The Selection Process
It was over a year ago at the request of Todd Parr that a small team of deacons, led by Chairman David Ross, undertook the challenge of reviewing our church by-laws. It had been over twenty years since the by-laws had been updated or amended. With the anticipated retirement of our Senior Pastor and the ultimate need and selection of a Pastor Search Committee eminent, it was essential that the editing of the by-laws be one of the first steps to be completed as part of the transition process.
On Sunday evening, April 22, Todd presented for approval by the church, all of the changes proposed, which included updates to sections that went beyond the scope of the pastor search process. Following Todd’s presentation, these recommended changes were approved by voice vote 100%.
Now, let’s jump ahead to the evening of Sunday, September 9, 2018. It was at a gathering of approximately 600 FBCBA church members, that the Pastor Transition Team presented their 18-month research findings and recommendations. As part of this presentation, Todd, once again, briefed those present on the selection process of a Pastor Search Committee. It was also at this meeting that a timeline was presented revealing that the selection of a Pastor Search Committee would begin shortly after the first of the year, early in the first quarter, 2019. At the end of the presentation, David Ross asked for a verbal vote endorsement of the recommendations, which resulted in a 100% approval.
Selection of a Pastor Search Committee began as proposed in early January, approximately six weeks ago. According to the recently amended church by-laws, the Finance and Personnel Ministry Teams would nominate five church members each to be presented to the Advisory Ministry Team (AMT), made up of the Chairmen of Deacons, Finance, and Personnel. The AMT would then narrow the number of nominees down to eight from the ten proposed. These eight would be voted on by the church. The four individuals with the highest number of votes would join the three members of the AMT, resulting in the seven-person Pastor Search Committee.
The selection of the ten nominees by the two standing committees occurred over a series of meetings in January. According to the Chairmen of both committees, Paul Abbott (Finance) and Jimmy Carter (Personnel), members of both committees spent considerable time in prayer and deliberation during this process in order to, first and foremost, discern and follow God’s will and plan. In addition, some of the criteria both committees followed were to select people who (1) are agenda-free; (2) have the best interests of the church as a whole at heart; (3) are actively committed to the church’s mission and vision; (4) can be team players, yet think independently; (5) have spiritual depth and are actively serving in one of the ministries of the church; and, (6) who exhibit the highest degree of character, integrity, wisdom, and an unashamed love of the Lord.
The result? Ten names were passed on to the AMT. Since neither the Finance nor the Personnel Ministry teams knew what the other was doing or who they were recommending, there was some overlap which resulted in a natural reduction from ten to eight. The AMT then contacted the eight to ask them to prayerfully consider allowing their name to be included in the eight nominees that would be voted on by the church. Several individuals withdrew their names. Alternates, also identified by the two standing committees as part of the selection process, were contacted. After a few days, the eight were identified and confirmed. Photos and brief profiles of each of the eight nominees have been posted on this website for your prayerful review.
On Sunday morning, March 31, church members present at both the FBCBA main campus and CBC campus will be given a paper ballot. They will have the opportunity to vote for the four individuals they would like to see serve as part of the Pastor Search Team. More information on the voting process will be posted on this website soon.
This selection process is a holy and worshipful time for our church. What a blessing it is for us to partner with our Lord through this amazing journey. Please continue in prayer that God would make our “joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” (Philippians 2:2)