Barry Dale updates on the Pastoral Search Committee process, plus offers three specific requests that our church can be praying for
Update May 15th 2022
Pastor Roger updates us on the ongoing work of ministry happening here at Bethel during this transition period
Update April 24th, 2022
Pastor Roger introduces our Interim Teaching Pastor, Todd Wagner and his wife Chris.
Update April 10th, 2022
Pastor Roger interviews the Pastors and Directors of Bethel Church, explaining more about their responsibilities and ministries.
Update April 3rd, 2022
Lee McCloud, Lead Pastor of Church Development with the Oregon Ministry Networks shares detailed information on how the pastor search process works, and the next steps for our church.
Update: Feb 27, 2022
Pastor Tim unpacks more details about the plans God has for him and Janice in the next phase of their ministry in the Seattle area, and how we as a church family can be in prayer for them.
Update: Jan 30, 2022
Barry Dale, a board member and elder of Bethel Church explains how the pastoral transition will work, and some steps that the board has taken.
Announcement: Jan 23, 2022
Pastor Tim shares an important announcement with the Bethel Church family.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the process for finding a new lead pastor?
Our Board has established a three-phase process as we transition from Pastor Tim’s leadership to a new lead pastor.
Send Pastor Tim and Janice off well.
They have served Bethel faithfully for 24 years, and we want to honor their commitment to this church family, and to God’s vision for the church here in the Rogue Valley. This appreciation will be part of our Sunday service, March 27, 2022.
Implement our interim plan, including selection of an interim pastor.
The Board has asked our Assistant Lead Pastor, Roger Hutley, to take the role of “Interim Executive Pastor” to oversee the daily workings and ministries of Bethel Church. He has served capably in this position before, and will lead us well.
The Board will also be selecting an interim pastor to provide support in teaching/preaching and, if possible, pastoral care. There are several reasons for this decision including:
We love and appreciate our existing staff and do not want to overextend them by adding significant new responsibilities to their workload.
An experienced interim pastor can be a voice of counsel and “outside” perspective.
We want continuity in pastoral care and mission to our community.
This person will NOT be a candidate for the open position of lead pastor so can provide impartial guidance/input to our staff and ministry.
The current goal is to have an interim pastor in place by May 1, 2022, but a number of factors may influence this start date.
Select a new lead pastor.
The Board, as Search Committee, will be prayerfully seeking feedback from staff, ministry leaders, volunteers, and the entire congregation to establish a “profile” of the qualities we feel are a best fit for Bethel Church.
There will also be a variety of members involved in the review, interview, and selection process once we begin receiving applications. Some parts of the process will have to be confidential to protect our applicants, but we will be as open as possible during the process.
Once a candidate has been through the evaluation and interview process, they will be introduced to the church body, and ultimately our church members will vote on the candidate before the position is offered. This is a process we will not rush as we seek God’s direction for Bethel Church, and we will provide periodic updates on the process.
Who chooses a new lead pastor?
According to our church bylaws, our Board of Elders and Deacons will be our Pulpit Committee, or Search Committee. (See below for more detailed information.)
Once the Search committee has determined a suitable candidate, our church members will vote on the candidate with a 2/3rds majority necessary to approve that pastor. (See below for information on church membership.)
What can I do?
You play an important part in the process, and there are four things you can do to help this transition go smoothly.
This is an important decision and we want to be seeking God’s will first and foremost.
Let our pastors, our staff, and our board know that you support and appreciate the work they are doing as they take on extra responsibilities to keep our church healthy, strong, and focused on Jesus during this transition time.
Bethel Church is a healthy, vibrant church and we want to remain a healthy, vibrant church to welcome our new pastor when the time comes. As some of our “regular” staff and volunteers are being stretched into new areas, we can all find a place to serve! Not sure where that might be? Contact us, and we’ll help find the right spot for you to bless our church family.
Consider church membership.
If you want to be part of the final decision of selecting our new pastor, you must be a member in good standing at Bethel Church.
Am I a member at Bethel Church?
Membership is a commitment and a privilege that we encourage people to consider, but is not necessary to be connected and loved at Bethel Church. For events like a pastoral change or certain other large events, you must be a member to cast a vote in the final decision.
Even if you are a longtime, faithful attender at Bethel Church, you may not be a member. If you are not sure, contact the church office and we would be happy to clarify.
In order to be a voting member at Bethel Church, you must have:
Been regularly attending Bethel Church for a minimum of three months.
Been approved by our leadership for church membership.
What's this about by-laws?
All of our decisions as a church body are governed by our church by-laws, which in regards to a pastoral search, state:
“ARTICLE III. ELECTIONS & VACANCIES
Section 1. The Pastor shall be called for an indefinite period, unless otherwise stipulated by the assembly at the time of election. The Board, acting in the capacity of a Pulpit Committee, after prayerful inquiry, with judicious counsel, and full consideration being given to the leading of the Holy Spirit, shall select an available, scripturally qualified minister as nominee to the office of Pastor, and present his name for the vote of the Assembly without undue delay.
Any member of the Assembly may offer a minister’s name for the consideration of the committee. The counsel of the District Superintendent and the Sectional Presbyter should be sought. Election shall be by secret ballot. A two-thirds majority vote of all votes cast shall be required to constitute an election.”
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
“The Board” – We have 9 men currently serving as our Board of Elders and Deacons who will constitute the search committee.
“prayerful inquiry” – First and foremost, this is a decision to be decided by prayer.
“judicious counsel” – Our Board has consulted with Lee McCloud (Oregon Ministry Network office) and Brian Stellar (sectional presbyter) already for guidance in this process. Their experience and wisdom in helping other churches through this process is invaluable.
Our Board has also shared their intention of meeting with a wide variety of members and ministries within our church family to determine what qualities and giftings would best suit Bethel Church and the vision we have to reach our community and the world. These meetings will happen in a variety of ways and any public sessions will be announced to the church family both in services and through our various social media channels.
“full consideration being given to the leading of the Holy Spirit” – Without question, God has the final say. We want a new pastor that will lead us, guide us, and teach us according to God’s plan for Bethel Church. As has already been said, prayer is the first and most important principle for selecting a new pastor and, through prayer, we expect God to direct us to the right person to lead Bethel Church forward as we work to further God’s kingdom and reach our community with the hope of the gospel.
“an available, scripturally qualified minister” – Underlying any expectations we might set for a new pastor’s gifts and strengths is a commitment to the Word of God without compromise.
“undue delay” – This is a process we will not rush. While we do not want to drag this process out indefinitely, both practical experience and the counsel of others has proven that a prayerful, thorough process yields the best results for establishing a solid relationship between a church body and an incoming pastor.
“Any member of the Assembly may offer a minister’s name for the consideration” – Information will be made available about the best way to contact the Search Committee if you are a member of Bethel Church, and know of someone that might be a possible candidate.
What if I have more questions?
Contact us at the church office and we will get you in touch with the right person to answer your questions.
Office hours are: Monday - Thursday, 9am - 4pm.
Office phone: 541-779-5771
Thank you for praying, thank you for your patience as we work through this time, and thank you for being part of Bethel Church.