My Transition [Updated]

To the Oakbrook Church family,

ANNOUNCEMENT
After much prayer, discussion, and contemplation I want to inform you that I have made a decision to seek other career opportunities, and to step down from my position as the Technical Director of Oakbrook Church.

WHY I’M LEAVING
Over the past several months, there have been dozens of discussions within my department, and in higher levels of leadership at the church about the current structure, future strategy, and leadership needs of the technical department. One of the things that has been pretty clear to all involved is that we are moving into a new era which looks and functions very different than it has in the past. The kinds of words dominating those discussions are these: mentoring, shepherding, people development, pastoring, reproducing yourself, handing off pieces of ministry, recruiting and building our volunteer base, team building, team development, and replicating teams.

This is in stark contrast to the paradigm in existence when I was brought back (after nearly 4 years) to the Oakbrook staff in 2002. At that time, production execution and excellence were the top priorities. We were beginning a new video production department, we revamped our web presence, we were just beginning a new marketing and branding push, and then the biggest project of all – we were building a new building which needed A/V/L (audio/video/lighting) system design guidance and knowledge. I was a perfect fit for that time and place, but it is obvious to me now Oakbrook’s needs have changed and the staffing needs to change with it. If you know me at all, you would know that those “discussion words” listed in the paragraph above would not be in my list of top gifts. The words describing my gifts would be more along the lines of: production, task, project, strategy, specialist, designer, mixer, producer, editor, systems guy, etc.

So It has become very clear in the last few weeks that it is time for me to move on to another challenge. My close circle of advisers and mentors is in agreement with this decision (including my wife, Mandy, whose discernment I have learned to trust implicitly.) As I have begun to share my story with others, including some members of the staff, my small group, and some team members I have been amazed at the response. Nearly everyone has said something to the effect of, “It makes me sad, but it does sound like its the right thing to do and that God is definitely doing something in this.”

TIMETABLE
My last day of work will be Sunday, January 31st. The leadership at Oakbrook is giving me unbelievable support during this time. They have really taken good care of me and my family – emotionally, spiritually, and financially. I have always had the utmost confidence in the leadership at Oakbrook and I still do. Mark and Morgan, in particular, have been among the best role models of Christian leadership to me, and I consider them some of my very best friends. We have had some tearful times along this journey as we’ve discussed it! I hope you realize how blessed the Oakbrook family is to have the authentic, humble, and gifted servants God has chosen to lead us.

WHAT NOW?
I’ve applied for several positions in the Nashville, TN area. My wife and I have always been attracted to that area and we are feeling a pull to explore that. I have family and friends there, and we really love the culture and environment there. Also, while I want to remain open to where God leads, I’m not really seeking other church jobs. I have been passionately involved in ministry at Oakbrook since 1990 and it would be really hard for me to abruptly change to another church and for it not to feel weird. (Plus, I am skeptical that I could find another church with the DNA, authenticity, and great leadership that I have fallen in love with at Oakbrook!) So I think I will see what it’s like to be a volunteer for a while. But who knows what the future holds?

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Be on the lookout for opportunities for me! Do you know someone of influence in the Nashville TN area? I’d be happy to point you to my resume, portfolio, and other resources to share with others. I would also ask for your prayers during this time. As you can imagine there is a lot of insecurity and anxiety that accompanies a decision like this.

CONTACT

You can contact me with questions, comments, and job leads via email jermbass@sbcglobal.net, or snail mail at 3717 Oakhurst Dr, Kokomo IN 46902. Please also feel free to ask questions of Mark Malin, Morgan Young, or Jason Lee – we all arrived at this decision together and we are committed to being completely transparent about the process that brought us here, so that no one misunderstands.

With much love and gratitude for the past 19 years of ministry we’ve shared together,
Jeremy Carter

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15 Comments on “My Transition [Updated]”

  1. Dale Pierce Says:

    Jerm, I can’t tell you how much it has ment to me to have been able to serve with you and Mandy. I think you have always brought out the best in me and I thank you for all of your instruction and direction, not to mention some of the coolest projects, I know without your input, would not have reached the quality they did. I hope we have time to talk again before you leave and of course I want to say goodby to Mandy and the girls. It will not be the same without you. Keep in touch!

