A Letter From Pastor Jeff Mattesich

Dear Lake Avenue Church,

Grace and peace to you. We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  - 1 Thessalonians 1:1b-3

How can I describe my journey at LAC? It really is a love story. Ours is a story of increasing love for the Lord Jesus, for you (the LAC congregation), and the LAC mission. You have loved us well and given me and my family an incredible life. We are grateful beyond anything words can capture.

At the time I received the information from the LAC Senior Pastor Search Committee, we were en route to interview with another congregation and my mother was preparing for surgery. With all of these things happening, I am grateful that the Ministry Council offered me time and space to reflect and discern these past few weeks. My absence, both physically and virtually, allowed us to focus on discerning what the Lord is saying to the Mattesich family. It became clear that we were not to serve another congregation at this time.

The Lord also made clear that after 22 years my time as a pastor on LAC staff has to come to an end. My last day on staff will be November 19th, 2021. It has been an incredible honor and privilege to be part of this church family and the pastoral staff. There will be several moments in which I will say more, but Jenny and I wanted to share this news with you now. My immediate next steps will allow me to be a full-time student so I can finish my Doctoral degree as well as be more present and helpful with my mom and family.

Obedience is often difficult. For us, being obedient to the Lord is hard right now. It is hard because of love. I love being part of this wonderful church family and I love what this family is about. The baptisms this past weekend perfectly illustrate this. While our relationship will soon change, our love remains. We are not moving away and our boys will continue being part of the incredible Family Ministries at LAC.

I believe that you have the most gifted, passionate, and Jesus-loving staff in the history of LAC. Serving with them has allowed me to see and serve Jesus more faithfully. Likewise, I believe that this is a strong and united Ministry Council. I have said for the past many years that I believe the best days for LAC are ahead. I still believe this to be true with all my heart because of the ways in which these servants love and serve the Lord and this church family, community, and mission.

There will be more details and dates in coming days. I will be sharing in the service this weekend (October 3) and be preaching my final two weekends (November 7 and 14). There will be times where I can express my love and gratitude for you and our many years together. I have never been short on words or sentiment with you and I will not stop now!


Pastor Jeff Mattesich
Acting Senior Pastor

A Letter from Church Chair

Dear LAC Family,

Thank you for your patience as we have given Pastor Jeff, our leadership, and the congregation time to process the recent Senior Pastor Search Committee (SPSC) information regarding Pastor Jeff’s candidacy. We know that the congregation is interested in hearing more about the plans and the next steps in the coming months at Lake Avenue Church.

As you will see in Pastor Jeff’s letter, in addition to the SPSC information, he, Jenny, Henry, and Russell have been discerning God’s call on the next season of their lives, both in ministry and as a family. This has included a recent opportunity for him to serve as the Senior Pastor at another church. Sensing the Mattesiches’ need to be obedient to God’s calling, the Ministry Council has provided them space these past few weeks to discern God’s will for their future.

While Pastor Jeff has decided to not serve at the other church at this time, he does believe that his season of serving as the Acting Senior Pastor at Lake Avenue Church should come to an end. While we are deeply saddened by this news, the Ministry Council voted unanimously on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 to affirm Pastor Jeff’s obedience to this call. A mutually agreed upon transition date of November 19, 2021 was identified.

The Ministry Council believes that Pastor Jeff has done an outstanding job leading Lake Avenue Church in one of the most challenging times in recent history. This included quickly pivoting to new modes of worship while boldly taking on difficult topics that are facing our churches today. He has built a strong pastoral team, and we have been blessed to serve alongside him. Our relationship as a congregation with Pastor Jeff runs deeply, as he has faithfully served us in so many ways for 22 years. He has not only been our pastor but also our friend. We deeply love Pastor Jeff, and we know that he is deeply loved by you.

We also want to express our gratitude to all of the pastors and church staff who serve us so well. We will be working very closely together over the coming months to further Lake Avenue Church’s mission and its vast ministries. As the future unfolds, please know that your Ministry Council will be conducting additional meetings and stepping in to ensure a smooth transition, honoring the work and the legacy that God has established here over the past 125 years. We also seek a future where we worship together in unity, build strong communities, and serve each other, our community, and our world for His glory. God has greatly blessed Lake Avenue Church, and we fully believe He will continue to do so in the coming days.

In his letter, Pastor Jeff describes his story at Lake Avenue Church as being one of an “increasing love for the Lord Jesus, the LAC congregation, and the LAC mission.” We know this to be true. While our relationship with Jeff as our Acting Senior Pastor will soon change, our love for him, and his love for us, will not. We expect that the love story between Lake Avenue Church and the Mattesich family will continue in new and unexpected ways, even as they embark upon a new season. As a church leadership, we are committed to walking alongside them during this transition. On Sunday, November 14, we will celebrate the Mattesich family on Jeff’s last Sunday as Acting Senior Pastor and thank them for their faithful service to Lake Avenue Church.

The Ministry Council will be providing additional updates over the coming weeks as we celebrate the ways in which God has used Pastor Jeff at Lake Avenue Church and as we continue planning the search for our next Senior Pastor. This will include additional updates in conjunction with the SPSC around our search process. Thank you for your steadfast prayers and support for Lake Avenue Church as we walk through this time as a church family, seeking to fulfill God’s mission here in Pasadena and around the world.

In Christ,

Dan Crichton
Church Chair