Thursday, May 23, 2013
Pastor Search Update
Updates during our Pastor Search process.
Thursday, January 31, 2013 Comments (0)
What a glorious weekend at First Baptist Church of Tallahassee as we welcomed Dr. Bill Shiell to our church. On Saturday, January 19th, nearly 500 people met to hear Dr. Shiell share his testimony and ask him questions. After the Q & A session, we gathered in the fellowship hall for a social time and wonderful refreshments. During this informal social time, hundreds of our members were able to meet and talk with Bill, his wife Kelly, and their two sons, 11 year old Parker, and 5 year old Drake.
At a combined worship service on Sunday, January 20th, over 1250 people packed our sanctuary to hear Dr. Shiell deliver the morning message “Digging Deep With the Lord.” After our Sanctuary Choir, Orchestra, Praise Team, Praise Band, Youth Choir, Pianist, and Organist led us in a time of outstanding music directed by Penny Folsom, Pam Cooke, and George Feijoo, Dr. Shiell stirred our hearts with a message from Luke. At the conclusion of the worship service, we entered into a special business session where the PSC unanimously recommended William D. Shiell, Ph.D., as Senior Pastor of FBC, Tallahassee. The PSC recommendation was seconded and by a unanimous vote Dr. Shiell was called as our next Senior Pastor. Dr. Shiell graciously accepted the call. After Dr. Shiell led us in a closing prayer as our new Pastor, the congregation welcomed him and his family to the FBC family of Tallahassee.
Dr. Shiell’s last Sunday at FBC of Knoxville will be February 10, 2013, and his first Sunday in Tallahassee will be March 10, 2013. Kelly and the boys will remain in Knoxville to finish the school year and relocate to Tallahassee over Memorial Day weekend.
The brochure we mailed to church members contains the biographical information on Bill and his family, so I won’t repeat that information in this article. I will share with you some background information on how the PSC was led to Bill Shiell as our unanimous recommendation for Senior Pastor.
As you may recall, the PSC was appointed in early February of 2012. Since our first meeting on February 26, 2012, the members of the PSC have felt the Holy Spirit’s presence, guidance and direction during every phase of the search process.
One of the very first actions taken by the PSC was to enter into a covenant with each other to pray, pray and pray some more that the Holy Spirit would give us the wisdom and discernment to find the pastor the Lord had prepared for our church. We also asked the FBC congregation to enter into a covenant with the PSC to diligently pray for the search process. Members of the congregation were given “stones” to serve as a reminder of your covenant to pray for the search process.
With your help, the PSC conducted congregational listening sessions to develop a church and pastor profile to guide us in our search efforts. After the congregational listening sessions were conducted and the profiles were created, we requested senior pastor recommendations and resumes.
Our deadline for receiving resumes was August 31, 2012, and we received approximately 85 resumes. After countless hours reviewing and deliberating over the 85 resumes, we narrowed our list of pastor candidates to 8 finalists, each of whom we interviewed and then listened to numerous sermons. The PSC developed an evaluation matrix that each member used to privately and independently evaluate and rank the 8 finalists. Our plan was if we all had the same top 3 candidates we would continue our search process with the top 3. When the PSC met to review our independent ranking of the 8 finalists, we did not have a consensus on the top 3 ranked candidates; however, the Holy Spirit amazingly led each of the nine members of the PSC to the same candidate (Bill Shiell) as our first choice. Only the working of the Holy Spirit could have made this possible.
After more discussion and intense prayer, it was obvious that the Lord had led all of us to the pastor that He had prepared for FBC. All of the members of the PSC went to Knoxville to hear Bill preach and after meeting both Bill and Kelly during subsequent visits, we continued to be unanimous in our conviction and belief that Dr. Bill Shiell is the pastor that the Holy Spirit has chosen to lead our church.
The PSC would like to express our deepest appreciation to the church family for your prayers and support during this search process. We also want to thank each of the FBC staff members for their prayers, commitment and willingness to fill the gap during this critical time in our church.
