Lead Pastor Curt Drexler Announces Retirement Date
Together with Christ The Rock’s Elder team, Lead Pastor Curt Drexler has shared he will retire from his role next year. After 33 years on staff, three of which have been as the church’s senior leader, Pastor Curt will enter a phased retirement October-December 2021. He will continue to serve as Lead Pastor until then. Scroll down for a video announcement.
This process began nearly five years ago when the Elders asked both Curt (who was then CTR’s Executive Pastor) and founding and Senior Pastor Bill Lenz to begin thinking about a plan for retiring from their ministry positions. Four years ago, Pastor Curt shared his intentions with them to retire in 2021. After Pastor Bill’s unexpected passing in 2017, CTR’s Elders appointed Curt to the position of Lead Pastor and he has served as the church’s senior leader since that time.
We are grateful for Curt’s steadfast leadership throughout many changes. He has served faithfully as the church grew from a street outreach ministry into a fledgling church community, and beyond.
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Pastor Curt directed moves to different locations as well as renovation and building projects; helped oversee the church’s expanding local and global ministry, and has been a consistent, transparent leader throughout and after the crisis of Pastor Bill’s death. His leadership is marked by humility, sacrificial love for others, and consistently prioritizing the most important thing in both his personal life and ministry: sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are also thankful for Marian Drexler, Curt’s wife, who has been an integral part of Christ The Rock. Marian has volunteered in many capacities including our Lay Counseling Program, Children’s Ministry and worship teams. She also worked on staff for 17 years in several roles, as receptionist in Christ The Rock’s early years, and later as part of the Weekend Service team and our Restore Team, which cares for people through support groups and counseling. Together, Curt and Marian have touched many lives in our church and community.
About the leadership transition process, Pastor Curt says, “The Elders and I will continue to work side by side to create our plan for a smooth transition of leadership. In our humanity, we tend to like things to stay the way they are, but change is a normal part of life in every organization. Especially in the church, we have the security of our good Father being the One we follow over and above any human leader.”
Curt will continue to serve as Lead Pastor through the next 12 months and will be part of a planned mentoring process to fully prepare for the leadership transition. With this first step of announcing Curt’s retirement date, the second phase is in progress as the elders seek God to discern who He is preparing for the Lead Pastor role. The third step will be planning who that person will need in supporting roles around them. Then Curt will spend several months mentoring and coaching the new Lead Pastor.
The next steps in CTR’s leadership transition will be announced in the first quarter of 2021. All future updates will be posted here.
As a church, we thank Pastor Curt for his tireless, Christ-centered leadership for more than three decades. We pray together for God’s blessing upon him and Marian as his formal ministry years transition to retirement. And along with him, we embrace the future God has for us together as we continue to build a community that seeks the lost, loves the hurting and makes disciples who follow Jesus Christ.
All-church meeting announcement
Questions you may have:
Why a phased approach?
Rather than waiting to share all details after an entire plan was in place, CTR leadership has chosen to share plans with you in real time, as each part of the plan takes place. The most important reason for this choice is so that you can pray for our Elders and Senior Leadership Team through every step of the leadership transition. We also want to model healthy transparency in leadership, and offer opportunities for real-time feedback and questions (as we are with the All Church Meeting, for example).
What will the process look like?
This leadership transition will continue to happen in phases, with the next set of decisions being announced in the first quarter of 2021. The first public phase was to share Curt’s retirement announcement and timeline (fall 2021). The second phase is already in progress as the Elders pray and discern who God is raising up to serve as our next Lead Pastor. After that will come a time to assess the needs and make decisions about the support team around that leader so the church remains strong, focused, and equipped to carry out what God has called us to do and be together. The months following will be dedicated to mentoring and coaching for the Lead Pastor and any staff members who will take on new responsibilities. We will share news and prayer requests each step of the way, with Pastor Curt retiring and transferring leadership in the last quarter of 2021.
What will the the leadership transition mean for ministry?
Christ The Rock’s mission and vision is not changing, even though our Lead Pastor will be changing. We will continue to seek the lost, love the hurting and make disciples. And as always, our vision is that all people, no matter their story, would come to know, love and follow Jesus.