PASTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE

We have added a Pastor Search Committee page so that we can keep everyone up to date on the latest work being done by this team. Here’s their first post. Every time there is an update, it will be posted here.

 

Pastor Search Committee Update

Please pray for your Pastor Search Committee (PSC): Lynn Herr, Eric Goelzer, Pam Allen, Lezlee Jurica, Danny Mills, John Green, Jerald Schroeder, Woody Woodward (non-voting adviser).

Our PSC email address is search@firstprotestant.com.

We ask that as a congregation, you will commit to pray for the following:

Ways to Pray for the Pastor Search Process

Pray for your church.

During this time, pray that your church would remain humble and unified. Pray that they would be patient and wait on the Lord’s timing. Pray that they would be productive, recognizing that the church is still the church. Pray for evangelistic faithfulness, recognizing that the Great Commission still applies.

Pray for your Pastor Search Committee.

The Pastor Search Committee has been entrusted with the weighty responsibility to identify the man that God is calling to be the church’s next pastor. This is not an easy job. Pray that they would be unified and practice godly wisdom and discernment. Pray that they would be thorough in their screening of potential candidates. Pray that the Lord would protect your Pastor Search Committee from unnecessary and unfair criticism from impatient church members.

Pray for your next pastor.

While you may not know the identity of your next pastor, God does. And you can rest assured that the Lord can respond to any prayers uttered on behalf of your next pastor. As you pray for your next pastor, pray that God will give him the strength to leave his current ministry. Pray that God will give him a deep love for your church and community. Pray that the Lord will give him a strong desire to teach and preach the whole counsel of God and to fulfill the other biblical roles of a shepherd. Finally, pray that he will not allow the demands of ministry to cause him to neglect his family.

Pray for your next pastor’s family.

Whenever you call your next pastor, there’s a good chance he won’t join your church alone. If he’s married, he’ll be accompanied by his wife and any children still living at home. And they need your prayers just as much as he does. Pray that your next pastor’s family will adjust to the community and the church and will develop new friendships quickly. Pray that they will not be subjected to unrealistic expectations.

 Meeting #9, May 5 

 All committee members were healthy and back in action and had a 2-hour engaging discussion on ten key questions for church leaders and search teams.  Recognizing the size of church, we hope to become, our vision, what we are doing right, what our dysfunctions are, what is needed in our next pastor, and going over our church’s leadership structure are just a few highlights.  We also studied the comparison of a position description vs. pastoral profile and began listing attributes for both.

Meeting #8, April 28

In the absence of a full committee, members in attendance focused on refining documents needed in upcoming stages of the process. (i.e. application, core questions, church profile, etc.)

Meeting #7, April 24

The PSC discussed a study titled “Life Cycle of the Church” which helps to determine the priorities of a church at various stages in a life cycle from infancy through adolescence, maturity, retirement, and old age. We also discussed a comparative study on church size and characteristics.

Priorities vary depending on the current needs and characteristics and size. All three have their own distinctness and require different things of its leadership. We are exploring what we can expect from our new pastor based on our conditions and uniqueness.

We also discussed opportunities for engaging church wide prayer for the search process.

Meeting #6, April 3

The Pastor Search Committee (PSC) met Sunday, April 3.

We elected officers. Our PSC chair is Lynn Herr. Our vice-chair is Eric Goelzer. Our secretary is Lezlee Jurica.

We discussed the article, The Parable of the Headhunter, which teaches that no one person possesses all the gifts (preaching, counseling, community involvement, administration, visitation, leadership, equipping, designing worship services, evangelism, prophetic voice), so we should determine what the most important skill sets will be in our next Senior Minister. The PSC agreed with the previous surveys which probed the sentiments of the congregation to discover that the most important skill is preaching, especially expositing the Bible passage-by-passage by explaining the overarching concept, then explaining how each verse fits, and the applications.

Next the PSC discussed the article, The 5 C’s of Staff Selection, which are character, call, commitment, competency, and chemistry. Once we have determined the kind of pastor we need, we must find out if a particular applicant is genuine and fits with our church, our Council, and our staff.

Woody agreed to prepare a mock-up for the Senior Minister Opportunity brochure which will explain the kind of pastor we are looking for, the kind of church FPC is, and the quality of life in delightful New Braunfels. We will post this brochure on our website and distribute it to the Evangelical Association and the placement offices of the seminaries our national minister, Jim Barnes, suggested.

We will take an Easter break and reconvene April 24.

Meeting #5, March 27

The PSC discussed several key issues from our discussion with Jim Barnes. To find candidates that fit with us and avoid major surprises and/or disappointments when the next senior minister is tucked into place, we discussed FPC’s stance on the following issues so that we can find a candidate who synchronizes with our beliefs, practices, and values:

Baptism and Confirmation.

Definition of Marriage.

Divorce and Remarriage.

Liturgical traditions.

Women in leadership.

Use of alcohol.

Charismatic issues.

Eschatology. What is the candidate’s view and emphasis on prophetic scripture?

