Transitions, Searches, and God

By Pastor Rob Bloss

Covenant Church never showed up on my radar when I was considering my next call. Even though serving as an Executive Pastor (a position that often means very different things to different people and churches) was high on my list, based on geography, denominational affiliation, and relational connections, the position at Covenant wasn’t something I would have discovered or considered on my own. It was a God thing!

I’ve long since lost track of how many staff searches I’ve been involved with. It’s hard to remember a year I wasn’t at some point in the process of at least one staff transition. Some have involved search teams and outside consultants, and many used neither. Some were relatively quick and easy. Some were not. But they all had something in common: a burden to get it “right”. And this was only heightened when faced with the fallout of getting it terribly “wrong” a few times early in my ministry.

Every search drives me to my knees in humble dependence on the leading of the Holy Spirit and the applied wisdom of the Lord. I need to do my part, but I quickly discovered how much I need God to be at work at every step and with every person involved and impacted.

There’s a lot at stake. Much could be lost, but even more could be gained in and as a result of the process. That’s why it needs to be a God thing…not a hiring process but a spiritual process!

Last December the congregation approved the formation of a Lead Pastor Search Team. I’m privileged to serve as a coach/consultant to this awesome group of people who are deeply committed to bringing Covenant a man who “fits” here, a spiritual, relational, servant leader who will help guide us into the next chapter of ministry and mission.
Serving on the team are:
Enock Delaporte, Chrissie Duncan, Carl Goldschmidt, Genevieve Kim, Matt Landis, Sue Lee, Katie Marchese, Max Nichols, Andrea Volm

Realizing that Satan is not for us but against us, that he has no intention of sitting back and watching us move forward and advance the Gospel in Central Bucks, we need to ALL be bathing the Search Team and the process in prayer. We need to do the same for our staff and elders…for our entire church community.

We have now contracted the services of a search agency. The Slingshot Group has been involved in several of our recent staff hires, including my own. They will seek out prospective pastors, receive applications, and conduct the initial screening and vetting of candidates before providing names to the Search Team to review and consider.

Realistically, we hope to bring a candidate to the Elder Board and ministry staff for their review, and then to the congregation for final approval sometime late next fall. But it’s a God thing, and that includes the timing!

Many churches are looking for the same pastor: an amazing preacher and visionary leader who is great with people, a fruitful evangelist, a mission’s champion, good with kids, beloved by the elderly—a young dynamic pastor who somehow also has 20 years of experience. It’s great to set the bar high, just so long as real non-divine people can clear it! 

We don’t want to settle. We shouldn’t overcompensate or under-value qualities or characteristics based on previous experiences. We want to mutually discern the person of God’s choosing. The person HE is already preparing! We need to be praying for this person right now!

Attached you will find a position profile created by the Search Team with input from the Elder Board and pastoral staff. This will serve as an early use tool in the process. The position should be posted shortly. If you are aware of potential applicants, they will need to go through Slingshot.

As we wait upon the Lord to provide us with a new Lead Pastor, I’m deeply grateful for all the Lord is doing in us, for us, and through us as a church. While challenged by many things this past year, the Lord has provided what we have needed as a church. His Word is being preached without apology and with passion, our facility is clean and safe and is gradually becoming a place for people to gather in person again, worship is God-honoring and joy-filled, we are meeting needs and advancing the Kingdom through our partnerships in our community and around the globe, and all of our ministries are creating spaces and places for children, students and adults to go and grow as disciples, the kind of disciples who make disciples.

We are not in a panic. We are in process. In the Lord and His strength, we are searching, learning, and growing. And as we grow stronger through the trials, we continue to strive to fulfill the vision God has given us of Building a Community to Reach a Community, and the values that shape our culture as a church, being missional, relevant, accessible, relational, and transformational. It’s a God thing! And to God be all the glory for all He has done and will do!