By Rick Darragh, Minister of Discipleship Call Committee Chair

Thank you for all of your support over these last months. It truly has been a blessing to know that the congregation, small groups, and individuals have been praying for the process, the candidates, the committee and, most importantly, God’s will. We even had people providing meals for the committee!

THANK YOU. I can’t express how important all of this is and how much we appreciate it.

History

As has been expressed in previous articles, the Minister of Discipleship position was first mentioned in the Transition Report way back in 2011 as a priority for St. Luke, along with a Family Life Minister position. The Family Life position is currently being filled by two part time positions, both of which will work closely with the Minister of Discipleship.

The Spiritual Leadership Council (SLC) officially declared a vacancy for the Minister of Discipleship on April 20, 2013. Several months passed as the Pastor Team, the site Elders, and the SLC discussed the details of the job description.

In early November 2013, the job description was approved and a call committee was formed. The members of the call committee were purposely chosen to match the character of the job description and the needs of the St. Luke site and the multisite. In response, the call committee is made of nine members, consisting of family groups, men and women of all ages. The committee includes two youth, a Family Friendly Partners Network representative, members from all three sites, and Pastor Rossow, the St. Luke site leader.

All along the committee had one thing in mind: find the right person, the best fit. We were open to whomever God would provide us, male or female, ordained, non-ordained, or non-commissioned. We wanted the right person, the right fit.

Committee work

Working with a job description, the committee began its work on November 10, 2013. We received five names from the pastors and staff and passed those on to the Michigan District Office for approval from the district president. At that time we also received one non-commissioned name.

In December we asked for submissions from the congregation and received three names. We sent those names on to the District Office as well.

In mid-January we received the names of eleven ordained candidates back from the District Office, some we had submitted and some the District provided. Using the information we had on those eleven candidates, we identified six to continue on with and conduct phone interviews. Two of those candidates indicated that they were not open receiving a call at this time.

In the last week of January we received back from the District Office names of ten non-ordained candidates. These were Family Life Ministers and DCE’s. Of these ten, four candidates were identified for phone interviews. Again two candidates indicated that they were not open to receiving a call at this time, including the only female candidate we received back from the district.

The committee then conducted six phone interviews, four with ordained candidates and two with non-ordained candidates.

From those six phone interviews the committee identified three candidates to bring in for onsite interviews. These included two pastors and one DCE. The onsite interviews were conducted during the last week of February.

The call committee met with the candidates, expanding on the questions asked during the phone interviews, and getting a sense of the ministry and passion of each candidate. In addition, there was meet and greet with the St. Luke site elders, St. Luke multisite head elder, pastors and staff. All three candidates were asked to prepare and present a short teaching on some aspect of discipleship.

All three candidates were well received and did a great job. All three men are clearly gifted and faithful men. The committee felt we had brought in three qualified candidates.

Recommendation

After the onsite interviews the committee met, discussed the candidates, and took a few days for further prayer. Finally, the committee sent on its recommendation, part of which reads as follows:

“After the onsite interviews, seeking the input of others involved, with prayer and consideration, the committee clearly and unanimously decided that (name) should be recommended to the voters to receive a call for the Minister of Discipleship”.

Personal Thoughts

Personally I am excited about the position and what it means for St. Luke. The idea of a culture of discipleship for us as a congregation and multisite, following Jesus more closely, isn’t that what it is all about?

The candidate we’ve recommended has the leadership skills to meet the needs of the position. He gets the idea of a culture of discipleship and has the tools to make it happen. He will support faith formation in families, especially in support of youth, children, and families. He is a good fit for our present St. Luke staff.

And best of all, he is passionate about discipleship and following Jesus more closely every day.