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Leadership Announcement

As we as a church joyfully walk through this transition of leadership and look forward to the future of Joy Church Medford, we recognize this news may bring various emotions and a whole lot of questions. That’s a completely normal and expected response! The following are a few responses to some of the questions you may be asking.

What is the leadership transition that is happening? 

The transition in leadership is happening as Pastors Steve & Kim Schmelzer step out of the roles of lead pastors at Joy Church Medford. Pastors Natalie & Riley Aman are the prayerfully chosen leaders who have been selected to succeed them as lead pastors of Joy Church Medford.

When will the full transition happen?

Over the next 9 months, we will be in the process of transitioning the pastoral leadership roles, and our official transition service will be Sunday, March 19th, 2023.

 
 
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Pastor Steve & Kim Schmelzer

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What will Pastor Steve and Kim be doing?

Pastor Steve and Kim will be transitioning out of the role of Lead Pastors and into the role of Pastors of Global Expansion. We as a church family have the vision to plant Joy Churches all around the world. We have already begun to expand our vision of Joy Church Planting with campuses across the PNW, Mexico, missionaries around the world, and many more Joy Churches to come. Pastor Steve & Kim will be pivotal in the next season of seeing all the Lord will do in seeing the continued growth and expansion of the Joy Church movement to the nations of the earth.

Pastor Steve & Kim will still be planted members and leaders within Joy Church Medford as the home base for operations and expansions within the Joy Church movement.

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Pastor Riley & Natalie Aman

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Who are Natalie and Riley?

Natalie and Riley Aman are both leaders in their own right, both inside and outside the church context. They have been married since 2015 and have two children, with a third on the way! 

Natalie Aman has served as an on-staff pastor at Joy Church for the last 16 years. She served as the youth pastor of Circle Youth Ministries for 11 years, raising up an entire generation of youth and developing the next generation of leaders and influencers. Additionally, she led the Zoe Intern program as Director from 2013-2016. She then transitioned to become Joy Church Medford’s Executive Pastor in 2016. She has led many teams, and has worked to oversee Joy Church Medford’s staff and daily operations. She also has coached other churches and organizations in leadership and team development, leading camps, conferences, leadership trainings and more. She is also the author of the book, Engage Leadership. She also serves on the Joy Church eldership.

Riley Aman served as president of the Oregon State University’s Varsity House, a Christian college house for 50+ men, during his senior year at OSU. After graduating OSU with a degree in chemical engineering in 2015, he has worked in the marketplace as an engineer with multiple organizations. Within his workplace, Riley has led multiple engineering teams. Within Joy Church, he has served and led Dream Team and youth teams, along with serving Joy Church by training to be a part of the Joy Church eldership.

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What is the role of Lead Pastors and who will be leading in this position?

We see in Scripture and the New Testament structure of the Church that God sets in place “Chief Elders” or Pastors over specific local congregations (Ephesians 4:12). Though the unique gift mixes of this role may vary there is a clear setting apart and setting in of a Spiritual leader to oversee the Church (1 Timothy 3:1-7). After much prayer and conversations, the Elders, leadership team, and outside leadership believe that God is asking Natalie and Riley Aman to step into the role of Lead Pastor’s of Joy Church Medford. Pastors Natalie and Riley Aman will be using a co-leading model as they assume the roles as Lead Pastors of Joy Church Medford.

What is Co-Leading?

We believe that God has uniquely graced, gifted and called both men and women for the advancement of His Kingdom and Church (1 Corinthians 12-14). Co-leading is all about giving space and clarity to the unique call that God has placed on each individual. Co-leading seeks to empower and release the gifts that God has given to each individual in the body of Christ. In co-leading we seek to get each leader leading where they are best equipped to make the greatest impact in the kingdom of God (Ephesians 4:12). For more information regarding co-leading you can see some of the resources our friends Pastor Danny and Jamie Schulz have put together at: www.wecolead.com

How will Pastor Natalie and Pastor Riley co-lead as the Joy Church Lead Pastors?

Since each individual is gifted differently, Pastor Natalie and Pastor Riley will both share and also carry different responsibilities as they step into this new role. Below is a non-comprehensive list of some of the roles and responsibilities each will carry:

 

Pastor Natalie

  • Provide Pastoral Care and Spiritual Oversight to Joy Church Medford alongside the Joy Church Eldership

  • Lead and work with the Joy Church Eldership

  • Carry the primary Communication and public Vision casting responsibilities 

  • Lead the Joy Church Staff and work day in and day out with them

Natalie will work full time in the Joy Church office and with the church staff. This will lend to many of the daily church details being overseen by her.

Pastor Riley

  • Provide Pastoral Care and Spiritual Oversight to Joy Church Medford alongside the Joy Church Eldership

  • Co-lead and work with the Joy Church Eldership

  • Oversee Legacy and Marketplace ministries

  • Co-lead our Dream Team Leads, Systems, and Culture

Riley will continue his role as an engineer in the business community, while also carrying the role of lead pastor at Joy Church. There is a unique perspective and gift mix that comes with having a Pastor who is also hands on in the business community.

What is the role of the Eldership?

We see in Scripture and in the Early Church that God placed elders within churches to shepherd or pastor God’s people, lead, oversee and care for the local church (1 Peter 5:1-6). Elders are to be of high moral character and are held to a higher standard in order to be qualified for this position in the church (See 1 Timothy 3 & Titus 1 for a list of these qualifications). The role of the eldership within the church is to preach the Word, protect the church from false teaching, exhort, pray, teach sound doctrine and judge doctrinal issues, and lead and govern the church (1 Timothy 5:17-18). Joy Church has a team of elders and elders-in-training, along with external overseers, who are in agreement with this transition and have been praying and advising as it takes place. 

 

What can we expect as a Church over the next year?

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Over the next year at Joy Church, very little will notably be changing. Here are a few of the changes you may expect to see:

  • June-December 2022, Pastor Natalie will begin leading the preaching themes and direction for Joy Church. Pastor Steve will preach about 50% of the time. Pastor Natalie will preach and will also utilize Pastor Johnny as part of the speaking rotation the other 50% of the time. This has to a large degree already been happening, but this is something you may expect to see.

  • January-March 2023, Natalie, Riley and the team will begin to assume day to day leadership with oversight of Joy Church Medford

  • The official transition service will take place on Sunday, March 19th, 2023.

Who is helping advise the transition?

Along with the Joy Church Eldership, the following are some of the voices that are advising throughout the transition:

  • Outside advisors

  • Joy Church Pastors

  • A professional financial advisor

  • A team of outside pastors that have relationships with Pastor Steve and Kim. 

  • Pastor Bob And Joanne Leach 

  • Pastor Steve Williams

  • Pastor Derrill Corbin from MannaHouse

How can I best serve our church through this season?

As with any transition, there is so much you can do to serve through this transition! Here are some of the ways you can help:

  • PRAY! Cover the church, eldership, transition advisors and especially Pastors Steve & Kim and Pastors Natalie & Riley in prayer. 

  • Commit to continue being an active member of Joy Church. You do this by attending regularly, serving, giving, evangelizing, and walking in unity!

  • Send an encouragement to Pastors Steve & Kim or Pastors Natalie & Riley. 

  • If you have any further questions or concerns, we have created a form for you to share them. If you have a question, a staff member will respond to you. 

 
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