Now is not the time to stop praying! We need each of you to continue your intense prayers for Bill and his family during this transition period. Pray for Bill, Kelly and the boys as they are separated for about three months. Pray for the FBC of Knoxville as they start their search process for a new pastor. Continue to pray for the PSC as we work with Bill to develop a 100 day plan to assimilate him into the church and into the community. Pray for our church staff as they continue to lead us and prepare for new leadership. And most of all pray for the lost and be thinking of ways you can minister to them and bring them to our church where they can hear the gospel preached.
On Sunday, March 10, 2013, we will welcome Bill to Tallahassee by bringing our “stones” to church where they will be collected and formed into a visual reminder of our “spiritual journey” together.
Psalm 118:23-24 says, “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Pastor Search Committee Chairman
Thursday, May 31, 2012 Comments (0)
I wanted to take just a moment to update everyone on the work being done by your Pastor Search Committee. As you already know, there are several phases to our search process. To date, our committee has completed our organizational work and conducted five church-wide congregational listening sessions (and one special college ministry listening session).
In the listening sessions our members shared their thoughts about our heritage, mission, leadership culture, connections, and future. The average attendance of our church-wide listening session was 108, and we have heard from many of you that these sessions provided an opportunity for our members to share their experiences, ideas, dreams, and desires for our church. Some attendees even suggested that it would be valuable for congregational listening sessions to be conducted every few years so FBC members could share and discuss these types of topics.
Through these listening sessions we have collected valuable information from you that will assist us in preparing profiles of both our church body and our next pastor. The committee is currently scheduling interviews with our ministry staff members and to gather the final input needed to complete our church and pastor profiles. All of this critical information will allow us to move forward into the third phase of our search process (considering candidates). Very soon we will begin actively gathering names of potential pastor candidates, requesting and reviewing resumes, and prioritizing candidates relative to our church and pastor profiles.
For those of you interested in obtaining even more information about our work, I encourage you to go to our webpage (fbctlh.org/pastorsearch) where you can obtain updates on the listening sessions and other activities as they are completed. Additionally, we have established an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and traditional mail address (P.O. Box 10010, Tallahassee, FL, 32302) for those wanting to contact us.
Your PSC would like to express our sincere gratitude to the many members who faithfully attended one or more of the congregational listening sessions. Because of your participation, the committee has a better idea of “who FBC is,” “where FBC wants to go in the future,” and “what type of pastor we need to lead us.” We ask for your continued prayers for our committee, our future pastor, our current staff members, interim preacher Dr. Brad Creed, and all of our church programs and ministries. As was mentioned in my first update to you, a healthy search process requires great patience, spiritual maturity, and hard work. Therefore, we again ask the congregation to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY as we follow the Lord’s direction and search for our next pastor.
Prayerfully submitted by,
Pastor Search Committee Chairman
Monday, March 05, 2012 Comments (0)
This is part two of the introduction message from Darrell Thompson, Chairman of your Pastor Search Committee (PSC). The other dedicated and committed members of your PSC are Amy Baker, Cecil Davis, Bill Gardner, Meghan Greene, Jennifer Hendrix, Beckie Maynard, Eric Palm and David Westberry.
In last week’s Vision, we introduced the five Phases involved in the pastor search process and stated that we are currently in phases 1 and 2:
A “Commissioning Ceremony” is being planned for both worship services (traditional and contemporary) this Sunday, March 11. We urge each member of First Baptist Church (FBC) to pray for this service, the PSC, and our future pastor; and to make plans to attend this special service in the life of our church on March 11th.
Last week, the PSC introduced a schedule of five congregational listening sessions to begin on Sunday April 1 at 4:00PM in the fellowship hall. These listening sessions are designed so the PSC can hear information from the congregation that will be used to develop the church profile and the pastor profile for FBC. Listening to the congregation and obtaining this information is absolutely an essential step in the pastor search process! Each of the five listening sessions will address a different topic designed to encourage congregational input; therefore, we strongly encourage the congregation to make attendance at all five sessions a priority and a matter of prayer.
