The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
A Call to Prayer: Succession Search Team Update & Timeline
The Succession Search Team (made up of elders from the former “Vision & Succession” Committee and our lead pastors) would like the congregation to be apprised of the timeline and status of the search for a pastor to succeed Pastor John. Please use the timeline for this process (as described at the December 18, 2011, Annual Meeting) as a guide to pray for our elders. (See also "Update on the Antioch Moment" post.)
Note that if the Elders reach a positive consensus on March 27 to move forward with the applicant, the applicant will become a “candidate,” and the second half of the timeline will be confirmed. Should the elders decide not to move forward with the applicant, the Search Team will pause its efforts until further notice.
- Sat, Feb 25: First set of competency interviews (on Philosophy & Vision, Racial Harmony, Personal, Theological, Relational Skills)
- Thur, Mar 1: "First Thursday" Elder Prayer gathering; early morning prayer (for laity); competency interview on applicant’s family (in the home)
- Sat, Mar 3: Second set of competency interviews (on Initiative, Teamwork/Collaboration, Planning/Organization/Management, Organizational Awareness, Preaching, Pastoral Proficiencies)
- Tue, Mar 6: Pre-Meeting Elder Prayer gathering; applicant opens Elder meeting with devotions. Elder council interviews applicant and reviews his documents (e.g., application, résumé, ordination paper, completed competency summaries, letters of reference, job descriptions); elders excuse applicant for assessment
- Sat, Mar 10 All-Church Concert of Prayer & Song
- Tue, Mar 20: Applicant interacts with all pastors at their day-long meeting
- Tue, Mar 27: Pre-Meeting Elder Prayer gathering; elders determine whether or not to recommend “applicant” as “candidate” to be examined by the congregation.
- Wed, Mar 28: Pending elder action from March 27, the congregation is informed—via the Bethlehem Updates Blog—of whether the Elder Council will be moving forward with the candidate. If so, the applicant’s name is made public.
“Yes” from Elders? … Schedule below in place. “No” from Elders? ... Go to phase 4 of plan (as described at the December 18, 2011, Annual Meeting).
- Wed, Mar 28: Church-wide communication of process and supporting documents, including résumé, qualifications, job descriptions, and guidelines for submitting input. (A postal mailing will include constitutional notice of the upcoming date of the vote.)
- Sat, Mar 31: Q & A With the Pastors (will remain on schedule regardless of March 27 outcome)
- April or May: North Campus open forum with applicant
- April or May: South Campus open forum with applicant
- April or May: Downtown Campus open forum with applicant
- Thur, Apr 19: All-church online Q&A with the candidate
- Apr 28/29: Candidate preaches
- Sun, Apr 29: Quarterly Strategy Meeting
- May 5/6: Candidate preaches
- May 12/13: Candidate preaches
- Tue, May 15: Elders review congregational input. Last formal action in the process before the congregational vote.
- Sun, May 20: Congregational vote (to call the candidate to join Bethlehem's pastoral staff and begin partnering with Pastor John during the transition process)
- Mon, May 21: Issue letter of call (pending vote)
- Late May: Reply from candidate; positive reply will set in motion an overlap process (i.e., Pastor John's ministry at Bethlehem continues throughout the transition process).