the Lord would have you use your resources here in your church home and then walk alongside us as we put this transition into place.

We welcome your questions, concerns or thoughts. To make it easier, there will be a section of the bulletin board with the names and photos of all of those on the Transition Team as well as those who make up the Congregational Committee. Please use this as a resource to let us know what you are thinking and how we can address any of your questions. You may also use the connection cards on Sundays to contact us.

Blessings to all of you as we lovingly walk together to make this a successful transition.


The Transition Team, Communications Committee


April 11, 2018

Dear Radiant Family,

This Transition Team wants to inform you of the current status of our search and transition process to bring in a new associate pastor who will ultimately assume the responsibilities of Senior Pastor.

The Transition Team has established four subcommittees with specific responsibilities.

·         The Pastoral Search Committee, which will develop the job description, post the job, interview the candidates and report to the transition committee. David Brown is the chair of this committee and the other members are Pastor John, Coleman Obasaju, Kathy Cernero, Erin Durnell and Bryan Kercheval.

·         The Communications Committee, which will prepare all communications to the congregation and collect then answer all questions from the congregation. Stephanie Schwebach is the chair and the other members are Zach Ritz and Resa Glover.

·         The Contracts and Budget Planning Committee, which will draft the contract, define compensation package and plan the 2019/2020 budgets. The chair is Mark Mattingly and the other members are Dee Head, Dave Langebartels and Steve Gentry. Janice Mattingly, a local practicing attorney, will provide legal consultation on a pro bono basis.

·         The Congregational Committee, which will collect and provide input from congregation through the chairperson, communicate with the congregation on process and progress and assist with incorporating new pastor into the church. Bryan Kercheval is the chair and the other members are Kim Kercheval, Kimberly Plumlee, Nancy Lauer Moore, Angela Gately, Sherri Perry and Caroline Gentry.

Following our discussion at the last Transition Team meeting, the date for the completion of the transition process will be February 1, 2020. This will be 20 years from the date of Radiant Christian Life Church’s inception. Due to financial considerations, this has been accelerated from our original three to five year plan.

The Pastoral Search Committee is currently seeking qualified candidates for the Senior/Lead Pastor full-time role. Pastor John will transition over this period to a Pastor Emeritus role with reduced responsibilities and salary for an appropriate period of time. Pastor Kathy will retain her current position as the Children’s and Women’s Ministry Pastor.

As we move ahead over these next few months we covet your prayers and welcome any questions you might have. We are here to serve you as we serve the Lord and wait upon His leading.


The Transition Team / Communications Committee

January 23, 2018

Dear Radiant Family,

As we mentioned in our December letter, we want to provide you with details about the Congregational Committee in preparation for the Annual Business Meeting in February. This committee is being formed to provide the members with a voice in the transition and to solicit their help throughout the process.

The Congregational Committee is specified in the church bylaws for selecting a new Senior Pastor. Although our search is for a new associate pastor, the intent is for that associate pastor to move into the Senior pastor position at a later date if elected by our congregation. We felt that this was sufficiently close to a senior pastor search to institute the Congregational Committee in the spirit of the bylaws.  The congregational committee will help the Transition Planning Committee and represent the church membership through the process to bring in the new associate pastor by

1.       Collecting and providing the membership’s input into the search process through the committee chairperson

2.       Assisting with incorporating the new pastor into the church

3.       Communicating with members about the progress.

Before the associate pastor begins to transition to the senior pastor role, the role of the Congregational Committee will change to follow the process specified by the church bylaws to elect a new Senior Pastor.

The Congregational Committee will be formed at the Annual Business Meeting in February.  This committee will have a maximum membership of ten percent of the voting membership. Any Active Member can apply to join this committee. Forms will be available at the welcome desk from through Feb. 11th [EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 28]  for those who want to participate. On the form, those interested must indicate their willingness to serve for the duration of the transition.  If the applications exceed ten percent of the voting membership, a blind drawing using the application forms will be held at the Annual Business Meeting. There is also a place to indicate whether the person would be willing to serve as the committee chair. The committee chairperson will be selected by the Pastoral Search Committee one week after the Annual Business Meeting and will become a member of the pastoral search committee.  This is a key role as the chairperson is a liaison between the pastoral search committee and the congregational committee.


