Dear Inner Circle,
Unreserved joy and support has flooded in all directions since we announced that Pastor Jon Owen would be my successor as CEO and Pastor of the Wayside Chapel. Months ago I had a conversation with David Gonski who is often referred to as, “The Chairman of Everything”. He asked me who my successor might be and at that point, I had no indicator about where our Board’s exhaustive process might terminate. He said, “Don’t appoint a manager. Appoint someone who is inspirational.” I indicated that his response surprised me, as he knew how large Wayside had become. He followed up by saying, “You can teach an inspirational person to manage, or you can hire the right skills to help them, but you can’t teach a manager to be inspirational.” My spirit soars because our Board chose an inspirational person to lead Wayside into the future.
Street people and visitors all love Jon and it’s a joy for me to witness the endorsement from the gutter as well as from the highest places. The expression of care from the street for me is also touching. One fellow put his hands on both my shoulders yesterday and said, “I’m so glad you’ve been part of my life”. It means the world to me. Many appreciate that I’ll still be here but in a reduced way. One woman said yesterday, “You’ll miss being the king pin”. I can’t remember when I’ve heard a statement that is less true than that one.
That’s enough for now. Someone put this week on “fast forward”. Thanks for being part of our inner circle,
Rev Graham Long
Pastor & CEO