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Pastor Search Team Update

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We are encouraged and excited about the opportunities ahead. Below is a summary of our updates from the Pastor Search Team.

04/02/17

The search for a lead pastor has deepened in intensity as the team is pressing in on key attributes of the pastor profile with a short list of candidates. The team appreciates your prayers and patience at a time when they are engaging in challenging heartwork and striving to discern which candidates possess the qualities which most closely fit the DNA of Grace Church. They trust God’s sovereignty to lead them to the pastor of His choice for our church.


03/13/17

Due to the snow on Sunday, March 12, we have rescheduled the Congregational Prayer for March 19. Join us for a Congregational prayer time specifically for the pastor search process on Sunday, March 19 after each service in room 117.


03/01/17

Prayer Time for Pastor Search
Join us for a Congregational prayer time specifically for the pastor search process on Sunday, March 12 after each service in room 117.

The Pastor Search Team is intensely studying several prospective lead pastors, as online interviews have taken place over the past few weeks. Tremendous insight is gained by talking and interacting with a pastor. The team develops a clearer view of how well each candidate matches our church and pastor profile and envisions him at Grace as our lead pastor. 

Below is a reminder of the Pastor Search Process and where we are in the timeline:

March2017PSTTimeline

Preparation
Develop a Church Profile and Pastor Profile for candidates to learn about Grace Church. Produce a congregational questionnaire to capture the body’s insights and desires for the next Pastor. Develop a set of questions to best capture the Gospel heart and gifting of the candidates.

Casting the Net
Develop and use a network of sources and other avenues to gather perspective candidates. Determine qualified candidates and their willingness to engage in our search process.

Evaluation
Identify qualified candidates and make use of available resources such as sermons, websites, blogs, contacts, multiple video interviews and checking references to get to know and understand their unique ministry gifting.

Recommendation
For candidates with the best potential fit, conduct phone interviews, visit current church, in-person interviews with Session, staff and team. Call the church to intensive prayer and select candidate to recommend for congregational vote.


01/29/17

The Pastor Search Team is intensely studying several prospective lead pastors, as online interviews will take place over the next few weeks. Tremendous insight is gained by talking and interacting with a pastor. The team develops a clearer view of how well each candidate matches our church and pastor profile and envisions him at Grace as our lead pastor. They are in initial stages of review with several new candidates as well.

Members of the team will be present at each of the four Town Hall meetings planned for the month of February. Please plan to attend one of the meetings to ask questions and to hear more from a Pastor Search Team member.

 


 

01/11/17

The Pastor Search Team began 2017 with a renewed effort to locate our next lead pastor by casting a wider net in order to expand the pool of applicants. Even though several candidates have been released over the past few months, everyone on the team has been encouraged by 8-10 new applicants and team members are listening to sermons, reading resumes and researching. Some of the new applicants do not fit Grace’s Church Profile and Pastor Profile and have been removed from the evaluation process. Others have shown more potential and have been extended an opportunity to answer a deeper level of questions which will help the team know if the candidate is closely aligned to our church and pastor profile. Please continue in prayer for the men who are applying and for the team.

 


 

12/18/16

The Pastor Search Team continues to review and research applications submitted for our future lead pastor.  Candidates are in various stages of the process: some are new and the team is reviewing resumes and listening to sermons. The team had one candidate in the final stages of the process who was offered and accepted an opportunity to come to meet the body and become acquainted with the elders and staff. To the great disappointment of the Search Team, this candidate has since decided to plant a new church in a bigger city, in a low income area with a diverse population. The sovereign plan of God gives great comfort in this uncertain time. The team has also been reminded that we should not cry for an earthly king as the Israelites did when they were uncertain because we, as believers, have the fulfillment of our needs in Christ. We are the Body of Christ, with Jesus at our head, our future is secure. Please continue to lift up the team and their process in your prayers.

 


 

11/27/16

Several new lead pastor candidates have been submitted to the Pastor Search Team recently. The team anticipates reviewing their profile data and considering their responses to the first round of written questions over the next couple of weeks.

In the ongoing evaluation of earlier candidates, the team is using interviews, emails and phone conversations to get a more complete view of the men who have a desire to be our lead pastor. The team is working together well as they press on with the solemn challenge of discerning the best fit for our church. Thank you for your prayers; please continue to pray for God's guidance as the search continues.

 


 

11/13/16

The Search Team has been encouraged by the progress they have made in a just a few months. They have been examining candidates and their responses to a slate of in-depth questions created by the team. Further insight into a candidate beyond the information found in personal profiles and typical resume type questions can be discovered through this process. The team is continuing to accept nominations from the church body and from our Advisory Board members. Solemn prayer for discerning who our next lead pastor will be and prayer for all candidates continues.

 


 

10/30/16

The Pastor Search Team is digging deeper as they explore and evaluate candidates by listening to multiple sermons and reading/discussing responses to team questions. They are also writing future interview questions so they will be ready should an aspiring candidate progress to that stage. There have been engaging discussions, honest questions and constructive challenges among members. The group is working well as a team to find the best lead pastor for Grace.

An extra emphasis has been given on prayer, particularly the importance of praying for all candidates and their families. We are striving to be respectful of candidates who are interested in Grace and the vulnerability they face while pastoring one church and exploring another. Please prayerfully support all the candidates and the team.

 


 

10/16/16

At this time, the Pastor Search Team is working to examine candidates who have applied so far while continuing to search for and make initial contact with new candidates. The team is charged with the responsibility of listening to sermons, reading blogs, studying church websites and processing the many pages of personal and professional information that each candidate submits. This stage of the process requires individual study as well as group discussion as the group sincerely searches for a lead pastor who best fits the grace body. Please continue to pray for our new lead pastor and for wisdom and discernment for the team as they proceed.
The results of the Congregational Survey are available online and at the info desk.

