Update from the Pastor Search Committee
February 13, 2022
Thank you for your continued prayers for our committee and our future pastor. We are very appreciative of your support and your prayers. We know you have been waiting patiently, or perhaps impatiently, for an update on our progress, and we have been eager to provide that to you. Unfortunately, we do not have a candidate to announce today, but we do want to share you with an important update on the search process.
In January 2021, the Church Profile was completed, and our committee was able to start work on the Pastor Profile. In late spring of last year, we launched web pages dedicated to the pastor search, and early last summer, we publicized and began accepting applications for the senior pastor position. We were delighted with the response of so many great candidates interested in being a part of SMBC. We reviewed applications, requested follow-up information, conducted interviews, and began narrowing down the pool of applicants.
By early fall, we decided to pursue our top candidate. The process continued so well that our team anticipated a call weekend in late fall. However, unforeseen circumstances arose for our candidate, and they needed some additional time before progressing further. By December, while still hoping our candidate would be able to move forward in January, our committee reviewed some strong former applicants and other new individuals who had been recommended to us.
Since our last report in January, our top candidate let us know they cannot yet give us a definite answer. Our committee and the candidate respectfully and graciously agree that our team should not keep waiting but should continue moving forward in our search for our senior pastor.
So, where does that currently put us with the search? Thankfully the foundations built early in our process remain strong, and we do not need to start all over. We have been and continue to review qualified candidates for this position. We have received some strong recommendations. Much of what we have already done is smoothly transitioning us into talks with a new group of candidates.
Our team remains completely optimistic and energized to find the person God has intended for SMBC. We have been very encouraged by the conversations we’ve had with candidates and other outside individuals during this process. It has become evident how well St. Matthews Baptist Church is loved and respected within the faith community. We have seen and felt God at work throughout this process as He has guided our steps and decisions and are confident that He will continue to do so.
If you have questions about our process, please feel free to discuss them with any committee member. You can always reach us by email SearchCommittee@smbclouisville.org. We want to clarify any concerns or questions as best we can while maintaining our candidates’ confidentiality.
We realize this is not the announcement everyone had hoped for at this time. Please know that we are well aware of the amount of time this task is taking to find a new senior pastor for St. Matthews Baptist. It has only been 7 months since we began reviewing applications, but it seems much longer because the church has been without a pastor for two years. Our team has been reliant on God’s timing throughout this process, and we know that you have been, as well. Our committee is continually reminded that God is with us and is guiding this process. Sometimes God’s timing is different than what we think it should be, and that can be hard to accept and to understand.
Thank you for allowing us the freedom to do this work with the diligence and full attention that it requires and rightfully deserves. Please be assured that we understand the pressures we face as a committee to fulfill the assigned task and complete it well. It is of the utmost importance to us to find the right fit for SMBC. We feel the weight of this assignment as we have met and continue to meet weekly, often multiple times a week. Our families feel this weight as well, and we ask that you continue to pray for them.
Please also continue to pray for and support our current ministry staff as they lead us during this interim period. They have cared for our congregation so well during this time without a senior pastor, and we are extremely grateful for them. Not only pray for their endurance and strength but please continue to show them your appreciation.
And, as always, continue to pray for the individual God has selected to be our next senior pastor.
SMBC Pastor Search Committee:
Howard Bynum, Chair
Jennifer Hannah, Vice Chair
Debbie Bannon, Secretary
On Sunday, April 25th, Howard Bynum, Chair of our Pastor Search Committee, gave an updated report of their progress. Howard invited us to visit the church website at www.smbclouisville.org and specifically the section about Pastor Search. This website will help inform both potential pastoral candidates and our church congreagation of the Pastor Search process.
Following the Pastor Search report, Mike Payne led in prayer. This is the prayer of promise he shared:
100 years ago where I stand right now was a potato field. 95 years ago a tent was set up and people first began to meet. 72 years ago the first service was held on this property. 67 years ago a building was built that now nurtures our children every day of the week. 38 years ago we were reborn by fire. 20 years ago I discovered this place. 18 and 16 years ago my children, my sons, first felt loved here. A hanful of years ago we began a school ministry with St. Matthews Elementary. Today our committee is working hard and You are preparing the hearts of our future pastor.
100 years ago no one could have imagined what You would be able to accomplish if only a church would replace a potato field. We still sometimes have a hard time imagining what You can do.
Lord, please bless the efforts of our search team. Bless the heart of our future pastor. Work in that person to make them ready to hear your call. Make them ready to hear the search team's call. We believe You still have a plan for us. We have been and will be vital to the life and faith of our community for many, many years. And we eagerly anticipate the day when our new pastor will join us in loving and leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus. It's in your holy name we pray and claim these promises.
The Pastor Search Committee has been diligently working to prepare a Pastor Profile to help guide our search for SMBC’s next senior pastor. The Pastor Profile outlines the leadership traits and skills needed in a pastor. This will be a tool the Committee uses to evaluate candidates’ compatibility with SMBC’s leadership needs. We would like your feedback to assist us in creating the Pastor Profile.
