PASTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE UPDATE #6
Dear Church Family,
Thank you once again for your patience and encouragement over these past six months of our Senior Pastor Search process. It’s been a while since our last update and we thought it is time to inform you of our progress in the search process. As you will recall, the search process entered the second phase or the Search and Discernment Phase in August. You will also recall that we reported receiving over four hundred resumes at the time of our last report and where we set September 2, 2016 as the date to begin evaluating applications. While we expected to receive resumes beyond the 400, our expectation was completely overwhelmed by the number of resumes we have so far received; yes we have now received over seven hundred (>700) resumes in response to the vacancy announcement for our senior pastor position. There are multiple ways to view the number of resumes we have received thus far, and each view could trigger multiple questions as well. However, my mind remained focused on these questions: “What does this say about First Baptist Church of Tallahassee?” and “Why are so many servants of the Lord expressing interest in leading this congregation?” The answer is not a secret to many of you and as one observer put it, we are “the beacon on the hill.” The same Lord’s work which has kept us here for over 167 years is becoming known around the nation. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven (Matt 5:16). The work of the Lord is reaching the multitudes and I continue to be very excited about what the Lord has in store in this season in the life of FBCTLH. Are we ready to do our part?
During the last two months under review, we continued meeting each Sunday and we have sought input from various segments of the church during the search process. September 19, 2016 was the turn of our pastoral staff during which we were able to tap into the rich experiences of each member and how we could integrate it into the search process. Thank you, pastoral staff for making yourselves available, and for freely sharing from your hearts. I also want to sincerely thank those of you who have written to us to express what is on your heart regarding the process; We truly appreciate you.
We are working very hard to complete the evaluation of the resumes we have so far received. The evaluation process involves several stages. Stage 1 requires each member of the Pastor Search Committee (PSC) to prayerfully review each resume qualitatively bearing in mind the pastor profile that we have previously developed. We anticipate completing Stage 1 by October 23, 2016. The results will be pooled and those selected will move to Stage 2. During Stage 2, the selected individuals will be evaluated quantitatively using a matrix we have previously developed. The top candidates will enter Stage 3 where they will be sent a set of questions, much of which will address the biblical characteristics of a pastor. We are under no illusion that we have a perfect process for vetting candidates but a flawed system in the hands of our Lord can be made perfect. Who would have thought that mud made of sputum could heal a blind eye? (John 9:6-7). As I have said before, we cannot find the individual the Lord has selected for FBCTLH without your sustained prayers for each member of the PSC. When you pray, we will together, have the mind of Christ, who will point us to the individual already being prepared, to take us through the next season of the Lord’s work here at FBCTLH.
~ Seth Y. Ablordeppey and Your Pastor Search Committee