During this time of transition for our church, this page will be provide information and updates on the transition process. Please be in prayer that the Lord would guide us all through this time.
As Session provides monthly updates to the church, the videos will be listed here:
View the update from Elder Greg Smith
View the update from Elder Rob Joss
View the update from Elder Russ Queen
Below is a list of common questions and answers regarding the transition and pastoral search process. We hope these can provide some guidance and helpful insights.
What is the process for selecting a new pastor?
There is an orderly process for selecting a pastor in the Book of Church Order (please see Chapter 20-2), and we are required to follow this process. In addition to the formal process, our denomination offers a great deal of assistance in trying to match churches with prospective pastors. We are currently in the process of finalizing a profile of FPC which includes our storied history as well as where we feel God is leading His church right now. This profile will be a wonderful tool for us as we seek a new Lead Pastor. The Book of Church Order requires that we select a search committee. We expect that the search committee will seek applicants, review their credentials, listen to/watch their preaching, and interview candidates that they think will fit our profile. The process, we expect, will result in a recommendation to the congregation of a suitable candidate. It is then the responsibility of the congregation to vote on whether we should issue a call to that candidate. Once we have issued a call, the Presbytery will determine whether the call shall be issued to the candidate. The Presbytery has important input about our next pastor. Once these steps are completed, we will be able to welcome our next pastor.
How long will the search and selection process take?
We have no specific timeline for this process, but we will proceed in an orderly fashion, finishing each step before we begin the next.
What are the qualifications to serve on the Pastoral Search Committee?
The Pastoral Search Committee will be made up of 9 members. Those who wish to serve should possess the following qualifications:
- A member at FPC in good standing.
- A mature, Bible believing follower of Christ.
- A follower of Christ who understands that we stand within the Reformed tradition and who appreciates that we operate within the confessional standards of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
- A follower of Christ that demonstrates a strong ability to analyze sermons and displays discernment of the Word of God and its application to everyday life.
- Has a diverse background regarding life experience and ministry/serving experience.
Who should I contact if I want to nominate someone to serve on the search committee?
If you would like to nominate someone to serve on the Pastoral Search Committee, please email nominations to Elder Rob Joss. You do not need to have a conversation with anyone prior to passing along their names as the Session will evaluate and communicate with those who are nominated.
What is the SWOT Analysis?
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The SWOT analysis allows us to evaluate the church’s strengths and weaknesses, the environment, the community, the opportunities and maybe even the threats to our local church. What and where should we focus as a church? What are the needs of the congregation and our community that perhaps we are neglecting? How can we fully utilize the strengths of our church? Once we are done with the analysis, we hope to come up with a ministry plan to guide us for the next few years. It could be very similar to what we have today; we don’t think it will be radically different, but it could have some changes or a different focus as we believe God is leading.
Why are we continuing the SWOT analysis during this time?
We started this process in the Fall of 2020, with Pastor Greg Hills, and got through about half of the process before Pastor Hills made the announcement that he would be taking another position. Once we are done, we hope to come up with a ministry plan to guide us for the next few years. This is different than a change in our Mission and Vision, as the next Lead Pastor will have some thoughts and ideas on those, and we want to leave room for those suggestions. Once we come up with this plan, we will better understand what the pastoral staff of the church will look like, we can develop a job description for the Lead Pastor position, and we can move towards selecting a replacement.
How long will the SWOT analysis take?
You should know the Session has met every Thursday night since the beginning of January 2021, and we hope to finish this analysis in the next couple of months. We ask for your patience and prayers during this time as we do want to get through this process first before we begin selecting a new Lead Pastor.
How have staff responsibilities been divided since Pastor Hill's departure?
Pastor Hill’s day to day duties have been assigned to various staff and session members. Pastor Jonathan Conant will be preaching more, 2-3 times a month. There will also be some guest preachers and members of the Session preaching. Anything you may have historically gone to Pastor Hills for, we would encourage you to reach out to either your shepherding elder or the appropriate staff member to assist you.
How often will the church receive updates on these processes and the progress on the pastoral search?
For the next several months, the Session will give an update on the second Sunday of the month. We do want to keep you apprised of our progress as we move forward.
Who can I go to if I have questions, concerns, or need assistance during this time?
We would encourage you to use your shepherding elder during this time and share with them any questions, concerns, thoughts, feedback, or anything you feel the leadership of the church needs to know. If you are unsure who your shepherding elder is or feel you need additional assistance, please feel free to email the church office anytime with your questions or concerns. The office manager can then direct your request.
How can I pray for the church during this time?
We would encourage each of you to pray that the Lord will guide the selection of our next pastor. Pray for the session and Pastor Conant as they lead in the interim, pray for the search committee, and for the man who will be our next pastor. Pray that together we will impact the local community, the Northshore, and the world beyond under the leadership of our next pastor as we seek more people, more like Christ.