Recommendations for Lead Pastor Search Committee

Dear Catalina Foothills Family,

Faced with the task of choosing a successor for the vacated position among the apostles, the early Christians pointedly prayed, “Show which one of these two men You have chosen for this ministry and apostleship” (Acts 1:25). Two equally godly men had the right qualifications. Yet determining the best choice for the apostolic ministry was not easy to discern. God, of course, guided them to His choice, Matthias.

Discovering the best choice for pastoral positions today is no easier. The essential requirements for this crucial decision are “extraordinary prayer”—to copy a phrase from Jonathan Edwards, pastor and theologian—and careful search processes. When these two elements are executed well, God steps forward to show His choice.

You can participate in the next steps of our careful search process for a new Lead Pastor. Here is what we’re asking you to do:

  • Recommend individuals to serve on the Lead Pastor Search Committee by November 15. Email your recommendations to or place your recommendations into the “Search Committee” box on the Receptionist Desk in the church office.
  • Vote—if you are a church member—about Search Committee members on Dec 10.

That’s it, in a nutshell. But read more so that you participate well.

Composition of the Search Team

How are members of the Committee chosen? The congregation recommends individual names to the Session by November 15. The Session will interview these individuals concerning their availability and fulfillment of the qualifications. After these conversations, the Session will formally nominate a slate of individuals on November 28 for congregational approval. Church members will then vote whether to accept each nomination for the Committee at a short business meeting on Sunday, December 10.

Qualifications of Search Committee Members  

You can well imagine that membership on the Search Committee is an incredibly important role in the long-term vision of the church. No one should take a recommendation lightly. Clear, specific qualifications are set for Search Committee members:

  • A committed CFC church member
  • Adherence to Presbyterian, Reformed, evangelical, and evangelistic theology
  • Basic understanding of expositional and doctrinal preaching
  • Consistent practice of prayer and biblical devotions
  • Commitment to and excitement for the CFC vision, culture, and ministry
  • Consistent and regular worship attendance in worship services
  • Demonstrated involvement in one or more ministries of the church for one or more years
  • Positive, joyful attitude
  • Healthy relational skills—i.e. active listening, discernment, friendliness, and straight talk
  • Team orientation
  • Spiritual gift of discernment, leadership, encouragement, shepherding, or teaching so that the overall team naturally connects with the requirements of the pastoral position
  • Process-oriented
  • Patience—not argumentative for one’s own preferences—not pushing one’s own agenda
  • A growing spiritual maturity, demonstrated by humility and wisdom
  • Basic skills with using email, searching the web, using Word and PDF documents
  • Time availability and flexibility. The schedule includes one meeting per month after the Search Committee has been formed, during the holiday season. This schedule then increases to the potential of one meeting per week after the first months of recruiting. Additional telephone conversations will usually occur on several weeks throughout the process.

Think about each of these qualifications as you consider whether to recommend a man or woman for the Committee. As mentioned above, your recommendation will take extraordinary prayer.

Someone may ask, “Why all these qualifications?” The answer lies in the nature and importance of the new position. This search involves a role that will influence the culture and ministry of the church for the next ten years, at least. As well, the Lord inevitably works through the gracious, wise teamwork of the Committee.

First Steps of the Search Committee

We will train the Search Committee between December 11 through January 5 in the following essential areas:

  • Overview of the search process
  • Roles for effective Committees
  • PCA essentials
  • Essentials of Reformed and evangelical theology
  • Basic understanding of expositional preaching
  • Basic understanding of spiritual gifts
  • Basic understanding of spiritual disciplines and practices
  • Essentials of the CFC vision, culture, and ministry
  • Basic understanding of healthy relational skills, including questions to ascertain healthiness
  • Department of Labor employment laws

The new Search Committee then diligently and patiently begins their work, sometime after January 5, 2018. 

Please pray about men and women who may fulfill these qualifications. Submit all recommendations by November 15. If you have any questions concerning this process, please feel free to ask any elder or staff member. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and involvement.


In His Care,

The Session

Don Adams, Allen Cooney, Don DeWoody, Mark Ensio, Paavo Ensio, Walter Hoge, Ron Hutchings, Jerry Kindall, Winston Maddox, David Mehl, Tod Newman, Herman Pieterse, Bob Reilly, Dennis Spencer, Louis Stroble, Todd Vanden Branden