Dear Bonhomme Family,

As we prepare our hearts for this upcoming weekend, please read the following messages from Bonhomme's Pastor Nominating Committee and their nominee for Bonhomme's Lead Pastor and Head of Staff, Reverend Doctor James H. Shultz.

Thank you!
Message from Bonhomme's Pastor Nominating Committee:
Dear Covenant Partners of Bonhomme Presbyterian Church,

The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) would like to thank the congregation for the opportunity of serving the church in this important charge. God has abundantly blessed this endeavor!

Your PNC was commissioned to search for a new Lead Pastor and Head of Staff in October 2021. The Position Description was created by Session and fine-tuned by the PNC. We also reviewed requirements that were submitted by the Bonhomme membership about what type of person and skills are desired for our next Lead Pastor. We created the Church Information Form, and the Bonhomme website was overhauled. The position was posted on numerous job boards and websites. Networking began in earnest by contacting churches, seminaries, and individuals. Applicants were asked to answer five questions, submit links to three representative sermons and provide their resumes. Two rounds of interviews were conducted over Zoom, with specifically tailored questions to each candidate in the second round.

Candidates passing Round Two then engaged in a conversation with ECO’s Ministry Partnership Team and, having received their approval, were then invited to Bonhomme to meet with the PNC in person. This allowed hours of personal time with the candidate to share meals, meet with the Executive Team, be interviewed by the PNC team in person, and deliver a sermon in one of our worship spaces. Based on the process just described, four candidates were interviewed in person.

Once the field was narrowed to two candidates, we revisited the candidate’s qualifications and compared them to the 25 attributes of the Position Description. We then individually focused on prayerfully discerning who God was calling to Bonhomme. After this time of dedicated prayer, one candidate was unanimously chosen. Your Pastor Nominating Committee joyfully places before you and nominates Reverend Doctor James H. Shultz as the Lead Pastor and Head of Staff of Bonhomme Presbyterian Church.

Pastor Jim and his wife, Dr. Laura Shultz, both originally from the St. Louis area are beyond excited to have the opportunity to move back to Cardinal Nation and be close to extended family! They currently live in Memphis, Tennessee, and have three boys, Samuel, who is 8; Jeremiah, age 6; and their youngest, Isaiah, age 4. Laura received her Masters of Counseling from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis and her PsyD in clinical psychology from Wheaton College in the Chicago area. She is a Licensed Psychologist and Neuropsychologist, board-certified health psychologist (ABBP), and currently serves as the Senior Director of Behavior Health - Ambulatory Care at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis. She will continue in that position, working remotely after their move to St. Louis. They are excited to be in a church that will love their family and help them raise their children in a God-honoring, Jesus-loving community of believers.

Pastor Jim has over 20 years of ministry experience in many aspects of church leadership. He studied at Covenant Theological Seminary and received his Master of Divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. He has a Doctorate of Ministry from Biola University - Talbot School of Theology in California. His DMin degree is designed to be practical and is focused on the practice of ministry in real context as opposed to a Ph.D., which he defines as more academic and research-minded. This differentiation spoke directly to the PNC in being able to see him as our pastor. 

During his most recent time in church ministry, he had regular responsibility for preaching in different venues at his Evangelical Presbyterian Church of 7,000 attendees in Memphis. He grew the Young Adult ministry to 200-250 and was responsible for preaching weekly to the Young Adults. Prior to that, he was the Connect Pastor, and equipped leaders for ministry at a non-denominational church of 1,500 attendees. He served as an Associate Pastor to a Reformed Church of America congregation with 1,000 attendees in the western suburbs of Chicago, and preached regularly in worship services and wrote the official theological position on Sacraments. He also fund-raised, led mission trips, and collaborated to create meaningful and powerful worship experiences. Pastor Jim has also co-authored the book, “The Practical Art of Spiritual Conversation,” written to help equip people to have winsome, meaningful evangelistic conversations in everyday life. For over five years, Pastor Jim has been a college-level instructor and speaker in the areas of theology, apologetics, philosophy, culture, and spiritual formation. He has been the invited speaker on more than two dozen occasions to various conferences, churches, and retreats. 

Pastor Jim is currently serving as the Chief Spiritual Health Officer for Christ Community Health Services, a non-profit organization in Memphis with a $40,000,000 budget and a 500-person staff. He has five direct reports with additional support staff and manages a $500,000 budget. One of his responsibilities is directing, managing, and overseeing their Spiritual Health Advisors to evangelize, disciple, and provide pastoral care to patients. He also has executive oversight of and preaches at all staff meetings.

Your PNC, with great conviction, believes Pastor Jim’s educational background, pastoral and leadership responsibilities, and experience, combined with having successfully met the requirements of the Position Description, qualify him for what is an additional important qualification, and that is his ‘goodness of fit.’ 

