The Lead Pastor Search Committee met for its initial meeting November 16th, 2022. This meeting’s Bible verse was based upon Colossians1:9. Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

The committee opened in prayer, asking for God to lead this committee, for wisdom in our decision making, that this committee be blessed with unity throughout the search process, that the congregation trust and support the search committee and finally, for our next pastor and his family.

Prior to the start of the meeting, the committee members introduced themselves. It was determined that this committee represents over 150 years of cumulative membership with First CRC alone! It was clear to the committee, there is much love and commitment to this church.

The following items were discussed:

  • Discussed the Council’s process of updating the CORE VALUES Statement and how this will be woven into our search.
  • The primary task for this search is for a Lead Pastor.
    • This pastor will be primarily responsible for teaching and preaching.
  • Discussion about hiring a second pastor, an executive pastor. Although this is likely, that final decision has not been made. Additionally, that search will be separate from this search and would most likely include the Lead Pastor in that process.
  • The Search Process will be quite involved and will include many phases
    • Phase I-Preparation. Within this phase, a search team and chairperson need to be identified.
      • Additionally, per Church Order, a Classical Church Counselor needs to be identified (Article 42-C). Phase I is essentially complete.
      • Discussed the council’s request for a ‘Search Committee Commissioning’-what that might look like, timing, etc.
    • Phase II – Reflection.
      • Within this phase, this committee will request congregational involvement/feedback. Discussion on timing and how this might best be accomplished. Discussion will continue at the next meeting.
  • The committee was given an example used by the RCA to solicit congregational feedback. 

  • The Lead Pastor Job Description will be written by the Ad Board and approved by full council. This will then be shared with the Lead Pastor Search Committee.
  • Discussion was had around the Search Committee budget. Consideration for transportation and lodging costs, potential travel expenses for committee members, etc. The chairperson will discuss this with Search Committee member Justin Snyder (absent for this meeting) who also represents the Ad Board.
  • Lastly, the committee discussed the importance of confidentiality.
  • The Search Committee agreed to meet monthly for the next several months. Next meeting is set for December 14th (6:00pm), Justin Snyder will be responsible for devotions/opening prayer.

As we begin this several month process, the Lead Pastor Search Committee covets your thoughts and prayers. We will do our best in communicating with the congregation, but should you ever have questions, please ask any committee member. Please join me in thanking our committee members, our Classical Church Counselor and Rev. Rathbun! I am humbled and blessed to work with such a fine group.

Respectfully submitted,

Dr. Brad VanKalsbeek

Chair – Lead Pastor Search Committee

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