Pulpit Committee

 

North Shore Fellowship is in the beginning stages of searching for and calling a new Senior Pastor. The PCA’s established process of calling a Senior Pastor (while it can get very complicated) breaks down into just 2 major steps:

1. Forming the Pulpit Committee

A. Nominating Members for the Committee
 
The Session (your elders) encourages all voting members of NSF to prayerfully consider who they might nominate to serve on this committee. The Session would like the committee to consist of men and women, young and old, with creative thinkers that have the time required to serve the body well.  
 
The period for nominations will close July 26th. Members may submit their nominations online (the same as you are familiar with for nominating officers). If you prefer to mail a nomination, you may do that as well (send C/O The Session, 118 Woodland Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37405). 
 
The work of the committee will include:
  • attending many meetings with the committee members and with others,¬†
  • discussing philosophy, parameters, desires, and rules of the search,¬†
  • reading applications, listening to sermons, meeting with candidates,¬†
  • communicating with the rest of the body,¬†
  • presenting a candidate for a vote, and¬†
  • communicating with all other candidates that were not selected.

B. Narrowing the Committee Nominations

All nominees will be contacted by the Session to determine their level of interest and time available. After all nominations have been interviewed, the Session will narrow the nominations to 9 members. This limit of 9 comes from the collected wisdom of many other churches who have performed their own searches. The Session has already decided that 2 of those members will be elders and that 1 will be a deacon. The desire of the Session here is to make sure that some of the people on the committee have the history and vision of NSF in mind as they navigate the search process, not to control the outcome.  The process of narrowing the candidates may take several months, depending on the number of candidates nominated.
C. Voting on the Pulpit Committee 
 
When we have a panel of 9 members who are willing and able to serve, we will hold another congregational meeting to vote on that panel of nominees. They will be considered as a whole panel, not individually.
 
The vote to elect the slated pulpit committee candidates passed. 
D. How the Committee will Proceed
 
After being elected to serve on the Pulpit Committee, they will begin their work by electing a chairperson and a clerk from their number. Then, they will be trained on the full process of running the search. After being elected and trained, the Pulpit Committee can and should function independent of all outside influence. They may ask for information from the congregation by way of a survey or meeting. But, the work of the Pulpit Committee is highly confidential. They may consider any minister in the PCA, or even several other denominations with which we have stated fellowship. That minister may be newly licensed to preach, may be currently serving as a pastor (assistant, associate, solo, or senior), or may be currently without a call.
 
 

2. Voting on the Committee's Candidate

When their full work is done, they will present a candidate of their choosing to the congregation for a vote. The congregation will have a chance to ask them questions. Then, we will vote. If the candidate is coming from another church, that church must release him. If the candidate is coming from another Presbytery (outside Chattanooga or Knoxville), the process will require a few more steps.