Each of the five listening sessions will be on Sunday afternoons at 4:00PM in the fellowship hall and childcare will be provided. Each listening session will take place around tables, a facilitator will lead our time together, and table monitors will be at each table to assist with the discussion and to take notes and document the comments. Dr. Bill Wilson, from the Center for Congregational Health, will facilitate several of our conversations and will guide us through this important process. A detailed description of each session and the date for each session follows:
In addition to these listening sessions, the congregation may also share any information that should be considered in developing the church and pastor profiles with the PSC by sending an email to email@example.com or mailing their comments to:
FBC Pastor Search Committee
P.O. Box 10010
Tallahassee, Florida 32302
Additionally, anyone can personally share information directly with any member of the PSC. The PSC is also willing to visit with any SMBS class, ministry group, committee, or organization to obtain your relevant information. Phase 2 (preparation) of the pastor search process must not be rushed, and the congregation must be comfortable with the profiles that will be developed before we move on to the next phase in calling a new pastor. A congregation must know who it is and where it is going before calling a new leader.
When we as a church are satisfied with the church and pastor profiles, we will then be ready to move to Phase 3 and begin gathering names of potential candidates from church members and other sources. As you leave the “commissioning” service this Sunday please take a “stone” (see 1 Peter 2:5) that will serve as a token of the covenant between the PSC and the congregation and our agreement to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.
Prayerfully Submitted By
Pastor Search Committee Chairman
Friday, February 24, 2012 Comments (0)
My name is Darrell Thompson and I am the chairman of your Pastor Search Committee (PSC). Other members of the PSC are Amy Baker, Cecil Davis, Bill Gardner, Meghan Greene, Jennifer Hendrix, Beckie Maynard, Eric Palm, and David Westberry. This article is the first of many to come as regular communications to keep the congregation informed on the process of finding a new Senior Pastor for First Baptist Church of Tallahassee (FBCTLH).
On February 26, your PSC met with Dr. Bill Wilson, President of The Center for Congregational Health. Dr. Wilson has been retained as a “coach” to assist our church and the PSC in the process of finding a new pastor. During this meeting, we learned there are five phases involved in the pastor search process:
The PSC is still in phase 1 (getting acquainted), but we have also started phase 2 (preparation). We have started getting to know each other better through praying together and sharing with each other. We also have a covenant with each other as a committee and we would like to enter into a covenant with the congregation of FBCTLH. As a committee, we covet to pray for the church and our new pastor and we are asking the church to covet to pray for the PSC and our new pastor. This is a spiritual discernment process and we need the congregation, the staff, and the PSC to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!
On March 11, the PSC is recommending that the church “commission” or “launch” the pastor search process through a commissioning ceremony. During both worship services, the members of the PSC will be introduced to the congregation and the chairman of the PSC will ask the congregation and the PSC to make a covenant with each other. A stone will be given to each person that agrees to the covenant. Every time a member of the congregation looks at the stone, holds the stone, or even thinks about the stone, they will covet to pray for the PSC and our new pastor. When we call our new pastor, we will all bring our stones back to the church and they will be collected and displayed in a prominent place.
Even though the PSC was selected to represent a broad cross representation of our church, the congregation still needs to be involved in the development of the church and pastor profiles. These two profiles will allow the PSC to move forward by answering these questions: “Who are we?” and “What do we believe God wants us to be?” To that end, the PSC will be conducting five focus group meetings with the congregation to obtain input for the church profile and the pastor profile. Each of the five focus group meetings will address a different focus point; therefore, we would like the congregation to commit to attending all five meetings or as many as possible. The five focus point sessions will be conducted at 4:00 PM on Sunday afternoons on the following dates: April 1, April 15, April 29, May 6, and May 20. In next week’s Vision, I will discuss each of the five focus point sessions in detail.
In closing, the success or failure in finding the right pastor for FBCTLH will likely be determined by the work we do during this “Preparation” phase prior to ever soliciting a resume or having a conversation with a candidate. A healthy search process requires great patience, spiritual maturity, and hard work so again, we covet with you to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.
Your Brother in Christ,
Pastor Search Committee Chairman