Sweetwater Christian Church is looking for a Senior Pastor. Applicants will be asked to provide a cover letter, a resume, contact information for the last three locations of employment, and answers to the following questions:
1. What are your thoughts on Open Communion, where all are welcome at the table, regardless of age, church membership, baptism, and views on God?
2. Aside from the Bible, what books or authors have most influenced your theology and spiritual experience and why?
3. How do you see outreach playing a role in the church and what would you do to foster these goals?
4. How would you feel about pastoring a congregation with a diverse collection of theological beliefs?
The Pastor provides a centralized leadership for the church, working in conjunction with and under the supervision of the Board and Elder Team. This leadership can be broken out into three main spheres of tasks and expectations:
- Spiritual Leadership
- Administrative Leadership
- Vision Leadership
Responsibility for the Spiritual care, guidance, and growth of the church falls on two entities at Sweetwater Christian Church: the Pastor and the Elder Team. The Elder team provides guidance and feedback, but the bulk of implementation of practices is the province of the Pastor. Spiritual Leadership can be broken down into 4 broad categories:
Pastoral Care: Providing counseling, guidance, and support during major life events such as but not limited to death of a loved one, illness including terminal diagnosis, marital trouble, divorce, engagement, new parentship, conversion to the faith, questioning of faith, and loss of employment or financial security.
Teaching: Providing enriching opportunities for the congregation to grow in their faith and expand their knowledge of God, Scripture, and the Church. Teaching utilizes sermons, seminars, classes, group discussions, book studies, etc… to educate and encourage independent study and reflection.
Involvement: Guiding members toward baptism and membership, cultivating leaders within the congregation, and encouraging ownership and activism by the members within the church.
Outreach: The Pastor will respond to the needs of the outside (non-Sweetwater Church) community as appropriate to facilitate the outreach mission of the church, whether on an immediate or long term basis, and an individual or large scale scope. This includes helping design a set of policies and expectations, and seeing that they are implemented and fulfilled to the ability of the church.
The church like any business has daily, weekly and monthly administrative tasks; the Pastor oversees and manages these tasks on behalf of the church. Again they can be divided into broad categories:
Admin Staff: The Pastor will manage and when necessary hire/dismiss paid admin staff for the church. The Pastor will also hold annual evaluations for this staff. If appropriate volunteer staff may also fall into this category.
Communication: The Pastor is responsible for maintaining an appropriate flow of information and communication with both the church and the public including but not limited to: text communications, social media posts, emails, newsletters, announcements, event calendars, the church website, media interviews, and press releases.
Facilities: The Pastor will see that an appropriate number of hours of operation occur during the week for the church and its office. The Pastor will also work with volunteers and appropriate lay leadership to ensure the building and grounds are properly maintained and repaired when needed, AV equipment is used and stored properly, and set up for church activities occurs.
Records: The Pastor will maintain and preserve the records of the church including but not limited to: photos, membership rosters, meeting minutes, sermon titles & speakers, leadership holders, attendance numbers, and any other records pertaining to the history and business of the church (financial records are the responsibility of the Board/Treasurers).
Finances: The Pastor will be empowered to make purchases on behalf of the church within the scope of the annual fiscal budget, and under the oversight of the Board (Treasurer). The Pastor will help facilitate deposits, provide receipts to the Treasurer, and in general be a part of the financial conversation pertaining to the church within the scope of established fiscal policies as defined by the Board. While the Pastor is aware and involved in such things, ultimate responsibly falls on the Board for financial practices and concerns.
The Pastor will in partnership with the Board and Elder Team construct, monitor, and adapt a vision for Sweetwater Church. This vision will be a plan for the future of the church whether short or long term (or both) including but not limited to membership goals, financial goals, outreach goals, and public relations. These vision plans will be re-evaluated as appropriate.
The above spheres of leadership are purposefully described in broad terms to allow for an ever-changing environment and congregation. Please note that the Pastor holds ultimate responsibility to see that they occur, but how they are accomplished may vary. For example they could be handled by the Pastor directly or by committees or individual volunteers under the Pastor’s supervision. Having said that, there are specific tasks that the Pastor is expected to perform:
Be Available: The Pastor is expected to be reachable by the individuals of the congregation either by phone, physical visit onsite (office hours), or by email within specific hour requirements as identified by the Board.
Report: The Pastor is expected to attend, participate, and report during monthly Board meetings and any official Congregational Meetings held. The specific reports given will be based off of information requested from the Board and information the Pastor feels needs to be shared.
Pulpit Supply: The Pastor is expected to give a sermon for the majority of worship services, including but not limited to Sunday Services and Holiday Services – the specific number expected to be determined annually. For services the Pastor is not preaching, the Pastor will ensure a guest speaker is present to give the sermon instead, and that speaker and sermon is in alignment with the theology of Sweetwater Christian Church.
Worship Services: The Pastor will work in partnership with the Worship Pastor (if any) and the Elder team to plan and facilitate all worship services. This includes designing order of worship, selection of scripture readings, ensuring Communion occurs, worship music is selected and performed, and any other tasks require for said services.
The Pastor is the central public leader of the Church, and is answerable and held accountable to the congregation through their elected representatives (the Board and Elders). This oversight is one of governance and not management, with the exception of as noted above and annual performance reviews of the Pastor, which will be held in accordance with the Church’s Bylaws and or established procedures.