PASTORAL CALL CHECKLIST
UPDATES FROM PASTOR NOMINATING COMMITTEE
JUNE 26, 2017
The Pastor Nominating Committee includes members: David Albright, David Arrango, Pat Bishop, E.B. Gee, Jr., Lannie Mercer, and Ellen Matthews.
On April 28th, our Pastor Nominating Committee posted our church’s Ministry Information Form on-line with the Presbyterian Church USA’s church leadership connection. I am sure you remember that this MIF contained a description of our church and the characteristics we desired in our next Head of Staff and Pastor.
Since then we have read, reviewed, and discussed over 51 Personal Information Forms, or resumes, from Presbyterian Pastors. After reading those 51 resumes and often listening to recorded sermons we offered to interview 12 applicants. 8 pastors accepted our invitation to interview with your committee on SKYPE. Over the last two weeks we have interviewed 4 pastors and this week we will interview 4 more. We still have a lot of work to complete, references to check, watching them preach live sermons, and face to face interviews, along with the other requirements of our Presbytery.
However, you should be encouraged to know that the entire congregation’s input is about to become a reality as we discern who our next pastor will be.
As we have talked with these applicants I have to tell you there are some great people out there who have a vision for bringing God’s active presence to our church and our community. I am really excited about the quality of the people we are considering for our pastor.
Please continue to pray for us.
JANUARY 29, 2017
The members of the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) were recommended to the congregation by the nominating committee and elected by the congregation in October. The PNC members that were elected and commissioned are David Albright, David Arango, Pat Bishop, E.B. Gee, Jr., Ellen Matthews, Lannie Mercer, and Jim Yancey.
Our regularly scheduled PNC meetings always include prayer and scripture, a team building activity, training and new information.
In November and December we held 11 Focus Group Meetings where information was collected from the congregation about characteristics members were seeking in our next Pastor.
Dr. Benz has delivered a report from these Focus Group meetings to the PNC and will deliver her report to the Session at their February meeting. Much of this information will be added to our website soon.
At our meeting this week (2/1/17) the PNC will begin writing the Ministry Information Form and hope to have it finished in March (at the latest), which the Session must then approve. The MIF contains information about our church and the pastor we are seeking to call. The MIF must then be approved by the Presbytery. When this is completed we will post the call for our pastor on the national Presbyterian Church (USA) database.
God willing, we should begin to receive Personal Information Forms from pastors who may be interested in our church in March.
After receiving initial inquires it will take us several months to sort, correspond, evaluate, and reduce the group to finalists which we will interview in person.
Dissolve pastor’s call
Call an interim pastor
Secure permission to elect a PNC
Session recommends size for PNC (in our case, 7)
Church members (not the session) submit members’ names to the
congregational nominating committee for consideration to serve on PNC
Slate of names to serve on PNC prepared by nominating committee,
to be voted on by congregation
Call a congregational meeting to elect the PNC
September 25, 10:30 a.m., in the Sanctuary
PNC is trained by Presbytery Executive (Steve Benz),
interim pastor (Dr. Cynthia M. Benz), and COM liaison (the Rev. Gary Marshall)
PNC appoints specific responsibilities within its committee: chair or co-chairs, secretary
and/or internet communicator, devotional leader, team building exercise leader
Mission study takes place in focus group meetings
Analysis report of focus group results is prepared by interim pastor
and presented to the PNC
Session provides Mission Statement and pastor’s salary range to PNC for MIF
PNC develops MIF
Session approves MIF
COM approves MIF
MIF is entered into CLC system
PNC determines method by which to evaluate PIFs
PNC “pulls a match” from CLC system and receives and reviews PIFs
PNC narrows down PIF choices, including the tasks:
− check personal references
− “red flag check” presbytery to presbytery
− schedule interviews
PNC identifies nominee and extends call
PNC negotiates Terms of Call with candidate
Presbytery Examinations Commission examines candidate and approves Terms of Call
PNC reports call to session
Session calls congregational meeting to elect new pastor
Pastor is elected
The call is signed (paperwork) by the PNC and the COM
YOUR WORK IS COMPLETE!!!
… and all the while, every step of the way, PNC prays for guidance and discernment.