  2. jermtech Says:

    Dale,
    Thanks so much for the kind words and all the support you’ve given me over the years. I will never forget how you made up a job for me for a few weeks to help me out after my divorce. I have always respected you and admired your continuous commitment to the Lord in spite of changing circumstances.

    Thanks so much for the encouragement and the prayers. We appreciate them very much!

    –Jerm

  3. Drew Larison Says:

    I don’t know what I will do with out my wonder twin. : / I miss you guys already.

  4. jermtech Says:

    at last we got to go out with a bang, dude. That last worship night had a slammin’ rhythm section, bro!

  5. Some Hunky Guy Says:

    I love you guys, so selfishly, I’m sad to see this happen. But, I know you guys are following God’s leading and that it will be for the best for all involved. If you need anything from me, let me know.

    T

  6. Sherry Says:

    Wow, Jeremy, how exciting for you and Mandy! It will be sad with you two not around. Thanks for all that you have done. So many lives have been touched because of the talents that you allowed God to use through you. I just know that God has great things in store for you both. Will be praying! Love you guys!

  7. jermtech Says:

    Thank you Tony and Sherry for your words of enouragement and support. We are trusting that God has a plan and it will be awesome!

  8. Kevin Sprinkle Says:

    I am awed and humbled when I see friends trust in God and step out of the boat. Thanks for another example of evolving and growing with the faith that your life is in His hands. Oakbrook’s loss will be someone else’s gain. I have watched you develop since you were a kid playing whatever instrument was needed with the Messengers to the go-to tech guy in Kokomo. I am proud of you.

    Blessings,
    Kevin

  9. Macey Rice Says:

    8 years ago some friends of mine asked me to come with them to a church service at the corner of Park and Center Road. That Sunday morning I not only was inspired by Mark’s message but by the person leading worship. I knew that day that I had to keep coming back to not only grow spiritually but I had to hear that gift God had given you. I was in awe of your ability to touch people with your voice. I didn’t even know about your technical ability then. Since then I have just been amazed at everything you have done for Oakbrook. You will definetly be missed and I’m excited about your new adventure. You have no idea how many times I go to itunes to hear you sing God of this City. I will never forget how awesome you sang Great Light of This World a few years back. You always inspired me to be a better singer and I can only hope to touch as many people as you have… Don’t ever think of yourself as tech or task oriented. You truely have a gift in so many other ways! I will miss you and Mandy and wish you the best of luck!

    Blessings to all of you,
    Macey

  10. jermtech Says:

    Thank you so much Kevin and Macey. We have such good friends in Kokomo…it will be very difficult to leave. We will miss you all so much!

  11. Bob Shappell Says:

    Jeremy,

    For me, you’re as much a part of Oakbrook as Mark, Karl and the rest of the “old-timers”. I can recall an evening MANY years ago after a rehearsal at the current home of the Kokomo Perspective, when Mark asked me my opinion of making you the Oakbrook music director. I recall replying something along the lines of what we REALLY should do is figure out how to legally clone you. Since that time, you have impacted me (and many others) in ways you will likely never realize. Your talents (Bass, Keyboards, Guitar, Drums, Vocals, etc…) technical expertise (too numerous for here) and Spiritual Character (public admissions of human weaknesses) will be sadly and selfishly missed.

    Love you, man!

    • jermtech Says:

      Thanks so much for all the kindness and encouragement, Bob. Each and every one of you will be missed so much!

  12. Tony Schwartz Says:

    Great to hear how God is moving in you bro! God’s into change – you know that. Wish you and your fam the best…. T

  13. Deanna Says:

    Jeremy,

    I would not be serving on the TechTeam today if not for your patience and encouragement. You have been such a positive infuence to me and so many others. I can’t imagine Oakbrook without you and your family. My prayers are with you as you step out in faith and I know that God will continue to use you to bless others where ever you go.

    Deanna


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