Pastoral Transition

UPCOMING MEETINGS & FORUMS

As we continue the lead pastor transition process, we will be inviting all Christ Community Church attenders to special meetings and forums with lead pastor candidate(s). Members are especially encouraged to attend. Sign up for an upcoming meeting or forum.

ABOUT THE TRANSITION PROCESS

This is a unique season in the life of Christ Community Church, and we’re very excited for all the Lord will show us. This ministry year, the Board and Pastor Selection Team will be working to identify a clear process that will result in a successful transition.

The Selection Team Approach

The selection team has been meeting about once a month. The focus of this team’s effort have been as follows:

  • Evaluating different process options to implement
  • Developing a communication plan to make sure the Elders are doing a good job in keeping Staff, Volunteers, Members and the Congregation up to date on key issues
  • Identifying a consultant to help us with the search process
  • Understanding how the transition will impact the overall health of our ministry
  • Caring for our Pastors and Staff during the transition

We are committed to stewarding this season of transition well and ask that you continue to pray for wisdom and discernment.

The Selection Team

  • Scott Beckwith
  • Jessie Borkowski
  • Jonathan Compton
  • Tom Greenwald
  • Julie Haverly
  • Beth Hinson
  • Ward Leek
  • Pat Rundall
  • Bo Xie

*Non-voting members, Brad Heemstra, Mark Henderson

Transition FAQs

As we go through this process, here are some questions you may have.

As Pastor David Staff’s tenure finishes next year, how will a search for CCC’s next Lead Pastor be conducted?

According to our by-laws, the Missional Leadership Board (MLB) is responsible for giving leadership to a search for a candidate for the Lead Pastor role at Christ Community Church.   After receiving Pastor David’s intention to step away from the Lead Pastor role, the MLB has been researching the way to best guide a transition process and conduct a prayerful search for the Lord’s next choice.  A transition team has attended a “transition boot camp” (May 2019), and the board has also employed the counsel of a transition coach, Will Heath (Auxano).

Briefly put, a Search Team composed of Christ Community Church board members and at-large members will guide the search process in the months to come.  Using the Lead Pastor Profile, the search will begin with assessing if there are any “internal” candidates (presently on the staff team), and adequately vetting the candidacy of any qualified candidate.  If an internal search does not yield a suitable candidate by this fall (September 2020), then an “external search” will commence.  Qualified candidates will be prayerfully sought for, and vetted through a process of evaluation.

The goal of the search process will be for a candidate to be identified and presented to the Christ Community Church membership for a vote sometime in the next ministry year (Fall 2020-Spring 2021).   A best case scenario would be that there is a short overlap between our present Lead Pastor and the Lord’s choice going forward into 2021-2022. 

Why complete the internal evaluation process first before considering external candidates?

The Board and Transition Team discussed this question at length.  We believe committing to Step 2 –  Internal Analysis before proceeding with Step 3 – External Search was important for the following  reasons:

a.Our next lead pastor will be identified through more of a “calling” than a “picking”.  We  want this to be Spirit led and desire a clear sense of unity of who God wants to be our  next Lead Pastor.  We do not want it to be a matter of picking and voting from a list of  viable candidates.

b.We sincerely want to maintain the health of our existing staff in the best way possible as we go through this significant transition of identifying their next team leader.  We have  a better chance of accomplishing this if we navigate through a healthy evaluation of any  internal candidates first and have that consideration behind us before bringing in  outside candidates.

c.We don’t want to have an internal candidate compete with an external candidate for  the Lead Pastor position, and then have a situation where the unsuccessful internal staff  member and externally identified Lead Pastor have an awkward relationship.  This isn’t  fair to either person.

d.This was recommended by our consultant, Will Heath as “best practice” based on  previous experience and research.  Will works with hundreds of churches across the  country, so we carefully weighed his recommendation on this.

e.The scope of work by our professional consultant included an “analysis of the  candidates’ strengths and weaknesses relative to the job description as well as to similar  candidates for similar positions.”  The Shepherd’s Staff evaluates many candidates for  lead pastor positions across the nation and knows of viable prospective pastors that  could be a match for our church.  We agreed that we would rely on this expertise as our  method of comparing an internal candidate to potential external candidates.

