Harvest’s New Associate Pastor

Written by Zac Fitzsimmons on June 28, 2017 - 0 Comments


It’s official! Joel Anderson is our new Associate Pastor!

On Sunday, Pastor Paul officially announced the elders’ decision of bringing Pastor Joel Anderson and his family to Flagstaff as he serves as our associate pastor. This decision is even more significant because Joel is also the most likely candidate to be Pastor Paul’s successor as senior pastor down the road. God has already orchestrated amazing things to bring this partnership together and we’re excited and expectant to see what He has planned.

You can listen to the audio of the actual announcement with some of the details of the process using the appropriate link below or you can feel free to read the same words from the verbal announcement below.


Pastor Joel Anderson

Spoken from Pastor Paul on 6.25.17:
Through many prayers, through much consideration, through much input from not just you, our people, but from men and women who have known Joel and Jill for a long time and through the excitement from the elders and through the agreement of the Andersons, we are calling Joel and Jill to come and be part of Harvest Bible Flagstaff. (applause) We are so excited about these guys and their five daughters, who we think most or all of them will join them.

So what does that look like? It has been a little humorous over the past six or so weeks because people aren’t quite sure what the process looks like with us. And so let me give you a thumbnail sketch and that way you will know the real story that you can share with others. Joel is going to come and join us as our associate pastor. He is more than qualified to be a senior pastor and has done that at two churches. Joel will be going to come and join us as our associate; we would not be calling Joel and we don’t believe God would be leading us in this direction if we didn’t think and trust that some number of months down the road Joel would actually take the helm from me and become our senior pastor. Because it important that we grow in our relationship with Joel and discern by the will of the Lord, that it will be some number of months before we the elders make that decision; I would anticipate the first quarter of 2018. When that decision is made, then we will begin a transition process, and that transition process will begin where Joel and I would begin to trade responsibilities. We will know what Joel’s job will look like, we don’t know quite what my job will look like in the future. We have a fair idea what that will look like, but that will be over some number of months…12 to 18 months of transition. Our hearts are that we are engaged with God’s timing and not so much our timing.

But some number of months then down the road, Joel would be the senior pastor here and I would be here doing something else. So let me clear the air, I’m not leaving. I’m not going anywhere. Somebody recently said, what are you going to do when you leave after Joel comes? And I was like “wow, I didn’t know I was leaving.” (laughter) I’m not sure what they meant by that actually. So he who laughs the loudest says the most…Lee. (laughter)

I want to say, from me, how excited I’ve been about Joel and Jill joining us. (in tears) I have been waiting and waiting and I didn’t know who you were, I just prayed believing the day when you would be coming to co-labor with us, to walk with us and this church. So if you think I’m sad or if you think I’m being forced into this position, then you are just not understanding. I’ve been praying for this man and for this family. Before I ever knew it was Joel…I have known Joel for a while now and our hearts are so mended together, we are so tied together and I’m pretty convinced that he and I are going to help each other become more Godly. Wow, what’s better than that?! And just hold on. God has not forgotten us. He is doing great work here. We see it week in and week out. You are growing in your love of the Lord, in your walk with Christ. Know that truly our best days are ahead of us. But make no mistake, there will be a greater call on your life if you are serving the Lord with all that He has put in you now and keep it going. And if your not just know that a greater call is coming on your life, we are putting on the brakes, but stepping on the accelerator, not by our power but by the Spirit, the Spirit of Christ in us. And this city is just going to be the benefactor of what Christ is doing in this church. And you ought to be excited!