Since the beginning of this process, we have carried the weight and importance of the task with us and have humbly prayed and worked together to discern who God would bring to Bonhomme, both for who and where we are now and in looking to our future together. At all times, and on all the paths along this journey, we have been constantly encouraged as our brothers and sisters have faithfully and tirelessly been praying for us, the process, and the person God would bring to us. One of the first questions we asked Pastor Jim back in March was, where does a call to Bonhomme fit with your journey back into church ministry? He answered, “I have the heart of a pastor and want to return to church ministry.” He views leadership as a position of service, and he is excited to work in the midst of grace-filled people, loving on our staff and on us, the congregation at Bonhomme. The PNC has had multiple opportunities to engage with him and witness his demeanor, creativity, transparency, humor, humility, and his genuine love for the Church and how it is to serve the lost…and the found. For all these reasons and so many more, we have every confidence he will serve Bonhomme Presbyterian Church with integrity and passion. 

Since your PNC chose Pastor Jim as our candidate, we have continued to see the Holy Spirit at work from the way He is helping orchestrate the details of their move to St. Louis. He has cleared the path for Pastor Jim’s ordination into ECO as well as Laura’s job being allowed to shift to fully remote. Pastor Jim is prepared to lead us, help us identify new opportunities, as well as marshall the gifts and resources of our congregation to better serve our community. His dedication, concern, and devotion to his family have been evident throughout the process. Your PNC has personally been on the receiving end of his pastor’s heart. In the words of Pastor Jim, “I have not ignored what God has been doing during the waiting, and I’m making a list of what God has given me already as it relates to Bonhomme. I’m excited about ‘our’ past, it’s intriguing to me, and I want to steward that history and help shape the history yet to come.”

Please join us on Sunday, July 31, 2022, at either service to hear Pastor Jim as he leads us in worship. Following the services, please plan to attend the congregational meeting to vote to Call the Reverend Doctor James H. Shultz to be the new Lead Pastor and Head of Staff at Bonhomme Presbyterian Church.

With thanksgiving for God's faithfulness,

Bonhomme Presbyterian Church
Pastor Nominating Committee
Andy Seers, Don Guenther, Marcia Walter, Michelle Harrell,
Nancy Kopsky, Ross Jenkins, Susie Jensen

Message from Reverend Doctor James H. Shultz:
Dear Beloved of God at Bonhomme, 
It brings me such joy and excitement to consider serving as your Lead Pastor. I have been so refreshed by what I have learned about you so far. Your Pastor Nominating Committee is comprised of humble, grace-filled people who simply want to follow the Spirit of God. Your elders are thoughtful leaders who take seriously the call to shepherd you well. The staff I have met are excellent at what they do, followers of the Spirit of God, and eager to lead you into the next chapter. I am so eager to serve alongside all of these people. I have much to learn about Bonhomme. I can honestly say that it is my desire to be at Bonhomme for the long haul if the Lord would allow.  
What has particularly intrigued me is the history of Bonhomme. Bonhomme is French for "good men," and that is exactly what you discover in the history. I have read about good men and women like Joseph Conway, the Widow Smith, Stephen Hempstead, Rev. Giddings, Annie Yokel, and many more. This lineage of good men and women continues to today under the stewardship of good men and women like you. Of course, we all know theologically that none of us is good in ourselves. But by the grace and work of the Holy Spirit, God has allowed you to faithfully continue this important history in Chesterfield and in Christ's Kingdom. I hope to faithfully steward that history. I believe the best way for us to honor the history of this church is to lead well into the future.  
A few have asked me about my vision for Bonhomme. Since the day I visited, the Lord has given me all kinds of things that I can see in my mind's eye. I can see many ways we can embody the Kingdom of God together and reach out to our city with the good news of Jesus Christ. However, as your lead pastor, my job is not to craft a vision and ask you to adopt my vision. Jesus said he can do nothing by Himself, but only what He sees the Father doing (John 5:19). My job as your pastor is to lead us, together, to watch and see where God is at work among us and discern how He would invite us to follow Him in His work. This is not my vision. This is God's vision for us all as we follow Him in His work. This discernment process is something I have had the privilege to lead several times in my 20+ years of ministry and most recently at Christ Community Health Services. It would be my privilege to lead you in this way during this important next chapter at Bonhomme.
A friend asked me the other day, "why do you want to be a lead pastor?" He knows I am called to the local church, but he is also keenly aware of the weight of leading a church. I said, "what I long for most is a people to love." It is my sincere desire to love you well and to faithfully live in the call God has placed on my life to preach, teach, shepherd, and lead in Christ's church. I can assure you I will not do it perfectly, and I hope you will show me grace in those times. But I assure you that I will love you. I am excited to lead alongside you with integrity to the best of my ability as the Holy Spirit enables me. Thank you for the opportunity to be considered. 
In Christ's Love,