 


 

09/25/16

The Pastor Search Team is in full swing! Several candidates have submitted resumes and the team is in the first round of the evaluation process. This includes analyzing each candidate’s resume and discerning how closely his personal attributes and ministry history align with Grace’s Pastor Profile. This involves reading documents submitted by the candidate, combing through his current church’s website and listening to several sermons. After the tedious process of creating our church documents, the team is excited and encouraged to be learning about and engaging with actual candidates! Please continue to pray for the team and our future lead pastor.

 


 

09/11/16

2016 PST-911TimelineCastingNet

Now that the Church Profile and the Pastor Profile are completed, we are officially in the ”Casting the Net” stage! The Church Profile and the Pastor Profile will be available next week. We will develop and use a network of sources and other avenues to gather prospective candidates. We will then determine qualified candidates and their willingness to engage in our search process.

 


 

8/21/16
Thanks to all members and attenders who submitted a Congregational Questionnaire over the past couple of weeks. Nearly 150 members and regular attenders participated. The results are in process and will be used by the team to construct the Pastor Profile, a key document used in the search for a lead pastor. Additionally, the Pastor Search Team is finalizing the Church Profile, a document for pastor prospects to learn about the people, the ministries, the goals and vision and location of Grace Community Church. The whole group is encouraged by the response to the survey and support of the church body as we work.

 


 

7/31/16
Recently, the Pastor Search Team completed two documents that will aid in our search process. First, a general timeline was constructed marking the team’s current progress in the search process. Next, a questionnaire for the congregation was finalized. The team genuinely welcomes feedback from the church body as the search for our Lead Pastor moves forward. The timeline is printed in your bulletin and the survey will be handed out after each service on July 31. Turn in completed surveys to any offering box. To allow everyone time to prayerfully consider responses, surveys are due by August 14th. The questionnaire may also be completed online. Thank you for taking time to respond to the questions. 

You may complete the survey online, here. (Edit: All survery responses were due by 8/14)

Click here to download the Pastor Search Timeline


 7/17/16
The July 7 meeting was engaging and productive. Goals for the entire search process and expectations of the team were shared. The team desires to develop a strong sense of unity, to conduct a gospel-centered search and to regularly communicate developments to the church body. Next, time was spent reflecting on the recommendations given by Advisory Board Member, Charles McGowan, at the last meeting and slightly revising his guidelines to coordinate with the climate and church body at Grace. Committees will be formed to divide the tasks of creating a pastor profile, church profile and a congregational input questionnaire. Lastly, the team generated ideas for increasing congregational involvement in prayer for the tasks in the weeks and months ahead. 


7/10/16
A training session was held on Thursday, June 30 with Charles McGowan. Charles, a member of our Transition Advisory Board, is a retired pastor who is now helping churches like ours that are going through the pastor search process. Read more about his ministry at mcgowansearch.com. Charles spent much of the  evening laying out a detailed process used to help pastor search teams successfully find the right pastor for their church. Our team was very  thankful for his help in view of the task ahead. The importance of prayer was emphasized as we move forward. Time was spent praying together. We ask that you as a church body join us in covering the team, the church and the entire search effort in prayer. We are all excited to see how God will move through the prayers of His Church. Please pray!


7/3/16
The initial meeting of the Pastor Search Team was held on Wednesday, June 15. The role of the Pastor Search Team was defined as “the group who would bring possible pastors to the congregation for member vote and selection.” The team was charged with a high degree of confidentiality and an emphasis was placed on the importance of prayer throughout the process. The necessity of each person’s regular attendance at meetings and their engagement in research and study outside of meetings was underscored. In general, the team will meet on Thursday evenings. Colin will become the staff alternate in place of Jenn Odom (voted staff alternate) and she will become a regular team member so he can better fulfill his responsibilities as Assistant Pastor and New Officer Trainer. Amanda Pace, member, was chosen as Chairperson and Jim Pearce, deacon, will serve as Vice-Chair. A training session was held on Thursday, June 30, with Advisory Board member Charles McGowan on how the team can work effectively together. Everyone is excited about the process and eager to move forward!


6/26/16
The initial meeting of the Pastor Search Team was held on Wednesday, June 15. It was a special time for prayer, building relationships and bonding as a group. Both laughter and tears were flowing at times. Colin P Thornley, Assistant Pastor at Grace, presided since a chair had not yet been chosen. The role of the Pastor Search Team was defined as the group who would bring possible pastors to the congregation for member vote and selection. The team was charged with a high degree of confidentiality and an emphasis was placed on the importance of prayer throughout the process. The necessity of each person’s regular attendance at meetings and their engagement in research and study outside of meetings was underscored. In general, the team will meet on Thursday evenings. Colin stated the he would become the staff alternate in place of Jenn Odom (voted staff alternate) and she would become a regular team member so he can better fulfill his responsibilities as Assistant Pastor and New Officer Trainer. Amanda Pace, member, was chosen as Chairperson and Jim Pearce, deacon, will serve as Vice-Chair. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, June 30, when Advisory Board member Charles McGowan will provide the training needed for a pastor search team to work effectively together. Everyone is eager to learn and move forward!


Pastor Search Team

The following individuals are appointed to the Pastor Search Team by majority vote:

Deacon
Jim Pearce (Tony Rickman, alternate)

Elders
Joe Dement, Matthew Fuller (Gregg Stashenko, alternate)

Members
Mary Dean Beland, Larry Lewison, Nate McCollin, Amanda Pace (Ken Downer, alternate)

Staff
Craig Lotz, Colin P Thornley (Jenn Odom, alternate)

Please be in prayer for the team as they serve Grace in this important way.