We are working through some education about the selection process for a new pastor. All of the team is new to this so we have sought out the experts in the IBSA to help us move forward. We are doing online education that was developed by people who have been helping churches and pastors to find the place/person that God has chosen for them. As a part of that education, we were advised to develop roles and divide the work. I, Pat Baker, am serving as the chairman and will be updating you about our progress. The LT has a member on our team to be sure we are all communicating well. Other roles include prayer and communication with church committees and the candidates. We also have a secretary keeping track of our meetings. One of the steps we are starting on is to assess our church. We want to be sure we understand us-our strengths and areas in need of improvement, as well as the community that we are in. The state has several tools to be able to help us do this objectively. This will help us in finding the candidate that matches us best. Through all of this, we hold prayer up to be our number one tool and most critical step. Your prayers for us to be vigilant in seeking the will of God for the future leader of our church makes you an important part of the pastor search team.
We are meeting this evening with our IBSA guide, Dr. Mark Emerson. We are enlisting his help for our church/community assessment. He can also help us with a realistic timeline for our search. We are researching guidelines in our constitution and are working closely with the LT to prepare information for posting the job. Spring serves as our prayer champion on the pastor search team and is encouraging everyone to be in prayer with us. Be praying for the LT and for the pastor search team in their decisions coming up. We are all praying that God's will be done.
The pastor search team has met with our guide Mark Emerson from the IBSA. He was able to share valuable advice with us about doing our church assessment. We are working on that now by reviewing all the documents that represent our church-like the Vision, Mission, What we Believe, and the Membership Covenant. We are also trying to prepare a written Church Profile that describes the church from its start to now including present ministries, statistics, and physical structure of the church. Our media team has been asked to create a video describing our church and community. These things will all be shared with our candidates that are receiving serious consideration. We are also going to spend some time in the Bible researching what the Word says about pastors and their qualifications and duties.
These are some facts that we discovered in our pastor search modules:
- 10% of Illinois Baptist Churches are currently searching for a pastor
- 10% of current pastors have been in their church less than a year and 30% have been at their church less than 3 years
- The length of pastoral ministry in Illinois Baptist churches has decreased by 25% in the last 10 years-from 12 years to 9 years.
- The pastoral pool is shrinking- the number of people entering seminary is declining.
- 1 in 7 pastors are younger than 40
- ½ of all pastors are older than 55
- Illinois has experience movement from full-time pastors to bi-vocational pastors
If you have any questions you can email the search team at firstname.lastname@example.org