Q & A

Questions & Answers: The Senior Pastor Search Process

The purpose of the Senior Pastor Search Team is to identify the man God has called to be the next Senior Pastor of Denver Baptist Church.

If you have question for the Pastor Search Team you can email them at [email protected].

Q1: Why do we need a Transition Team?

There is a mutual desire by both the Pastoral Lead Team and deacon body to provide coordinated leadership in day-to-day functions of the church while the Senior Pastor Search Team looks for a new Senior Pastor.

Q2: What will the Transition Team do?

The Transition Team’s primary role will be to shepherd the church body through prayer and collaborative leadership during the interim period.

Because the Transition Team will be made up of pastors and laymen who are deacons, the plurality of leadership will provide a natural guard against power and control gravitating to a single individual or a few individuals during the interim period. This collaborative group will help protect our ministries and ensure accountability.

The Pastoral Lead Team will focus on administering Brainerd’s day-to-day ministries and leading the congregation to accomplish Brainerd’s mission. The deacon officers and representatives will focus on leading the deacon body to provide member care for Brainerd members.

Contingent on affirmation by the deacons of the proposed Senior Pastor Search Process, the Transition Team will consider all the candidates suggested by the congregation to determine the ones who meet the criteria for serving on the Pastoral Search Team, and prayerfully recommend to the congregation the members of Senior Pastor Search Team to be voted on by the congregation.

Q3: Why change the search process from what we have done in the past?

With the growth of Brainerd there have been new and unique challenges like the addition of multiple campuses and worship venues. This growth has come since our last search for a Senior Pastor. For these primary reasons our search process needs to be updated to reflect the new realities of our church body.

Q4: What was the process that led to this approach?

The Pastoral Lead Team and Dr. Shaddix researched and sought counsel from other leaders of Southern Baptist churches that have moved from a single campus to a multi-campus strategy since their last pastor search. This led to a draft proposal from the Pastoral Lead Team that was presented to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Deacons. They reviewed the proposal, refined it and provided a draft to the deacon body for feedback, discussion, and further refinement.

Q5: What criteria will be used to consider nominees for the Senior Pastor Search Team?

Brainerd defines a committed follower of Jesus Christ as someone who believes in Christ alone as the only hope of salvation, submits to God by obeying His Word, is empowered by the Holy Spirit and growing in biblical community by demonstrating his/her faith by showing and sharing the love of Christ from the Scenic City to the nations.

The Transition Team will consider men and women who are committed followers of Christ, and display other characteristics essential to a healthy church membership including, but not limited to:

  • A mature walk with the Lord

  • Regular Life Group participation

  • Service in the church body

  • Regular giving patterns to the church

  • Demonstrated love for Brainerd Baptist Church

As much as is practically possible, the Transition Team will seek to identify a team that reflects the whole of Brainerd’s church body including but not limited to various campuses, ethnicity, age, gender, and life-stages.

Full- and part-time staff members and all spouses of full-time staff members will be excluded from being considered as voting members of the Senior Pastor Search Team.

The Transition Team will prayerfully consider the names of each member submitted by the church body from all our campuses and recommend nine (9) members to serve as voting members of the Senior Pastor Search Team.

The Transition Team will also recommend two non-voting alternates who will serve on the Senior Pastor Search Team, and who will assume a voting role in the event a voting member becomes unable to complete the search process.

The Transition Team will contact all potential search team members to confirm each is willing and able to serve.

Q6: Why should the Senior Pastor Search Team be representative of our entire

A Senior Pastor Search Team that represents the church provides a holistic perspective and understanding of the church and ensures (to the best of their ability) all of the voices in our church body are heard in this process.

Selection of a representative team is not meant to imply a church member who does not meet the primary qualifications will be considered for the Senior Pastor Search Team.

The Senior Pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church not only provides vision and leadership to each campus, but also leads sermon preparation for every campus. Each campus will be impacted by the vision and leadership of the next Senior Pastor.

Q7: Will people who have served on previous Senior Pastor Search Team be

Serving on a previous Senior Pastor Search Team is not a prerequisite nor a disqualification for serving on this team.

Q8: Why receive up to 5 potential names from each member to be considered for the Senior Pastor Search Team?

Admittedly, a maximum of 5 names is somewhat subjective. However, five names multiplied by the number of church members who could participate in this process will provide a greater opportunity to better reflect the church body. Up to five names being provided will also reduce the amount of duplication and make the process more efficient.

Asking church members for up to five (5) members for consideration on the Senior Pastor Search Team encourages prayerful reflection about the people they submit.

Q9: Does this process diminish the voice of the congregation?

In the proposed process to select members of the Senior Pastor Search Team, the congregation has the ultimate say in who serves on the Senior Pastor Search Team. The candidates submitted by the Transition Team come from the congregation and the final team is approved by the congregation.

As churches grow, it is natural and necessary for large, diverse congregations to turn over some of the more detailed functions of the church to smaller, trusted, representative teams. Just as Brainerd has a finance team to study and prepare the church’s budget and a nominating team to vet and recommend ministry leaders, the Transition Team will be responsible for the complex, detailed and time-consuming work of contacting, vetting and recommending search team candidates.

Q10: What if a member of the Senior Pastor Search Team becomes unable or unwilling to fulfill the duties required for the team?

The member will be replaced with an alternate search team member determined by the Transition Team, in collaboration with the remaining members of the Senior Pastor Search Team.

Q11: What is the rationale for including members of the Senior Pastor Search Team as non-voting members of the Pastoral Search Team?

According to Scripture, pastors are men who are called by God to provide the local church with spiritual nourishment and protection (Eph. 4:11-12), oversight (1 Tim. 5:17), scriptural preaching and teaching (1 Tim. 5:17), prayer ministry (James 5:14), care for church members (1 Pet. 5:1–2), examples for others to follow (1 Pet. 5:1–2), development of church policy (Acts 15:22ff.), and ordination of other leaders (1 Tim. 4:14).

  • Pastors are the best qualified group in a church to judge the soundness of a candidate’s doctrine and preaching, which is essential to his being a good pastor. They are the ones who are to teach sound doctrine and to ensure that no false teaching invades the church (Tit. 1:9), so their theological and expositional discernment is imperative for the process.

  • It is God’s will that congregations align themselves under the loving leadership of their pastors as ones who ultimately have to give an account for the state of their spiritual maturity (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:5; 1 Thess. 5:12–13).

  • The church is not a business and, therefore, the relationship between congregations and pastors is not an employer/employee relationship. Involving existing pastoral leadership in a significant way elevates the church’s activity above the secular to the spiritual.

  • It’s God’s will that congregations align themselves under the loving leadership of their pastors as ones who ultimately will have to give an account for the state of their spiritual maturity (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:5; 1 Thess. 5:12–13).

  • Since Brainerd has five members of its Pastoral Lead Team who meet the qualifications of biblical pastors (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9) and serve the congregation in the ways noted above, it is important to have their hands-on participation in the process of searching for a man to serve in the critical role of Senior Pastor.

  • Current pastors at Brainerd who shepherd the church day-to-day are in the best position to provide critical insight into what is necessary to lead the current staff and understand what it means to be a pastor who is transitioning his family to a new location and a new church. These contributions often are minimized in traditional search processes.

Q12: Is there a potential conflict of interest for Pastoral Lead Team members who serve in the Senior Pastor Search Team in a non-voting capacity?

Our Pastoral Lead Team are spiritual men who meet the biblical qualifications of pastors and have earned the confidence of the congregation.