We added to Jim Barnes’ list by agreeing on the following issues: Our next senior minister will embrace our German heritage. He will actively engage in the community. He will embrace FPC’s mission, vision, and values. He will preach Christ-centered sermons, regularly sharing the saving message of Jesus in his sermons. He must have a pastor’s heart. He must have a strong track record of disciple-making through small groups.

Woody asked the PSC to review the results of the recent surveys as to the people’s preferences for our next senior minister.

We also discussed an article that describes how churches look for the perfect pastor with all the gifts: preaching, counseling, administration, good with children, good with seniors, leadership, involved in the community, involved with the local ministerium. The article makes the humorous point that no man can do it all, so you must find the person who can do what your church needs at this moment in time.

Meeting #4, March 23

The PSC met with Jim Barnes, National Minister of the Evangelical Association, via a Zoom call to discuss the search process.

Meeting #3, March 9

The PSC met at Jerald Schroeder’s house to discuss and sign the following team covenant:

Since we, the Members of the Search Team, have been entrusted with
the responsibility of selecting and recommending a pastor to lead this congregation; and

Since we, the members of the Search Team, recognize the importance
of our deliberations on the future presence and impact of Christ in this community; and

Since we, the members of the Search Team, recognize that
the selection of a pastor is complicated by human and supernatural factors that are complex;


We solemnly enter the following covenant together before the Lord:

A covenant of trust. We will trust the Lord with all of our hearts and not lean on our own understanding. In all our ways we will acknowledge him, and he will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). In addition, we will trust each other and expect the best out of each other.

A covenant of commitment. We will be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10). We will believe the best about each other and uphold each other in prayer.

A covenant of communication. We will speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). In our committee discussions and in our private conversations we will speak openly and honestly, always with a graciousness that builds up. The freedom for all to think out loud and express feelings is essential for our evaluative process.

A covenant of confidentiality. We have been given a trust, and we will be faithful in keeping confidential what is discussed in team meetings (1 Corinthians 4:2). The names of potential candidates and team discussions will be kept confidential. We will report what we can to the congregation, but only when and how agreed upon by the team as a whole. Specific discussions and decisions of the team will stay with the team.

A covenant of diligence. We will be faithful to our meetings as long as this team is required to function (Hebrews 10:24,25). We will proceed with thoroughness with each potential candidate. We will work hard as to keeping prospects informed as to their status, and the congregation informed as to our progress.

A covenant of unity. We will make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3). We will come to closure on our differences in order to present to the congregation a unified recommendation.

Dear Heavenly Father,
You are a covenant-making and covenant-keeping God.
You chose us before the foundation of the world to bring You glory,
and You have called us to serve You in the Body of Christ.
At this critical juncture in the life of our church, we pause to ask Your blessing on this covenant that we make with one another.
Give us joy as we work together for Your glory.
We ask it in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

Meeting #2, March 6

The PSC met to share salvation testimonies so that we can know each other on a deeper level and bond.

Woody shared that the overall process to find a new senior minister is to ask three questions: Who are we? Who are they? Who is he?

“Who are we?” is the first stage in our process. We must analyze the culture and traditions of First Protestant Church and New Braunfels. We will create a brochure explaining the history, beliefs, and culture of our church and perhaps a separate brochure describing the blessings of living in New Braunfels. We affirmed that we will not compromise on our core beliefs as outlined on page 1 of our constitution:

We affirm the following:

  • The Trinitarian name of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • God has revealed Himself fully and decisively as attested in Holy Scripture. We believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired and authoritative Word of God. The Scriptures are the guide of faith and life.
  • There is only one way to salvation – through Jesus Christ.
  • The sanctity of human life at every stage based on our creation in the image of God and our election by God for service in His kingdom.
  • The Biblical guidelines for human sexuality: marriage as the union of one man and one woman, chastity outside of marriage, lifelong fidelity, and holiness in marriage for the sake of the kingdom.
  • That the mission of the Church is to spread the good news of the Gospel of salvation in every word and deed. We are sent by Christ into all the world to bring every person into a life of faith, discipleship, and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
  • It claims as its own, the faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant Reformers, i.e., the Apostles’ and Nicene Creed and the “Solas” of the Reformation – Scripture alone, Grace alone, Faith alone, Christ alone, for the Glory of God alone.
  • In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and practice prevailing among evangelical Christians, it recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion.

“Who are they?” is the second question. Woody explained that we must find suitable applicants for the open position. The first place we will look is within the Evangelical Association. We will also advertise with compatible, accredited seminaries. The third place is on churchstaffing.com. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we will ask the people of FPC for candidates they know of who might be suitable.

“Who is he?” is the third question. How do you determine if your top applicants are a good fit? How do you determine character, call, commitment, competence, and chemistry? To find out “Who is he?”, we must interview him on Zoom and in person. We must conduct a criminal background check, a financial background check, an educational background check, and personal reference checks (including secondary and tertiary reference checks in which you ask his references for references).

Meeting #1, March 3

The Pastor Search Committee of Pam Allen, Lezlee Jurica, Jerald Schroeder, Danny Mills, John Green, Eric Goelzer, Lynn Herr, and Dr. Woody Woodward (as the non-voting adviser) met for the first time for supper to get acquainted. Woody passed out the 3-ring binders with PSC materials.

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