Jeff Dodge Ministry Future

On Sunday, December 2, we honored Jeff & Teresa Dodge as Jeff moves to a new role on the pastoral staff at Veritas Church in Iowa City. For more information on the process, please watch the videos included below and read the attached FAQ.


What is a quick summary of all that is happening in this next step for Jeff Dodge?

As of January 1, 2019, Jeff Dodge will be moving from Cornerstone Church in Ames to join the pastoral team at Veritas Church in Iowa City. Jeff will add his years of ministry experience and skills as a pastor and leader to our first church plant from Cornerstone.

What are some of the primary reasons why Jeff’s move to Veritas will serve that church?

Veritas Church has experienced God’s incredible favor on their ministry and grown to a church of more than 800 people. They have recently moved into a new permanent facility that was completed in October 2018. As Jeff comes onboard, he will add immediate depth to their weekend preaching and teaching ministry, as well as much-needed experience as a pastor. Also, Jeff will be working alongside Mark Arant, who is the Lead Pastor of Veritas Church and a lifelong friend and disciple of Jeff Dodge.

In the video, it was mentioned that during this season of leadership transition there was relational conflict and tension between Jeff and Troy. Has that conflict been resolved and has reconciliation occurred?

As both Jeff and Troy have stated, their friendship has lasted for decades. Their families are deeply connected. And a season of difficulty won’t undo those deeply-held relational ties and love. While there are still aspects of tension that they are working through, our elders, Jeff and Troy are all committed to continue the process of gospel reconciliation. We believe that God has used even this difficult moment of tension to bring about His good purposes for the gospel good of the Salt Network family of churches.

We love you Jeff, and we all realize this is a huge move for your family. How are Teresa and the kids feeling with the move?

There is a growing excitement over the new open door for ministry at Veritas Church. But along with this new opportunity, there is the pain of uprooting and moving further from family in Ames. We are in the midst of a moment of transition that we didn’t see two years ago when this process started. So there are painful tears at the loss, alongside gospel hope for the future.

For Cornerstone Church, how will our value of plurality be put into practice in the new day with Mark Vance as Lead Pastor? Are we planning to hire a “wingman” for Mark?

At Cornerstone, we deeply believe in the biblical principle of team leadership and plurality. Our conviction toward leading in plurality is not wavering – it is strengthening. The difficult moments of this leadership transition have served to strengthen the trust of our elders and staff directors.
While the Troy and Jeff partnership was a visible expression of plurality in Cornerstone, that relationship alone was never the only way we expressed plurality. As we move forward, we will continue to value plurality at every level organizationally. Our elders continue to work with Mark as the key decision-making and vision-shaping team. Our staff directors are an incredible team that lead together to put the vision of our elders into implementation. And our commitment to shared teaching in weekend services will remain: Mark will continue to teach around 40% of the time, Troy will continue to teach around 20% of the time, and the remaining Sundays will give opportunity for our elders, Salt Director Solomon Rexius, and Network Pastors to preach and teach at Cornerstone.

Is Jeff’s move to Iowa City the end of the leadership transition process? Is there any plan for Troy Nesbitt to move someplace else? Or for Mark to leave anytime soon?

We believe as Christians we are called to say “yes” to Jesus – wherever He calls us, we must go. But we have no plans for either Troy or Mark to leave Cornerstone Church of Ames. Our goal is to be a sending church. But sending leaders out in a healthy way requires stability and health in the leadership team that remains. So our goal for Lead Pastors in our network is that they would aim to plant their lives in the community where they pastor. Troy will continue to serve as a faithful pastor, dad and mentor to Mark. And Mark’s goal is to serve as Lead Pastor for the next 20 years at Cornerstone.

How do we plan at Cornerstone to replace Jeff’s pastoral abilities and preaching?

In one sense, you cannot replace Jeff Dodge. God has gifted Jeff with unique wisdom and pastoral skill. We have been blessed by his ministry. In another sense, we aren’t trying to replace Jeff because Jeff will continue to serve Cornerstone in a part-time role to lead our theological development of next-generation pastors and leaders. In preaching and teaching, we will lean more strongly into our deep bench of qualified preachers and teachers. And in pastoral ministry, we are blessed to have a healthy team of pastors such as Shane Rothlisberger and Steve Jones who will step forward. And we will continue to lead in plurality and lean into the collective wisdom of our council of elders to continue to lead the church forward.