Seeking God’s direction for our next lead pastor is different for a church family than it is for other  organizations, like a public university, hospital, or large corporation.  It might be more like a transition in  leadership in a family business.

When learning about how other churches went through pastor transition, we learned that analysis of  their existing pastoral team proved to be instrumental.

The decision to conclude Step 2 before Step 3 was discussed extensively by the Missional Leadership  Board and the Pastor Transition Team.  We asked a lot of questions about this with our consultant,  Will Heath and felt there was wisdom in using this approach.

Where did the Lead Pastor profile come from? How rigorously will it be used in qualifying potential candidates for the role of CCC’s Lead Pastor?

Drawing on the current Lead Pastor’s position description, the profile has been “in the works” since 2018.  Qualifications in the following areas were identified – experience, gifting in communication, education, theological compatibility, philosophy of ministry, denominational affiliation and credentialing, culture and region, as well as personal factors.  From this long list, the MLB composed the profile distributed to our membership in May 2020.

The profile identifies MINIMUM REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS followed by PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS.

The MINIMUM REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS ensure that the requisite education, experience, and doctrinal alignment is found in any candidate.  These are deemed as required in light of this pastor knowing, interpreting, and communicating Scripture relevantly and in keeping with our ministry’s theological foundations, as well as Christ Community Church’s staff and constituent size, and our university setting.

The PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS guide identifying key characteristics for serving successfully in this substantial leadership role.  Since we have invested much in our approach to ministry (i.e., the stated mission of our ministry) and our future vision (i.e., the vision initiatives of family enrichment and international care),  we are intentionally looking for someone who will eagerly lead in what the Lord Jesus has uniquely called this congregation to do. 

Will the membership (and even broader congregation) be asked to submit the names of potential Lead Pastor candidates?

Some who have anticipated the coming change have already suggested names within our present staff.  Wisdom directs that we first vet any internal candidates who fit the profile (and to inquire of any interest on their part) before we turn the search process outward.  As stated above, this internal process will happen this summer.

Should this initial process not yield a suitable candidate, the process will turn external.  The Search Team will welcome any suggestions from the membership and constituency-at-large in conducting an external search.

Who will make the final choice of CCC’s next Lead Pastor?

Our by-laws reserve the decisions of “calling” and/or “dismissing” CCC’s Lead Pastor for our membership, at a called membership meeting, with a quorum of 20% in attendance.  According to Article III, E., the approval vote must be at 75% (being one of the designated “decisions reserved for the congregation,” Article III., D.).

Why a year-long (or more) process of transition?

Several factors have commended the wisdom of taking sufficient time for a healthy transition.  Ministry wise, there are important aspects of our ministry that need another year of leadership from the present staff in their present responsibilities.  Additionally, a prayerful and thorough search process simply takes time, so that the resulting decision bears great fruit for years to come.  Given the two-step process of “first internal” and “then external,” it was determined that a 12 month period would provide sufficient time while keeping the momentum of our ministry moving forward.

Will the others on the CCC staff team continue beyond Pastor David’s tenure, or will they be encouraged to resign?

We fully anticipate retaining our present staff through and beyond Pastor Staff’s transition.

Will there be a time of expressing ourselves toward Pastor David and Pamela?

It is Pastor David’s firm desire that this not be a year “about” him and Pamela.  The fruitfulness of this year of ministry is too important for other things to crowd out the priority of our engaging in our mission and vision.  However, we do anticipate planning an appropriate recognition of their ministry with us.

If we have other questions about the transition and search process, to whom should these be directed?

Future questions can be directed to our MLB Board Chairman, Brad Heemstra, to our Vice-Chair Pat Rundall, or to our Executive Pastor Mark Henderson, and we urge you to funnel your inquiries toward them.  This will help us speak to important questions with a clear, unified, and consistent voice.

Send us your questions

We really value your input. If your question is not answered above, please contact us! All messages will be reviewed and are so important to the process.