PASTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE UPDATE #7
Dear Church Family,
Grace and peace from your Pastor Search Committee (PSC) members who have never ceased to amaze me with their hard work and dedication to the service to which we have been called. Thank you especially for praying for us; we often feel your prayers motivating and encouraging us to move forward with the knowledge that the Lord will ultimately use us to find the man he has called to shepherd our congregation. Thank you for being patient with us. As we get closer and closer to the one year anniversary of our commissioning, we are pleased to provide another update regarding our pastor search activities. It is also my pleasure to share that the Church Profile document is now in print and will shortly be made available to church members.
We met officially for the 36th time this past Sunday. We continue to operate in Phase II or the Search and Discernment Phase where we began evaluating at last count over 750 applications. We work in stages within the phases and in Stage 1 of Phase II, we were able to select about 25 applicants who went into Stage 2 of the evaluation process. In Stage 2, we have evaluated the applicants using primarily a matrix of characteristics you have told us were important in our Pastor Profile Survey which was conducted early in 2016. In addition, we sent the applicants questionnaires which were evaluated by each of our members and scored on the basis of who best meets the needs of FBCTLH. Through the responses, we were able to assemble 14 applicants for further review and interaction. At this time, I can confirm that while we have intentionally left receipt of applications open, we have been working hard to reduce the number of candidates into the single digits and move them into Stage 3 of the evaluation process. In Stage 3, candidates will receive a request for a sermon, references who are able to prayerfully provide details about the character and experience of the applicant, and a set of clarifying questions, where necessary. Once the responses from the candidates are received, they will be scored and the scores will hopefully allow us to select a smaller number of candidates for in-depth evaluation. In Stage 4, we will carry out an interview of the candidates, conduct additional clarifying interviews with individuals who know the candidate, visit the prospective candidate’s congregation, and listen to a sermon, one candidate at a time. Following this, we hope to bring to you a candidate for your consideration.
I cannot emphasize enough our need for your fervent prayers. I have described to you a process that may not be persuasive in some way, shape, or form. Fortunately though, the search process, [just like we saw in the story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho (Joshua 6); the battle plan to walk around a fortified city did not appear to make sense], is NOT as important as our need to be obedient to God’s direction. Indeed, the search is about a people yielding to the Lord and asking Him to do what He deems best. Thus, very soon we intend to call the church to a week of prayer and fasting to ensure that we remain under the guidance and direction of the Lord as we move forward with the Search and Discernment process. And I am confident of this one thing, that He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion.
Yours in Christ,
Seth Y. Ablordeppey and Your Pastor Search Committee