Where are we in the process?
In light of Gareth's recently announced plans, an update from your Pastor Nominating Committee feels overdue. This process is unique and it may sometimes seem as if we are indifferent to the congregation’s anxiety and curiosity. Not so! We are working diligently and effectively, learning more about our church and our mission each week and remaining relentless and confident in our search.
The PNC’s timeline began with our last head of staff, Joe Clifford, announcing in July 2016 his call to Myers Park Presbyterian Church. Greg Gibson then started as our interim pastor that fall. In February 2017, the Session requested that the Congregational Nominating Committee begin the process of selecting nominees for the PNC. Following a call for nominations from the congregation, the PNC was formed and charged by the congregation during worship on April 2, 2017. Other than Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, we’ve met every Wednesday since that time, often for three-hour sessions. Initially, we spent time familiarizing ourselves with the PC (USA)’s search processes, in listening sessions with the congregation, and in developing our Ministry Information Form (MIF). The Session approved the MIF on June 6, 2017, and we hit the ground running. We received well over 100 Pastor Information Forms from computer-generated matches and dozens of referrals from you and other friends of our church from across the country, many of which were intentionally solicited from other pastors and denominational leaders.
We then began to listen individually to hundreds of sermons and corporately to dozens of sermons from remarkable candidates. Our meetings for most of last summer and fall were spent narrowing this prodigious group. We began individual interviews by telephone and Skype in December and have made a number of trips to worship with and meet with prospects in person. At least three candidates have worshipped with our congregation in the past few weeks, so know that your continued attendance and welcoming presence are very important!
During this transition, one thing that remains constant is the faithful work of this congregation. You are amazing, resilient, and impressive, a fact that our candidates repeatedly affirm.
We are convinced that we are progressing in our discernment of God’s plan for our church. Our meetings start and finish with prayer for guidance from the Holy Spirit to help us discover the pastor that we believe God has already chosen for us. As Christians, we place our faith in God. As members of our church, we ask for your continued prayers as we trust in this process and each other to heed God’s call for FPC Dallas. We look forward to sharing our progress with you more frequently.
With a Heart for FPC,
(Last Updated on 06/18/2018)
Greetings from your PNC!
On April 2, 2017, you graciously elected us to serve on FPC's Pastor Nominating Committee to call our next senior pastor. While we are actively engaged in the call process, we can appreciate that, other than knowing this will take some time, many members of the congregation may not know much about how this all works.
At our first meeting, liaisons from Grace Presbytery helped get us acquainted with each other and introduced the call process. In that meeting we elected Bill Cobb to serve as our Chair, and Julius Zsohar, III as our Vice Chair, and made a commitment to meet weekly. Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions and an overview of the process and anticipated milestones.
We will provide periodic updates on our progress, but in the interim, if you have any questions, concerns, or input, please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Acknowledging the importance of our work to the life of our church, we also request that the congregation include the work of the PNC in your daily prayers.
With a heart for FPC,
How long does the process take?
As long as is necessary to call the right pastor, but generally, one to two years.
How much can you talk about your work on the committee?
The committee takes the confidentiality of its work very seriously. We can discuss process, not people.
How do you find candidates?
The PCUSA has a matching system that matches our job posting (the "MIF") with resumes (or "PIFs"). Often other ministers or seminary personnel will make suggestions for candidates who they think would be a good fit for this FPC position. These suggested candidates would submit a PIF just like a candidate who had been matched through the system.
Can I suggest a candidate?
Yes! Please email suggestions and recommendations to email@example.com. This is welcomed and encouraged!
The Ministry Information Form ("MIF")
MIF is short for Ministry Information Form, and it is the document that gives us the opportunity to describe who we are, what we do, how we do it, and what we are looking for in our next Senior Pastor. Think of it has our official job posting.
Once finalized, the PNC submits the MIF to both the Session and Grace Presbytery's Committee on Ministry. When approved, it will be sent to the PCUSA for matching with candidates.
The Personal Information Form ("PIF")
PIF is short for Personal Information Form, essentially a pastor's resume and application. PCUSA will match our MIF with PIFs in its database.
The PNC will then evaluate candidates and conduct interviews until a candidate has been chosen by the committee. When the PNC has reached a final decision on a candidate, such decision must be approved by the Presbytery and the Session will then call a Congregational Meeting to approve the call to the new minister.