by Phil Miller–
Two interlaced teams have the responsibility to prepare First Christian to call its next settled pastor. The Discovery Team is working toward getting the most involvement possible from the entire membership. They face some exciting challenges, namely:
Organizing and scheduling small groups for conversation
Simplifying the questions each group will answer
Guiding each conversation beyond clichés to discern ideas uniquely our own
Compiling notes from all the conversations to form a clear picture
Sharing this picture with the Search Team
Continuing to monitor how the transition toward the next era affects members
Meanwhile, the Search Team is providing the Discovery Team with the big questions they’ll have to answer in writing the Congregational Profile, which the Regional Minister, Valerie Melvin, will use in selecting candidates to recommend for consideration. Candidates will have access to this profile, which will help them discern whether Greensboro might be in their future. Likewise, the Search Team will use our Congregational Profile as a means of filtering through the many Ministerial Profiles they’ll survey before interviewing anyone.
Although these processes can’t be forced into a rigid timeline grid, but we can project a general schedule of how the year will flow. I believe small groups can be formed to begin meeting in October, and that by mid-November the Discovery Team should be able to compile a report for the Search Team. If those responsible do a good job, the Search Team should be able to complete the Congregational Profile quickly. If they submit it by the beginning of the holiday season, they should be able to start reviewing Ministerial Profiles at the beginning of 2020. It’s hard to predict how their search will go from there, but it’s possible to imagine they might select the candidate they wish to recommend to the church by Easter (April 21st), which would enable the new pastor to arrive in June. Of course, who knows what variables might affect the timing?
If you’ve ever hiked in the mountains, you know about switchbacks. The trail goes one direction slightly uphill, and then turns at a sharp angle to continue uphill in nearly the opposite direction before turning back again and again. Taking shortcuts is a no-no for various reasons—damaging the terrain, causing erosion, getting injured, or getting lost. In the same way, we mustn’t look for short-cuts that would short-circuit the careful process of a transitional year.