To LCPC Members and Attenders,
As a follow-up to the PNC update given on May 29th, we felt it would be a good idea to further clarify a few things in an effort to help answer some questions that arose from that update.
Q1. Why has the PNC hired a Christian search firm?
A1. The dynamics of searching for a new pastor have changed dramatically in recent years. And the need for pastors has never been in greater demand. Having spoken with several people both currently attending LCPC as well as others who have worked and/or attended LCPC in the past; they have highly encouraged us to consider going the search firm route, given the current climate for pastor searches. The database of a Christian Search Firm is going to be exponentially more extensive than what we might have at our disposal with the national bulletin board from PCUSA as well as our list of candidates that we have been building ourselves with your help. Additionally, we are hearing of new churches every month who are in the same boat as we are, right here in our own back yard of Southern California. So having a professional Christian Search Firm to help us navigate the waters feels like the right plan.
Q2. Who approved the decision to hire a search firm?
A2. Upon the PNC’s recommendation to partner with a Christian Search Firm (along with the support of Presbytery), we presented to Session, who gave us their approval.
Q3. How is it being financed?
A3. The Financial Management Committee (FMC) was presented the concept and felt that they had the backing to support the decision.
Q4. How did you come to decide on Shepherd’s Staff?
A4. After doing an internet search as well as asking folks in the know for referrals, we interviewed seven different firms, from which we narrowed our list down and then researched their references. Shepherd’s Staff provided more references than any of the other firms, and all their references were very positive.
Q5. What will the PNC be doing while Shepherd’s Staff is on the clock?
A5. It is important to understand that this is a partnership that we have entered into with Shepherd’s Staff. They understand that we want this to be an interactive process where the PNC is involved throughout. Additionally, Shepherd Staff is going to have the capacity to assist the PNC with some of the heavy lifting, as well as have the experience and ability to delve deeper into researching a candidate initially than we do. After a few weeks of recruiting searches and initial interviews by Shepherd’s Staff, the PNC will begin receiving batches of candidates provided to us by them to go further down the rabbit hole with, including applicant profile reviews, internet searches, and sermon reviews to see if they are someone that we would like to proceed further with.
Q6. What about candidates that LCPC members and attenders would like to see considered?
A6. We want to highly encourage LCPC members and attenders to let the PNC know of any and all folks that you feel would be a worthy candidate. Please submit their names and contact information via email to PNC@LaCanadaPC.org. We have already received several recommendations and hope you will continue to provide them to us over the coming weeks.
Q7. What about Presbytery candidates? Will they still be considered?
A7. All PCUSA self-directed candidates will be considered after being researched initially through Shepherd Staff.
Q8. How long is this going to take? Is it going to reset the clock?
A8. Absolutely not. The intent to partner with a Christian Search Firm, ultimately Shepherd Staff was not to either shorten or lengthen the amount of time necessary to find our next Senior Pastor. However, it is intended to help us be more thorough in our search. We are right where we expected to be regarding our progress at this point in time.
Q9. So, what happens now?
A9. Well, we are excited to have two principals (including our recruiter) from Shepherd’s Staff on campus this weekend, for a series of one-hour focus group meetings on Saturday, as well as attend our services on Sunday. They are looking forward to meeting with LCPC and getting a more thorough feel of who we are? This is in addition to having provided them with the valuable survey feedback you gave us last winter.
It is your PNC’s sincere hope that this helps to answer any questions that may have been previously asked (or just thought). We look forward to continuing to do the God given work that you assigned us to, as we discern who God is preparing to be our next Senior Pastor.
Blessings and thank you!
Gregory Cook & Lynne Graves
LCPC PNC Co-Chairs