Pastor Nominating Committee
Congregational Survey | Congregational Input Sessions
Job Description (Church Information Form)
Recommending a Pastor | Applying for the Position
PNC Process | Frequently Asked Questions
Meet the PNC | Contact Us
A Letter from Calum MacLeod: February 14
A Letter from the Co-Chairs: March 21
An Easter Minute for Discipleship from the PNC: April 8
An Invitation from the PNC: April 13
A PNC Request to Complete the Survey: May 10
Session and Presbytery Committee Approve CIF: May 22
Job Description for the New Pastor Officially Posted: May 25
A Letter from the Co-Chairs: June 27
Job Description for the New Pastor Officially Posted
Marking the next completed step in the pastoral search process, the Church Information Form (CIF) has now been posted by Church Leadership Connection (CLC) of the Presbyterian Church (USA). As a result, the Pastor Nominating Committee can now officially begin receiving applications for the position of Pastor.
Interested pastors can submit their Pastor Information Form (PIF) directly to the PNC. The CLC will also match the CIF—which serves as the job description for the Pastor position—with PIFs it has on file and will send those “matches” on to the PNC for their consideration.
If you would like to recommend a pastor for the PNC to consider, please email the pastor’s name and where he or she currently serves, as well as any contact information, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a note about why you are recommending this pastor, as a way of highlighting the person’s particular gifts, and why he or she would be a good fit for Fourth Church. Alternatively, you can also have the pastor send his or her PIF to the PNC at the same email address.
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The following outlines the process for calling a new Pastor to Fourth Presbyterian Church.
• Congregation recommends members of Fourth Church to serve on PNC — Completed
• Congregation elects PNC — Completed
• Congregation provides input to PNC to be used in evaluating candidates — Completed
• PNC develops Church Information Form (CIF) and criteria for evaluating candidates — Completed
• CIF is approved by the Fourth Church Session (Completed)
and the Chicago Presbytery Committee on Ministry (COM) — Completed
• Position is posted with the Church Leadership Connection at the Presbyterian Church (USA) denominational offices and is advertised with the Christian Century and Presbyterian Outlook — Completed
PNC collects recommendations from churchwide leaders, including seminary leadership
PNC reviews Pastor Information Forms (PIFs) of those applying, contacts referred candidates and conducts interviews as well as background and reference checks
PNC identifies a nominee for Pastor and extends an invitation to that person to accept the call
Session calls a congregational meeting at which the PNC will present the nominee to the congregation
Congregation elects a new Pastor at a congregational meeting
Pastor is installed
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Congregational Input Sessions
Input from the congregation is a critical part of the PNC process, and so the committee is grateful to all who participated in one of the input-gathering sessions on April 15, 24, and 29.
In addition to hosting these three congregational conversations, the PNC also met this spring with the Session, Board of Deacons, Chicago Lights Board, Board of Trustees, Senior Highs, and Program Staff, including pastors.
All told more than 400 people participated in these input sessions and responded to three questions:
• What characteristics do you think are important in the new pastor?
• What should that person understand about Fourth Church?
• What advice do you have for the PNC?
The answers to these questions, highlights of which are summarized below, were used to inform the writing of the Church Information Form, or job description. They will also be combined with the survey responses to help develop criteria to be used in the interviewing and evaluation of candidates.
What characteristics do you think are important in the new pastor?
- “Lots of successes under his or her belt, not just one starring role”
- Servant leadership, with the ability to inspire, develop, and manage a large complex organize
- Strong intellect with a stellar academic training
- Dynamic preaching
- Preaching from the Bible but regularly tying it to everyday life
- A “pastor’s heart”
- Spiritual leadership
- Welcoming of diverse views
- “Not only appreciative of diverse cultures but with a deep personal experience with diverse cultures”
- Aware of the fact that children and families are the future of the church and welcoming and encouraging of the participation of children and youth
- A passion for urban ministry and a vision to enhance and expand our mission
- Embracing of Chicago and connecting with community leaders
- Personally having faced and overcome challenges
- No prima donnas
- Ablility to understand strategic financial issues and have a vision for church growth in the twenty-first century
- Fundraising ability
- Welcoming spirit
What should that person understand about Fourth Church?
- We are a public church; the pastor preaches to people from a wide variety of backgrounds and faith traditions
- Being a public church means being welcoming no matter what, understanding differences, having a ministry beyond the members of the congregation, serving the whole community, keeping the door always open
- People typically come to be a part of Fourth Church because of a desire to volunteer or be involved in mission, to hear sermons that address the world, or to listen to the music
- The music program is an important part of worship and community relations
- We are diverse and seeking to become more so
- Fourth Church is the “tail lights in a blizzard”
- Fourth Church is not a “wealthy” church
- There are a large number of capable, passionate lay leaders engaged in boards and committees
- The church is active—there is something going on here every day of the week at all hours
What advice do you have for the PNC?
- Reach out to people who currently are not considering being candidates at Fourth Church
- Look in unusual places; look beyond the usual candidates
- Keep in mind that there is some value in considering someone who has been in the trenches—someone who was once an associate pastor, who wasn't only ever a head of staff
- Don’t just look at “rock stars”; don’t limit the pool; give someone a chance to grow
- Keep in mind that Fourth Church is a different church than it was in 1985
- “Look at churches that are growing and look at how Chicago is changing. Think about the spiritual life of the people outside of our church.”
- Find out what the candidate would like to accomplish in his or her first year
- Keep candidates informed throughout the process
- Stay open to possibilities as the search process unfolds, because you will be changed by it
- Get it right; don’t rush
If you would like to contribute additional responses to the PNC, you can do so via email, a private message on Facebook, or mail (to Pastor Nominating Committee, Fourth Presybterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut St., Chicago, IL 60611.2014). Additionally, you can offer other thoughts and reflections by speaking directly with a member of the PNC.
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Session and Presbytery Committee Approve CIF
On Tuesday, May 22, 2012, the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) checked off another step in the pastoral search process: the Chicago Presbytery Committee on Ministry’s approval of the PNC-written Church Information Form (CIF). Also approved earlier in the month by the Session at its May 11 meeting, the CIF serves as the job description necessary for posting the Pastor position within the Presbyterian Church (USA).
The form was subsequently submitted to and posted with Church Leadership Connection at the PCUSA denominational offices. It was also posted on the Fourth Church website, and the postion is being advertised through the Christian Century, the Presbyterian Outlook, and other channels.
This exciting next step in the process means that, with the posting of the CIF, the PNC can now receive Pastor Information Forms (PIFs) from interested candidates and from those whose qualifications match the Church Information Form.
To contact the Pastor Nominating Committee, email email@example.com or send a private message via the Fourth Church page on Facebook: facebook.com/fourthchurch.
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