After studying the Church Profile and holding discussions with church staff and leadership, the Committee has identified important abilities and traits to look for in potential candidates. We have assembled those items in this questionnaire and would like congregants’ input in prioritizing them. Abilities and traits have been categorized into three areas: Leadership, Pastoral Care & Spiritual Development, and Personal. While the questionnaire is brief in length and should not require much time to complete, please read through it carefully and provide thoughtful responses.
We ask that Pastor Profile Questionnaires be completed and returned by Monday, April 5. Questionnaires are distributed to SMBC members via email or paper mail, whichever method you have opted to receive church communications. Questionnaires may be completed online by using the link provided to you via email. Paper questionnaires received in the mail may be returned to the Church Office in person or by mail (Attn: Pastor Search) or to the Welcome Center outside the Sanctuary. Paper copies will also be available in the Church Office or at the Welcome Center.
If you have any questions, please contact the Pastor Search Committee at SearchCommittee@smbclouisville.org.
Thank you for your participation in this important questionnaire. Your input is valuable.
SMBC Pastor Search Committee
Update from the Pastor Search Committee:
The Pastor Search Committee (PSC) continues to meet weekly and was extremely busy during the month of February. The PSC held important in-person meetings with our interim pastor and ministers to gain feedback, input, and recommendations about the process, as well as their ideas for the ideal candidate.
The Church Profile that was completed has been invaluable in the development and establishment of our Senior Pastor Search Process (see the below attachment). The process graphic reflects what has already been completed, our current progress and directions still to come. The committee is currently completing the Development Stage for the Pastor Profile, website content, and the candidate evaluation procedures.
The committee would ask the congregation to continue to pray for this process, the members of PSC, our church, ministers, and our future senior pastor. The PSC will remain diligent in our steadfast commitment and dedication to this task and will provide updates to the congregation on the status of this crucial search.
Give thanks and praise to the Lord!
Update from Pastor Search Committee:
For the Pastor Search Committee, much of December has been spent taking some time to be with families for the holidays. In the meetings we had during December, our team took time to discuss various decision-making methods we will be learning more about and implementing with our search process. A subcommittee has been formed to assist with our webpage that is being built, and we are excited to share more updates about our online platform as they become available!
During January, the committee is looking forward to reading through and studying the report from the Church Profile Committee. This information will be highly valuable to and impactful on the work we do as a team! We continue to be grateful for the work that team did on behalf of our congregation.
The prayers you all continue to put forth on behalf of our team and our church are felt and always appreciated. We look forward to providing further updates for you all soon!
Update from Pastor Search Committee:
Throughout the month of November, the Pastor Search Committee has continued to work through preliminary activities that will set us up to be successful when we are ready to launch our search process. We are all learning how to navigate through our Google Drive account while we wait for the launch of the website, which we will then use to streamline all of our information. Further information and updates about the website will be shared as it becomes available!
While working through the various administrative tasks that need to be completed, we have also worked on finalizing what our Search Process will look like. The time we have taken to devote to these steps will allow us to stay focused and organized throughout this journey! We shared in our last update that each member had taken time to benchmark churches across the state and our nation. The information shared from this research has provided valuable knowledge that we will be able to use going forward as we embark on the journey of finding who God has for our church. Our team looks forward to combining our individual benchmarking research with the results gathered from the Church Profile Committee!
As always, our team continues to be grateful for the many prayer efforts SMBC has been putting forth for our team. The prayers for us as individuals and as a team are felt and very much appreciated. Blessings to you and your families throughout this Christmas season, and we look forward to what 2021 will bring to SMBC!
The Pastor Search Committee continues to meet three to four times a month, learning more about one another as we moved towards the election of committee officers. We took advantage of our church’s spacious courtyard and the comfortable fall weather to gather safely and socially-distanced in person outdoors, as we deemed it desirable to be in the physical presence of one another prior to electing officers. These individuals were elected by their peers on the committee, as required by the church bylaws, to serve as officers of the Pastor Search Committee: Chair Howard Bynum, Vice-Chair Jennifer Hannah, and Secretary Debbie Bannon. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the officers and the rest of the committee in future Daily Connects - stay tuned!
The Pastor Search Committee has developed a Covenant Agreement that clarifies our commitments to each other, to the church, and to the Lord in how we will conduct our work. We are in the process of obtaining everyone’s physical signatures on this document—easier said than done during a pandemic—and will be sharing it with the church shortly. We are currently in planning mode, researching and outlining the process we will use to search for a new pastor. Once the process has been established by the committee, we will share it with the congregation along with plans for keeping the congregation regularly updated on our progress.
Committee members are also meeting weekly in smaller prayer groups and have committed to praying daily for each other within our groups. We ask the congregation to continue praying for both the Pastor Search Committee and the Church Profile Committee as both teams move forward with their work.