Senior Pastor Search Process

Current Phase Is Highlighted


The mission of the Pastoral Search Committee (the “PSC”) is to serve and assist the members of Grace Baptist Church and Elder council in identifying the next Senior Pastor our congregation will call to help us learn God’s Word, live God’s way, and light God’s world.

Below you’ll find more information about the extensive vetting process anticipated by the PSC and the Elder Council. In addition, you’ll learn a bit more about the church membership’s vital role in this important endeavor.

We anticipate a seven phase approach in the pastoral search process at Grace. Through every phase the PSC is committed to first seeking the Lord’s wisdom and guidance. So as we together prepare ourselves for the process of identifying our next Senior Pastor, be watching during each phase for specific opportunities on how you can participate in the process and be praying for each other and the next man that God is already preparing to serve at Grace.

Throughout this important process, the members who will be serving on the PSC will be Jim Amstutz, Kylie Beste, Charlotte Burcham, Jodi Jackson, Jackie Pyles, Byron Shearer, Brad Smith, Brandon Waltz (chair), and Jon Wood. You can email questions and comments to the committee at [email protected].

FIRST PHASE: Developing the Profiles - Who are we looking for?

  • The Elders, and church staff, will be engaged by the PSC for possible survey questions and additional input into the process.
  • An Elder-approved Pastoral Search Congregational Questionnaire will be developed by the PSC and distributed to the membership with the goal of gaining vital insight into the thoughts of the congregation. The Questionnaire will also include a section where members will have the opportunity to suggest an individual they would like to see considered for the position.
  • The Elders will evaluate the readiness of the Senior Pastor Job Description.
  • Any changes to the Senior Pastor Job Description will be presented to the congregation for explanation and approval.
  • The feedback from the Congregational Questionnaire will be compiled by the PSC and used in the creation of 3 profiles: Pastoral, Church, and Community.
  • The content of the 3 profile summaries will be distributed to the congregation and open forums will be scheduled to discuss the profiles and job description.
  • Once the 3 profile summaries have been approved by the Elders, those combined with the Job Description will signal the readiness for the next phase.

Goals: To engage the congregation toward developing 3 profiles needed: Pastoral, Church, and Community. Additionally to obtain from the Elders a final Senior Pastor Job Description.

SECOND PHASE: Sourcing Potential Candidates - Where do we look?

  • A good understanding of the search criteria and possible network sources will be developed through a discussion of the PSC and the Elders.
  • Sourcing will include posting within approved external networks as well as the proactive encouragement of those known internally by our members.
  • Continue the process of intaking, organizing, and responding to the different resumes/applications received.
  • A forum will be scheduled during this phase to update the congregation on the search process

Goal: To identify key networks/sources from which viable candidate applications can be found.

THIRD PHASE: PSC Reviews Prospects and Engages the Elders - Which candidates stand out?

  • Resumes will be evaluated by the PSC and progressively narrowed against the profiles and job description for their strengths and weaknesses as well as overall fit. This phase will also involve listening to sermons, and performing social media checks.
  • After reviewing the prospects, 5-10 potential candidates will be forwarded on to the Elders for initial consideration.
  • The Elders will recommend from the reviewed names the top 3 for the committee to individually engage, rated in priority order.

Goal: To provide the Elders with 5-10 candidate resumes for consideration.

FOURTH PHASE: PSC Engages Potential Candidates (Top 3) - Which candidate should be primarily pursued?

  • Provide candidate and spouse questionnaires (Elder led with Staff and PSC additions)
  • Reference Checks
  • Personality test
  • Background checks

Goal: To recommend to the Elders one candidate to uniquely pursue.

FIFTH PHASE: PSC Focus on a Single Candidate - Is the process clearly pointing to one candidate to be recommended to the Elders for consideration?

  • Small group site visit
  • First interview in a neutral location
  • Second interview at GBC with PSC and Elders

Goal: To confidently recommend one candidate to the Elders and support the Elders presenting him to the church.

SIXTH PHASE: Candidate introduction to the Congregation - How can GBC and the candidate get to know each other in order to discern God’s direction?

  • Candidate interaction with staff
  • Candidate interaction with deacons and other leaders
  • Candidate preaching
  • Candidate interaction with the congregation

Goal: To facilitate the mutual introduction of the candidate and the congregation to enable discernment if the candidate is God’s man to serve in the position of Senior Pastor at GBC.

SEVENTH PHASE: Congregation Vote on the Candidate - Do the members of GBC believe this is God’s man at this time to serve as Senior Pastor?

  • Constitutionally, the candidate must be presented “by ballot upon recommendation of the Council of Elders”
  • Constitutionally, the candidate must also be affirmed “by at least three-quarters majority of those members voting at a meeting called…”