By Doug Talley
The Board of Directors for Indiana Ministries has been diligently pursuing their succession plan since I announced to them in late 2021 that I would be retiring as State Pastor no later than mid 2023. You’ve already received an email from the board chair, Stu Kruse, announcing that after a nationwide search Rev. Jeff Matas has been selected by the board to be the new State Pastor of Indiana! I applaud them for excellent work during the succession process, and I echo their endorsement of Jeff as the new State Pastor. I believe they have chosen well.
Jeff has been serving as the Associate State Pastor for the past 12 years. He has done an incredible job in this role and has been an awesome teammate. He has a heart and passion for God, for Indiana Ministries, for pastors, and for local congregations. He had excellent pastoral and ministry experience prior to serving as the Associate State Pastor, and he has built on them during his tenure as Associate State Pastor. He is a proven leader and has worked with many if not most of our pastors and churches in Indiana. He is extremely well respected and trusted as a leader of leaders both within and outside of Indiana. He has provided high quality leadership for a number of Indiana Ministries initiatives. I have loved working with Jeff and learning from him. I am convinced that he will provide stellar leadership for Indiana Ministries!
Soon after the board completed their search and chose Jeff as the next State Pastor, Jeff and I began discussing our transition process. Pending his ratification by the churches of Indiana Ministries, February will be a time of wrapping up current assignments. Then on March 1 Jeff will officially begin serving as State Pastor. I’ll remain on staff under his leadership for the month of March to assist him in his transition to State Pastor and support him in any way I can. We fully expect the transition to be seamless and smooth. Jeff and I have worked together extremely well for the last 12 years, and we fully believe our month overlap will not have any drama or glitches. He knows that even after I leave the IM staff, he can call me to talk and/or ask questions. He knows that I am in his corner and will be championing his tenure as State Pastor of Indiana!
As this transition moves to a final phase, please know that I have loved serving as State Pastor of Indiana! Thank you so much for this opportunity and for your support. The last 14 years have been incredibly fulfilling for me. I have worked with some of the best pastors and churches that I know of. Each year the Board of Directors have done their job extremely well and have supported me at every turn. And the staff that I have been privileged to work with has been second to none. I am incredibly blessed and am so thankful for this opportunity of service. Please know that while I will miss the frequent interaction with pastors, lay leaders, and churches, it is time for me to move into my next phase while Indiana Ministries continues to thrive under a new administration. I have a deep sense of fulfillment and peace as I hand the responsibility and privilege of leading to Jeff.
In the last few months people have asked me what I am going to do after I retire. During the last year, I have been processing what retirement will look like for me and interacting with persons who are ahead of me in this season. I’m embracing the advice I was given to start retirement by taking a lengthy break from any kind of ministry role and/or responsibility in order to “enter into the rest of God” (Al Ells). Then I will wait to see what God brings me while I hone the skill of saying “no” so that I am only doing what God wants me to do. Most of you know that I am a fairly intentional person. OK, I have some over functioning tendencies and can border on having an obsessive need to plan and think ahead. I have been advised to relax that tendency significantly, be more spontaneous, focus on relationships, and listen more to Cindy. Pray for me!
At this point we plan to continue living in Fishers. However, we do intend to take a lot of trips, including trips to see our kids and grandkids, as well as trips to see and experience God’s beautiful creation.
I will be attending and participating in the three regional gatherings across the state that Indiana Ministries is hosting in March. I hope to see you there so that I can give you a big hug and thank you for making my tenure at Indiana Ministries so meaningful and enjoyable.