We have formed a Senior Pastor Call Committee to lead us through the process of searching for and Calling a new Senior Pastor as Pastor Rob begins to transition out of that role and eventually toward retirement. Our hope is to be ready to issue a Call by the beginning of 2021.
This page will serve as a hub for all news and announcements about the process and the Call Committee’s progress.
The Typical Process for Calling a Senior Pastor
- Circuit Visitor, in consultation with Congregation Mission and Ministry Facilitator (CMMF) and District President, arrange an initial meeting with the congregation. (Happened in November 2019)
- Congregational self-study with the CMMF. (Completed this spring.)
- Congregation receives the results of the Self-Study. (We are awaiting the results.)
- Names of possible candidates are received from congregational membership. (Completed July 12.)
- Official request for a Call List and nomination forms from congregation are sent to the District President through the Circuit Visitor. (Completed in July.)
- District President may remove suggested names from or add additional names to the Call List. (Completed in September.)
- District President sends Pastor’s Information Form, Self Evaluation Tool, and a brief evaluation of each candidate to the Circuit Visitor.
- Call Committee reviews and researches the list and makes a recommendation to the congregation. (Completed.)
- Voters’ Meeting is held and the congregation votes to extend a Call.
- Pastor-elect ACCEPTS the Call – Proceed to Step 11.
Pastor-elect DECLINES the Call – Return to Step 8 or 5.
- Pastor-elect is installed as Pastor.
Call Committee News and Information
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Following our congregational meeting on June 12, I’d first like thank everyone who was able to attend and provide their questions, perspective and support. I feel we had a very productive meeting, and...
The Board of Directors is calling a special voter’s assembly to issue a call to a senior pastor candidate. The meeting is Sunday, February 20, at 9:45 AM in the Sanctuary. We are excited to share information about the candidate at the meeting and look forward to...
Members of St. Matthew, Over the past two years, a call committee appointed by the Board of Directors has been charged with identifying, interviewing, and eventually recommending a candidate to serve as the next Senior Pastor of St Matthew. To date, the...
WHAT IS THIS “CALL PROCESS” ANYWAY?
As we enter this critical stage in the life of St Matthew, it’s important to clarify how the call process works.
In the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS), pastors are normally “Called” by a congregation to serve. It’s a process that differs from a job offer in that we believe pastors are called by God to serve as pastors and called by congregations to serve as their pastor. The call process takes time, on average between 12-24 months, and consists of prayerful consideration of congregational needs, candidate names, interviews and visits with pastors and their families. The theology and practice surrounding the call has developed over centuries of Christian experience. In some denominations a bishop determines where a pastor serves. In the LCMS, it is normally congregations that call pastors. The CTCR (Commission on Theology and Church Relations) worked in 2003 to give clarity to issues surrounding the call. Their document says in part:
“Since God places men into the pastoral office through the church, the call possesses both a divine and human dimension. The call is divine in that God has taken the initiative to establish the office. It is God who calls an individual to serve the ministry of the Word within the office. And it is God who promises to bless such work. But the call also has a human dimension in that God entrusts the task of calling to human beings. They are to see to it that the office is filled in a decent and orderly manner. These two dimensions – the divine and the human – correspond to the two dimensions of the church itself. On the one hand, the church is, properly speaking, the assembly of believers gathered by the Holy Spirit around Christ proclaimed in the Word and Christ present in the sacraments. These are constitutive of the church. On the other hand, the church possesses an organizational character as its members arrange for the regular distribution of the means of grace. Although the divine character of the call is primary, the human activity by which the divine call is issued is not without importance. As the church carries out its responsibility of serving as God’s instrument for calling individuals into the office of the pastoral ministry, it must distinguish between these two dimensions when establishing a call process. The church must always administer the call in ways that respect and uphold its divine character, while at the same time affirming the contingent character of the human procedures developed within a given context. Humanly devised procedures should not be treated as if they are divine mandates. Nor should they be carried out in such a way as to lose sight of the fact that the Lord of the church is the one who ultimately calls men into the office of the public ministry.”
Quoted from “Theology and Practice of the Divine Call”, A Report of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod”, February 2003, pages 26-27.