What is the process of calling a Minister in PCUSA?

  1. The Congregation elects a Nominating Committee consisting of Elders and members at large. Our Nominating Committee has 4 members and 3 elders.
  2. The Nominating Committee completes a Ministry Information Form (MIF). The MIF presents pertinent details about the church to prospective candidates, suggests skills an ideal candidate should possess, and defines the scope of the position. The MIF is a public document, much like a job description.  have bed and defines the position and what we are looking for in a pastor.
  3. Once the Session and the Presbytery approve the MIF, it is posted for potential candidates to review.
  4. The Nominating Committee receives Pastor Information Forms (PIF) through the denominational matching system, self-referrals, and recommendations from other important people with many Linkedin connections.
  5. The Nominating Committee reviews the PIF's (everybody else in the world calls them resumes with a cover letter) and selects some individuals to interview. The Nominating Committee will also listen to the sermons available online from the candidates they interview. 
  6. A smaller number of candidates will be invited to Columbia to interview the church and be interviewed by the committee.
  7. Pray
  8. The committee extends a call (job offer) to a candidate.
  9. If they say yes, see #10. If they say no, go back to either #4 or #5. 
  10. The committee asks the Session to call a congregational meeting to present their nominee. The congregation then votes to accept the recommendation or not.
  11. The Co-Pastor elect is examined by the Presbytery and upon the approval of that body the Co-Pastor is installed in a service of worship.

Who is on the Nominating Committee?

  • Stacy Williams - Elder, Committee Chair
  • Lindsay Joyner - Elder
  • Laura Belcher - Elder
  • Wes Hickman
  • Jason Simmons
  • Austin Smith
  • Blanche Richey  

What is the difference between a plain old Pastor and a Co-Pastor?

A Co-Pastor is a Pastor who equally shares Pastoral responsibilities with the other Co-Pastor. If you weren't counting, that makes two Pastors. So, there is no difference between a plain old Pastor and a Co-Pastor, other than the necessity for a Co-Pastor to have learned how to share in kindergarten.

Does DOWNTOWN CHURCH need another full-time Pastor?

Hey everybody! This is Amos, your current Pastor. The answer is YES, YES, YES, YES, YES.

Nice to hear from you Amos. In more than one word, someone please answer the earlier question.

DOWNTOWN CHURCH has 300 active members. In 2015 we averaged 280 people in worship every Sunday, about half of them aren't members. The ratio of members/worshippers is unusual for a church, but then again, we are unusual, in general. What it represents is that at any given time, DTC is serving 500 or more individuals. That’s a lot for one Pastor. 

So, why not call up an Associate Pastor? 

Because Amos is lazy and doesn't want to be associating with other pastors. Actually, that's not true - but we know you appreciated our sly take-down of the Pastor and the creative misappropriation of "associate". For real though, the Pastor/Associate Pastor leadership model doesn't account for a challenge that many new churches encounter when/if the organizing Pastor leaves. Per the Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church, a co-pastor becomes the pastor if the other co-pastor departs. Associate Pastors cannot do that in our form of government. 

In addition to the super tricky work around presented above, we are also trying to keep it real. It's a lie if any one pastor claims to have all the gifts necessary to lead a church. But put two pastors together and you get closer. 

What is the Nominating Committee looking for in a Co-Pastor?

The people who gather to worship God at DOWNTOWN CHURCH are smart. Really smart. Anything less than thoughtful, insightful preaching and teaching is a nonstarter. The right Co-Pastor will be patient and deliberate enough to cultivate meaningful relationships with individuals inside and outside our church – but never be scared to get started. An entrepreneurial spirit and some flexibility are a must for a church with an office downtown and a rented worship space down the street. Finally, must love coffee.

Where are we in the process?

#4 and #5, the first time around.