Our Senior Pastor Call
Current Focus of Call Committee/Update:
Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations. We are currently ending Phase III and will soon be entering Phase IV. (See below under frequently asked questions.) We appreciate your input thus far through both the survey and the nomination process, and we are excited for this next phase of the call process.
Following the submission of the nominations, the committee conducted an initial review of the nominees to determine which nominees fit our current ministry description. We then passed along the names of those nominees to the Missouri District LCMS. We are currently waiting to receive back additional information from the district on these nominees. At that point, the district may also suggest a nominee who they believe might be a good fit for our consideration. Once we receive the additional data, the committee will continue its review and select the candidates that will move forward for a phone interview. Following the phone interviews, we will then move on to in-person visits. Given the current pandemic, the committee cannot currently anticipate what an on-site visit from a candidate might look like; however, we will be sure to keep the congregation informed.
There are a variety of phases involved in this process, and we will continue to update the congregation as we move forward. All of us together are the church. You are an important part of the process! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the committee at .
Update Posted: 10/26/2020
Previous Update Posted 9/11/2020
Thank you to everyone who participated in the congregational survey! We appreciate your insight and wisdom. A summary of the survey results is available.
Please note that we are in Phase III (as set out below) and a ministry description for our new Senior Pastor is now available. If after reading the ministry description, you are aware of a qualified candidate you would like to nominate, please submit his name via our nomination form. Nominations from the congregation are now open and will close on October 11, 2020. Thank you for your thoughtful nominations and prayers!
Please note there are a variety of phases involved in this process, and we will continue to update the congregation as we move forward. All of us together are the church. You are an important part of the process! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the committee at .
For additional information, please Check out this video from Pastor Christiansen and Pastor King.
Previous Update Posted: 08/12/2020
Thank you to everyone who participated in the congregational survey! We appreciate your insight and wisdom. The call committee is currently working to finalize a ministry description which will be distributed to the congregation by early fall. We are currently beginning phase III of the process. We appreciate every one of you, and we are currently asking the congregation to pray for clarity, wisdom, and discernment for the call committee.
There are a variety of phases involved in this process, and we will continue to update the congregation as we move forward. All of us together are the church, and you are an important part of the process! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the committee at .
For additional information, please Check out this video from Pastor Christiansen and Pastor King.
The Call Committee
The Call Committee executes the process we use to bring new pastors to our congregation. The reason we call it a “call” process is because we believe that not only are we inviting someone to lead us but we also believe that this is a “call” from God.
The Call Committee is comprised of six members known for their discernment and leadership. These individuals have continuously shown a commitment to our church and our future. We are thrilled that they will share the gifts God has given them, their time, and their prayerful discernment.
Call Process FAQs
What is a call process and how does it work?
The call process is the method we use to bring new pastors to our congregation. The Call Committee will finalize the Ministry Description based upon the results of a congregational survey. After praying, evaluating, interviewing candidates and listening for the Holy Spirit’s leadership, the Call Committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors and then to the congregation for our next Senior Pastor. This process may take up to two years. While this may seem unnecessarily long, it is of utmost importance for us to seek the Lord’s guidance and to find the right fit for our congregation.
When is Pastor retiring?
Pastor Christiansen has led Webster Gardens for almost twenty-five years and he continues to lead us well. Pastor plans to retire from full-time ministry here at Webster Gardens at the end of 2022. He and his wife Mary look forward to how God will continue to use them in ministry after his retirement.
Pastor Christiansen and our lead staff firmly believe it is important to plan for the future. In order to be sure we have the right staff in place when he retires, we are beginning this succession process now. We look forward to a smooth transition as well as a valuable time of overlap with Pastor Christiansen and our next Senior Pastor.
What are the phases of this process?
- Phase One: Establish the Call Committee, inform congregation of the process
- Phase Two: Solicit congregational input, including survey
- Phase Three: Call Committee finalizes a ministry description, distributes the description, and begins soliciting nominations for candidates
- Phase Four: Call Committee begins interview process including initial phone interviews and subsequent on-site interviews; Call Committee establishes a time for the final candidates to meet the congregation
- Phase Five: Committee will submit a nomination to the Board of Directors who, on approval, would then submit it to the congregation for approval
- Phase Six: The Congregation will pray, extend a call to the candidate, continue to pray for the candidate, and wait for the candidate’s response
- Phase Seven: Upon acceptance of the call, we joyfully welcome God’s chosen leader as our next Senior Pastor
What role do I play?
As part of Phase Two, you will be receiving a survey to ensure that the Call Committee has a good understanding of the priorities of the congregation. You will receive an email when the survey is ready, and it will also be posted here. During Phase Three, you will be asked to nominate qualified candidates to be considered. During Phase Four, you will have an opportunity to engage with the final candidates (the format of this is still to be determined given the current pandemic). During Phase Six, you will be encouraged to join in praying as we prepare to extend the call for our next Senior Pastor. Throughout the entire process, we invite you to pray fervently.
We want to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and concerns. Please feel free to contact the committee at . You are also welcome at any point to reach out to any of the committee members, and they will do their best to answer any questions you might have.
How do I get updates about what is happening with the process?
Updates will be posted here throughout the call process and congregation-wide emails will be sent as well when there are any important updates. The Call Committee and staff are committed to a transparent process, so please do not hesitate to reach out at any point.
What is the ministry description of the senior pastor?
SENIOR PASTOR PROFILE
To serve the congregation by providing primary leadership for the ministry of the Lutheran Church of Webster Gardens (LCWG). The Senior Pastor serves as a spiritual leader, visionary, and administrator while also empowering, training, and equipping other staff and lay leaders toward faith development and service to others in the name of Jesus Christ.
Our Mission: TOGETHER we will develop generous disciples who Know & Enjoy God in Worship, Read & Reflect on Scripture, and Serve & Share the Gospel.
- Senior Ministry Leader: Uses intelligence, creativity, and humility to provide spiritual and clear visionary leadership for the LCWG to achieve its mission, setting specific goals and developing strategic plans; fosters healthy relationships and a healthy culture within the staff, Board of Directors, and congregation; resolves conflict; maintains personal growth.
- Staff Leader: Casts a clear vision for staff, igniting passion; allows staff the freedom to be self-directed while holding staff accountable to specific goals and strategies; assists in staff development; models servant leadership.
- Primary Preacher: Relates to all generations; clearly proclaims the Gospel, incorporating scriptural depth with practical Biblical application; maintains an understanding of the current culture.
- Ministry Overseer: Ensures all aspects of worship, education, business administration, and pastoral care are implemented effectively by staff and lay leaders, fostering spiritual growth across all life stages of members; promotes outreach to and service in the local community; supports mission fields beyond our walls; ensures technology is leveraged to support ministry objectives; helps address challenges that may impede ministry objectives; coordinates with and supports our investment in Lutheran education.
Desired Qualifications and Characteristics
- A member in good standing on the clergy roster of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
- Parish ministry experience—preferably in a healthy, growing, large congregation with multiple
- Deep spiritual faith, evidenced by a selfless attitude that seeks God first in every area of life including a healthy family life.
- Enthusiastic desire to reach all with the Good News.
- Experience with and appreciation for multiple styles of worship.
- Initiator and achiever comfortable leading in our current culture.
- Team player with excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Outgoing and friendly, confident and transparent, down-to-earth.
- Great influencer, inspiring, sociable, people-oriented, trusting, poised.
- The Senior Pastor is accountable to the congregation, the Board of Directors, and those he leads.
So now what? We ask for your prayers as we begin this process. We know it is God’s church and we are excited to see what He has in store for us!