NOVEMBER 2019 UPDATE
With 10 months of meetings and deliberations behind us, we are both encouraged by the response and daunted by the discernment challenge!
We’ve evaluated over 140 names and screened them down, and are continuing to evaluate additional candidates as they come in.
The PNC evaluation process consists of several steps:
- Screening with objective criteria, including education, ordination status, and years of relevant experience.
- Screening on the basis of subjective criteria to assess the nature of the experience and evaluate sermons for content, style, and “fit.”
- Those making it through this screening process are then invited to a series of conference calls addressing standardized questions. The conference calls are the beginning of the process to help the candidate and the PNC mutually assess fit. If at any point during this process it is determined that there is not a fit, then that person would drop out of the process.
At this point we have met with several candidates for first and second conference calls. We are scheduling others for this phase of the assessment process, even as additional prospective candidate names have been emerging.
Please pray for continued discernment, clarity, and life balance for the PNC and also for the prospective candidates, one of whom will become the next senior pastor to lead us forward into the next chapter of our life together!
AUGUST 2019 UPDATE
We have been busy! We’re so very grateful for the strong response we have received with over 130 names coming our way through a) the Church Leadership Connection, b) leader networking conversations and c) referrals from our First Pres congregation. This has meant lots of reading and listening to many sermons.
The breadth of experience and the depth of insight these individuals possess is exciting. Thanks be to God for such leaders in the Church!
Of course, that brings us the challenge: how to narrow down the pool of potential candidates so we can proceed with the next phase: preliminary interviews. We are keenly aware of this challenge and ask God for discernment and wisdom as we consider our congregation and its context, both present and future, and seek to assess the best fit for the person we will call to be our next senior pastor.
May we all have open and trusting hearts ready to receive what God has in store for us for the One we follow “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:19-21).
APRIL 2019 UPDATE
Session and Presbytery Committee on Ministry approved our church’s Ministry Information Form (MIF) on March 19 and April 11, respectively.
This is the second completed step in our 5-step plan. The MIF provides a narrative picture of the mission and ministry of First Pres and our sense of call. Prospective pastors will use the MIF to begin discerning whether God is calling them to First Pres.
Step 3, Identify Candidates, is our next major undertaking. It will involve both receiving applications through the PC(USA) Church Leadership Connection (CLC) and actively seeking out candidates.
Refer to our FAQ for answers to many of your questions or contact the PNC at firstname.lastname@example.org.