For several months your Pastor Search Team has been meeting and progress has been made in finding our new Lead Pastor. We are now at a very crucial point in making the decision about who will be candidating for this position and you need to know where we are at and what's next so you can pray more fervently and specifically for God to guide us.
Fact #1 – Your Pastor Search Team has now narrowed the list of applicants down to the top four. This has been accomplished through much prayer and research. Much personal information has been requested beyond the first step of sending us a cover letter and resume. For example, an application questionnaire made up of 19 carefully crafted questions was developed based on what the Search Team discerned as important qualifications and qualities needed in a Lead Pastor at Buhler MB. These questions included, "How has your love for Jesus impacted your decision to explore this position at Buhler MB?" And, "Tell us how you have experienced or implemented outreach from the church to the community." These applications and requested information have been bathed in prayer for discernment and God's leading.
Fact #2 – beginning this week, the Pastor Search Team will be collecting information from personal reference checks and from criminal background checks. Calls are being made to listed references and others who know the applicants. In these 10-15-minute calls, questions will be asked about a variety of personal and ministry qualities and experience. We aren't seeking a perfect pastor but a godly pastor who loves Jesus, is guided by the Holy Spirit and is growing in maturity in Christ and in ministry skills and gifts.
Fact #3 – Also beginning this week, the Pastor Search Team will begin online interviews with each of the four couples (both husband and wife must participate). I am in the process of coaching the PST through developing 8-10 good interview questions that are tailored to the uniqueness of each applicant and his wife. These online interviews will last one hour in length and should be completed by January 17th.
Fact #4 – At our next Search Team meeting on January 20th, we hope to decide on the candidate. The team will then submit his name to the Faith and Life Commission of the Southern MB District for evaluation of character and doctrine. If approved and he accepts our offer to candidate, we will be able to share his name with our church and schedule a Candidating period of several days when he and his wife/family can visit Buhler.
Fact # 5- Pray…pray…and pray some more. Here's the request from the Pastor search team that was put in the Connection: "Pastor Search Team members: Paula Eigsti, Allison Pauls, Brent Wichert, Randy Roberts, Lee Pankratz, Judy Banz, and Brian Moler would like to invite you to pray for the final steps in our search for a pastor. Please consider fasting along with us on Thursday, January 10 as we focus our prayer on discerning God's wisdom while conducting interviews in the next two weeks. Thanks for partnering with us in seeking God during this process!"