The Transition Team (Pastors, Elders, Trustees)

December 19, 2017

As Pastor John mentioned in his letter, the Transition Planning Committee, consisting of the pastors, elders and trustees, has been formed and recently met to begin planning for the upcoming pastoral transition. We are sending this letter to provide you the details of this committee as well as the process we will follow over the next few months as the transition begins.

October 12, 2017

Dear Radiant Family,

“We are called to come alongside others in covenant relationship through which the saving, healing, and restoring grace of Christ may flow.”

 I am writing today on behalf of the Radiant Christian Life Church leadership to bring everyone up to speed on where we are in regards to the future direction of Radiant Christian Life Church, realizing we haven’t said much since February of this year.

At that time, I shared with you that I sensed the Lord was impressing on my heart that while I have been extraordinarily blessed and humbled to have started Radiant, and been the lead pastor for almost eighteen years, it is time for me to “transition” to a support role, allowing someone younger with fresher ideas and energy to take the lead.  This will allow me to focus more on my strengths in ministry (e.g. pastoral counseling, mentoring, preaching and teaching, and music wherever I am needed.)  I also stated that over the next three to five years I would mentor someone, and gradually turn over more and more of the Senior Pastor responsibilities. 

I didn’t realize at the time that the word “transition” would cause some confusion, and lead some to believe that I was saying I would be retiring and leaving Radiant.  What I meant was that I would become a full-time associate pastor, remaining on staff as a paid position (though at a lower salary), but in more of a support role to the new Senior Pastor.  In making this shift, I would relinquish my administrative duties, and the heavy lifting of the lead pastor role. 

The leadership of our church (Pastors, Elders and Trustees) has been meeting over the last several months to outline a process by which the transition will take place.  Here are the highlights of our discussions thus far:

·         A transitional plan committee will be formed which will include pastors, elders and trustees, as well as at least one congregational member (as per the RCL Constitution & By-laws,) by the Annual Business meeting of the church on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 6:30pm.  Someone will be selected to head the transitional plan committee and oversee the process.

·         Three sub-committees will be formed to handle the various responsibilities:

o   Pastoral search committee – Headed by Pastor John.  The leadership wanted everyone to know that we are open to the concept of a prospective new lead pastor arising from within or without our church.

o   Campaign committee – (See below for further details)

o   Contracts committee – Responsible for writing salary packages for the new Sr. Pastor, as well as Pastor John.

·         An annual campaign that would include financial, spiritual and serving aspects would commence in early 2018.  This campaign would be closely aligned with our RCL Vision statements—Renew, Grow, Serve.

·         An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sheet will be formulated and distributed to all our members and regular attendees that will address many more details of the process, and a new special comment section will be included on the Connection Cards to allow the congregation to either ask additional questions or share suggestions.

·         A timeline for the transition will be forthcoming so that everyone will know where we are in the process.

A true spirit of Christian unity and community has marked all of the leadership meetings thus far, and we sincerely believe that if this transition is bathed in prayer, it will not be something that is divisive or contentious, but rather something that glorifies the Lord and positions Radiant Christian Life Church for what God has for us in the future! 

May God bless and guide us one and all! 

In Christ’s love,

John A. Cernero, Senior Pastor


Transition Plan Frequently Asked Questions

(1st Edition)

Question:  Is Pastor John retiring?

Answer:  No.  Pastor John will be transitioning to an associate pastor role.  This will allow him to focus more on his strengths in ministry (e.g. pastoral counseling, mentoring, preaching, teaching, music and wherever needed.)

Question:  What is the timeframe of the transition?

Answer:  Pastor John initially stated a 3—5 year transition.  The details of the transition including timing will be communicated through the transition planning committee starting in early 2018.

Question:  Who will be on the transition planning committee?

Answer:  The committee will include all Pastors, Elders and Trustees.  In addition, one member of the congregation will be added during the Annual Business Meeting on February 28, 2018.  The selection process will closely follow the process outlined in the RCL Constitution and By-Laws.  Additional congregational members with specific skills may be added for certain tasks such as the formation of legal contracts.

Question:  When will the transition plan kickoff?

Answer: Pastor, Elders and Trustees have already begun meeting to outline the plan.  We will be finalizing the details of the plan over the next few months with an official kickoff date in January or February 2018.