Pastoral Search Update December 2019
The Pastoral Search Team continues to meet frequently. Our search is right on track, falling well within the 12-18 month time frame of a typical lead pastor search. Interestingly enough, our progress has aligned almost identically with the schedule we had during our last search.
We have been busy reviewing the many qualified candidates that have shown interest in this position. Our consultant has worked the pastor network to help us find candidates that would be a good fit for us and he has conducted first interviews, while we were listening to many, many sermons. After identifying strong candidates, we have conducted video interviews, reviewed references and listened to more sermons.
As a result, three strong candidates have been identified. All three candidates have visited Saratoga Federated, participating in a weekend full of interviews and social gatherings with the search team in order to discern if each candidate would be a good fit for our church. Each has shown great interest in being the next leader of our congregation, and now we are in the process of discernment, seeking God’s will in this decision.
All three candidates would require relocation from outside the area, but we are confident that the Foundation is positioned to support the purchase of a home by each one of our final candidates.
At this point, we have not reached a place where we can determine when a new pastor will be ready to join our staff. There are many variables to work through, not the least of which is that pastors are particularly busy this time of year. We ask for your patience, but want you to know we are very encouraged and excited about the people who are being considered.
We ask you for your continued prayers as we discern God’s will, and your continued support of our beloved church.
Earlier update from October 2019
The Pastoral Search Team continues to meet frequently. We continue to work towards meeting the difficult challenge of finding candidates who meet the qualifications of a Lead Pastor (i.e., having shown strength in both teaching and leadership in their congregations).
Our recruiter, Rob Lauer of Agora Consulting, has continued to identify candidates for our consideration. All of the committee members have spent many hours each week viewing and listening to many sermons from strong candidates, applying our rubric criteria then bringing our individual reviews for discussion in our weekly meetings.
We are encouraged that some of the candidates we have shown an interest in have progressed into the early stages of Agora's 7-step review process. These steps include completing a questionnaire with 25-30 questions that are unique to our search, being interviewed by the consultant followed by a visit in their home. Candidates who make it through this detailed vetting process are then referred to the SFC Search Team for an interview.
We believe we are making progress each week and thank each of our fellow SFC members who ask us about our progress especially those who continue to support us in prayer.
Earlier update from December 2018
The Elder Council’s prayerful creation of the Search Team is evidenced by the excellent representation of the diverse nature of our congregation. Care was taken to include spokespeople from many different demographic and faith backgrounds, as well as life stage and ministry interests. The willingness to work cooperatively and respectfully while representing these differences has been an outstanding feature of our team, and we are already aware of God’s work in our midst.
The engagement of the AGORA Search Group, and Rob Lauer as our consultant, has provided the Elder Council and Search Team an excellent platform from which to conduct our search. The thoughtful work performed by the Elder Council in creating a set of priorities for our candidate has resulted in the Opportunity Profile, which is viewable on the AGORA Search Group website: https://www.agorasearchgroup.com/church-job-search. This information piece is being distributed throughout a vast network of pastors, many of whom are being contacted to evaluate potential interest in the position. By personally contacting these pastors, Rob Lauer also requests referrals to other potential candidates.
Each member of our congregation plays an important part of this process by staying engaged in our church family and faithfully participating in worship and programs. It is especially important to maintain the health of our congregation in order to attract interest from the strongest candidates. In addition, faithful prayer for our Search Team, our Elders, and our consultant is the most important part of this time of transition, and we ask that you help us by committing to support us all in this important activity.
If you have questions or would like further information or have suggested candidates for the Search Team, feel free to contact one of us with your comments.
Thank you for your participation and prayerful support!
In His Service,
Linda Connors, Chair
Carl Agers, Vice-Chair
Carl Agers Kelly Blough Dan Byrne
Jean Cherniss Linda Connors Morgan Griffith
Renee Hart Neal Locke Bill Mullen
Carrie Priest Spencer Sutterlin