1 Please check elsewhere on this website for acronym definitions
2 Please check elsewhere on this website for focus group sign-ups
CLICK HERE FOR
A DETAILED version
of this checklist
HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS WE ASKED YOU TO COMMIT TO PRAYER:
1. What are some of the spiritual gifts/leadership skills you believe God gifted <former pastors’ names> with? What gifts/skills could they have benefited from having more of?
2. What are the things about your church that delight you that you believe are pleasing to God? What are some concerns you have about your church that you believe God may be calling you to address?
3. What one change would you make at your church that you believe would be most pleasing to God?
4. What is getting in the way of your church being able to fully worship and glorify God?
5. Understanding that we are first and foremost called to worship and glorify God, what has not been asked that you believe would be helpful for the PNC to hear and consider in seeking a new pastor?
FOCUS GROUP QUESTIONS
In searching for a new installed pastor here
at First Presbyterian Church,
we will encounter quite a few acronyms –
the Presbyterian Church is famous for them!
As information, here are the ones
we will likely encounter the most,
along with brief explanations.
BOOK OF CONFESSIONS
This is Part I of the two parts of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It begins with the “Nicene Creed,” which is the oldest, and until the last General Assembly, the last confession was “A Brief Statement of Faith.” The newest edition of the BOC will include our newly approved confession, “The Belhar Confession,” making a total of 12.
BOOK OF ORDER
This is Part II of the two parts of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This is more of a daily guide to how to be a good Presbyterian, which includes four sections: Foundations, Government, Worship, Discipline.
CHURCH LEADERSHIP CONNECTION
This is the denomination’s department (and website)
that helps match churches and pastors who are searching.
COMMITTEE ON MINISTRY
Ministers are not a member of a congregation, they are members of the presbytery and are under the auspices of the COM. The COM appoints a liaison to walk alongside congregations as they search for a pastor.
COMMITTEE ON PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY
When men and women are called to ministry, and typically while they are in seminary, they are under the care of a presbytery’s CPM, which works with, encourages, and guides them in the process of becoming a Presbyterian minister.
EXECUTIVE PRESBYTER/GENERAL PRESBYTER
This is an administrative member of the presbytery staff with
a multitude of duties, not the least of which is to give
pastoral care to ministers, work with and guide churches when they are in conflict, and serve as a resource to the many committees and commissions of the presbytery.
During the search process, our Executive’s main functions
will be to train the PNC, be a resource for any number of issues that may arise, and do “red flag checks” on possible
candidates (a reference check of sorts with the candidate’s Executive or General Presbyter).
MINISTRY INFORMATION FORM
This is a ten page ministry narrative document that describes the church and the kind of pastor for whom it is searching. It is typically put together by the PNC, based on the information gathered from the congregation by various means. It is approved by the session (it actually “owns” the document), then by the presbytery (the COM), then is uploaded into the denomination’s CLC database, which is where the matching process takes place. (If it sounds similar to a computer dating program – you’re right! It is!) If you are interested in seeing what this document looks like, you can download either a Word or PDF copy of it
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.)
This is the mainline denomination of which we are members. There are other Presbyterian denominations
(Presbyterian Church of America, Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians, Cumberland Presbyterian, and a few more),
so it is helpful to state which one we are.
PERSONAL INFORMATION FORM
We affectionately refer to this as a “Presbyterian Resume.” When a church is searching for a pastor, it is very helpful for the search committee to be able to compare apples to apples when reviewing information. The PIF is similar in format to the MIF, in order for matching to take place.
This is a twelve page document, including one page of instructions. You can download either
a Word or PDF version
PASTOR NOMINATING COMMITTEE
In other words, the SEARCH COMMITTEE! These are the church members who will seek to discern the person God has already identified as our next pastor. It is, indeed, a spiritual process. It is also an arduous, time-consuming, and oftentimes emotional process. There is no way to predict exactly how long it will take the PNC to identify God’s person, but it is usually 12-24 months. The faithful servants on the PNC will be trained together, study scripture together, pray together, participate in team building exercises (which is far more important than you might imagine), and do the hard work of the search. What they need from you more than anything is your prayerful support. Pray early, pray often!! Pray, pray, pray, pray, PRAY!