On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to provide an update on where we are in the Lead Pastor search. The past few months many of you have had the opportunity to meet with and hear sermons from two candidates that the Board has been assessing for the Lead Pastor position.
After much time spent in prayer and in consultation with our church leaders, taking in feedback we’ve received from you and looking at the pastors’ strong characteristics and gifts, the Board made the difficult decision not to extend an offer to either of the candidates for the Lead Pastor role. We concluded that neither candidate was the right fit given the needs of our congregation and vision for church. Both pastors were informed of this decision and both were very understanding and gracious with our decision. The Board feels extremely blessed to have gotten to know both of these men.
At this time the board is considering the possibility of moving to a model with a team of pastors working together collectively rather than the traditional model of a single lead. We are still discerning which model may be best for us during this time of transition.
Currently, we have two pastoral candidates that have expressed interest in our Lead Pastor role. As part of our conversations with these candidates, we are assessing if they are the right fit for the Lead Pastor role, and if not, whether there are alternative roles, they may be able to fill on the Pastoral team.
Here are the eight steps that a candidate must go through before we can hire them as Lead Pastor:
If at this point, it looks like a good match, the final steps are:
7. The Board votes - must be super majority of 80% or higher
8. Membership vote - must receive affirmation from two-thirds of all members
It is important to note that at every step we are gathering feedback, and meeting, and praying for the Spirit to guide us to the right candidate. If at any point, we determine that the candidate is not the right for this role, we will explore other options that might meet the church’s needs.
A total of 19 candidates have been or are currently being vetted by the Pastor Search Committee (PSC), including Pastor Ben.
More than half of these candidates are referrals from our contracted recruiter, GrassBridge who have been actively looking for worthy candidates. The rest have come to us via word of mouth or through “friend of friend” referrals. The PSC is currently vetting five people - three are in the early stages, one will be meeting with remaining PSC members before advancing to meet with the Pastoral Team for Theological vetting and one will be meeting Staff for the next round of interviews. Due to the continued difficulty in finding viable candidates, the PSC explored hiring, a nationally recognized pastoral recruiter, to assist with the recruiting and vetting process. However, after some discussions with past clients/associates, we decided this would not be a viable option.
In addition to discussions about our Lead Pastor candidates, the Board has been prayerfully discerning whether to consider a plurality of leadership aka team leadership-model as a transitional solution in preparation for Pastor Andrew’s departure. As part of this model, a team of pastors in equal partnership would divide the responsibilities of the pastoral team and collaborate to make the best decisions for the church body. The Board, in partnership with our ministry leaders, are considering the benefits and risks to such a model, as well as the impact to our search criteria for lead pastor.
Christian Layman Church (CLC) has formed a Pastoral Search Committee that will do much of the heavy lifting, such as getting the word out about the position, leveraging existing networks to recruit candidates, working with a recruiter to find candidates, and vetting candidates for consideration by the Board.
In this significant season for Christian Layman Church, the Board of Directors, Staff and the Pastoral Search Team are working closely together to make sure communication is clear.
In the meantime, if you have questions, concerns, or thoughts please reach out to us via the following ways:
We encourage all interested candidates to learn more about the position and the Christian Layman Church community: