All You Wanted to Know about the BHBC Music Ministry (and more)


NOTE:  What follows is a simplified version of what was presented Wed. evening, Oct. 25th, in our Quarterly Business Meeting.  All of the pastors involved in this restructuring (Jason, Jim, Nick, Mike & newly hired, Shawn Coleman) were all given as much time as needed to share their convictions and excitement.  Should you desire a more detailed account of the meeting please contact Gail White by either calling the church office (806)795-5261 or emailing her at   Finally, I will be writing in 3rd person at times so as to attempt to make my wording as clear as possible.  nw



Last Wed. evening (10/25), during our Quarterly Business Meeting, Jason presented the restructuring of pastoral staff roles & responsibilities.

This was precipitated by the announced retirement of our Executive Pastor, Jim Gerlt.  Jim set a retirement date of no later than April 1, 2018. 

Rather than “replace” Jim’s exact pastoral role the decision was made to “farm out” his pastoral responsibilities to other pastors presently on staff.

Space here does not allow me to explain in detail all the reasons and logic that supported this decision.  But this I can tell you: 

(1) It was prayed through and discussed at length.

(2) Not a single pastoral move was forced or coerced.  This was a team decision.

(3) It is a decision 100% approved by our Personnel Team and all involved pastors, including myself.



You can access a PDF file of the complete, new Flow Chart by clicking on the following link:  ORGANIZATIONAL CHART FOR BHBC STAFF

In brief, here are the changes taking place…

Mike Lewis will become our Pastor of Operations – this involves the oversight of all logistics related to our facilities & facilities staff.  Additionally, Mike will continue to oversee our First Impressions Team (Sunday morning greeters) as well as our Friends of God Ministry.

Nick Watts will become our Pastor of Ministries – this includes “all things related to Adult Biblical literacy & education”, as well as equipping, training & resourcing all Adult Small/SUMMIT Groups.  This also means Nick will permanently take over the weekly Wed. evening teaching role in the Worship Center as well as supply in the pulpit when Jason is out.  Finally, Nick will serve as Staff Point Person for our College/University Ministry and Missions Team.

Shawn Coleman has become our newly-hired, part-time University Associate Pastor.  I am thrilled to have Shawn on our team.  Leslie & Keno Martin have worked tirelessly the past several years as volunteers to help establish a foundation for this ministry.  And we are now finally able to bring someone on part-time.  Shawn and his wife, Kimberly, are expecting their second child in only a few weeks.  Shawn is originally from Lubbock while Kimberly hails from Montana.  Shawn & Kimberly formerly served with the North American Mission Board to reach university students in Arizona.  Already having a full-time job, Shawn requires no “benefits” package from BHBC such as insurance, retirement, etc.  Due to my having spent decades working in student ministry, I have been asked to serve as Shawn’s immediate supervisor, and have happily accepted that responsibility.

Gail White will become our Administrator, taking on the day-to-day financial operations Jim Gerlt has been supervising.

FYI:  The pastoral roles of Don Baldwin (youth), Dana Kluzek (children) & Janyth Brannon (preschool) remain unchanged.




What will become Jim’s former salary covers every part of this restructuring, meaning that no additional monies are necessary.  In short, all salaries are already included in the budget voted upon by BHBC last March for the 2017-2018 Church Budget.



The short answer is “immediately”.  The long answer is more involved.

This is a very unique transition of pastoral roles that will require several months, if not longer, to complete.  “Dominoes have to fall” in an orderly fashion.  Let me explain…

Obviously, Mike Lewis cannot fully take on the role of Pastor of Operations, relinquishing his role as leader of Adult Small Groups, until I am first able to fully make the transition from Worship/Music Pastor to my new role of Pastor of Ministries.  And, I cannot fully commit to my new role, leading all aspects of Adult Small Groups, until a new Worship/Music Pastor arrives (I’ll get to that in a minute).  And…., a new Worship/Music Pastor cannot arrive on site until Jim retires since Jim’s salary will be used, in part, to pay the new Worship/Music Pastor.  Is that clear now? 🙂

So, this transition will be a very gradual one that will not be fully completed until (1)  Jim Gerlt retires, and (2) a new Worship Pastor arrives on site.

Bottom line:  It is entirely plausible that I remain in the Music Pastor role through Easter, 2018 (unless, of course, God provides a Music Pastor sooner than that.)  By the way, Jim stated, both, to our Personnel Team, and to our church Body last Wed. evening during our Business Meeting that, should BHBC find my (Nick’s) replacement before April 1st, 2018, he would like to retire when that person arrives on site.  Jim & Judy have already purchased a home in Yukon, OK, near their children and grandchildren and are looking forward to spending time with them soon.



So, my changing role begs the question, “Who’s going to be leading our music?”  (I’m glad you asked.) 🙂

The new pastoral role/position will be called Pastor of Worship & Care, combining all aspects of the music/worship ministry with Sr. Adult ministry and pastoral care (hospital visitation).  This in no way suggests that the new pastor will be a senior adult, but rather that the new pastor will simply take on that particular pastoral role in addition to the music ministry responsibilities.  As I have done these past 9 years, this new pastor will oversee all audio/visual personnel.  Additionally, they will oversee the “church hostess” ministry.



The BHBC Bylaws were updated and ratified a couple of  years ago.  Those Bylaws state that the Search Team for all pastoral staff (except for the role of Lead Pastor) will include four individuals presently serving on the Personnel Team.  After those individuals are decided upon, three will be “voted on from the floor.”  Because the Personnel Team already comprises a number of music-ministry-related personnel, Jason recommended that the present Personnel Team simply serve as our Pastor of Worship & Care Search Team.  The church voted on this recommendation at last week’s Business Meeting and it was approved.

The Pastor of Worship & Care Search Team comprises the following members:  Larry Vialle, Melba Crutcher, Farley Reeves, Mike Smith, Todd Brashears, Jim Barber, and Harry Bruton.  Alternates are: John Gardner and Cindi Cobb

Additionally, Jason has graciously asked me to occasionally sit in on Search Team meetings, serving both as a representative of our Praise Team, as well as a general consultant.  I happily accepted this task.



It began Oct. 30th.

Our Search Team met Sunday, Oct. 29th, for the purpose of prayer, covering basic procedural steps and agreeing upon protocol.  Postings (“advertisements”) for the new pastoral position were made public yesterday (10/30).



Searching for a new pastor to one’s church staff is an exciting, yet intense, responsibility. 

We here at BHBC enjoy something extremely unique: our staff genuinely loves one another.  Sadly, that’s rarely the case – trust me.  We are one pastor away from upsetting the “sweet, sweet spirit” we so enjoy here.

That said, we must allow our Search Team as much time as needed to pray, interview, and pray some more before they come to a decision.  Additionally – and this is vital – we must pray fervently for that person God has already selected (they just don’t know it yet). 🙂

Until then…. you’re stuck with me.


Love you all, Nick

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