5/5/19

No updates with the process this week. The Elders have a board meeting on Tuesday, May 7th and will be spending time in prayer on the search process.

Search update letter that was mailed 4/24/19

In order to give you an update as to where we are in the process of finding our next Lead Pastor, it almost seems that starting from the beginning and going over where we’ve come from makes the most sense. A lot has been going on and at a pretty quick pace. With each group of candidates there have been several meetings, tons of emails, hours of sermon watching/evaluating, and a lot of discussions. 

On July 19th of last year, Vanderbloemen (our search consultant) presented the first set of candidates. One of the candidates stated that he really didn’t have any desire for administration and that, if he was the next Lead Pastor, we would need to have someone volunteer or hire a staff member to take care of the administration duties. This is what he did at his current church. The Elders at that time thought that this would not be in our best interest, so he wasn’t pursued as a candidate. Of the other candidates, the Elders and Search Team thought that one candidate stood out and we proceeded with this candidate for several weeks only to find out that doctrinally he did not align with Midway, and constitutionally he could not be our pastor. By this point we had two candidates left.  As we processed the best direction to go, we thought God was leading us in the direction of Chuck as our next lead pastor.  Further confirmation of this choice was that the 4th candidate we had withdrew from the process.  After several weeks of getting to know Chuck, the Elders invited Chuck to come meet our congregation and to preach on a Sunday. As plans were being worked, Chuck informed us of the family issues he was dealing with and it appeared that he was going to have to either move out west immediately or within the next couple of years for certain. This being said, he removed himself as a candidate on October 31st, 2018.

Having no more candidates to work with, we went back to Vanderbloeman to ask for more and on January 17th of this year, Vanderbloemen presented three more candidates. One of the candidates did not line up with us doctrinally, which came out in the interviewing process. One candidate asked to be removed because he felt God was leading him in a different direction. As for the third candidate the Elders felt he wasn’t ready to be a lead pastor at this time. This process took us to the end of February.  Since then we have clarified the job description, and per the suggestion of Vanderbloemen, we have temporarily taken down our job posting so that it can refresh and get new views by new potential candidates.

Through the course of the process, we have had a bit of turnover of Elders and Search Team members.  This has helped us to assess ways that we can improve in effectiveness and efficiency in our responsibilities.  We are very appreciative of all of the hard work of past and current members who have served in this process.

This brings us to where we are now. I have reached out to Vanderbloemen and they are currently in the process of going through new resumes. If the timeframe aligns with the last two rounds of candidate presentations, we are still a handful of weeks away from Vanderbloemen having new potential candidates for us to look at. During this time of waiting, Pastor Ron will be filling in as the Interim Pastor.  The Elders and Pastor Ron have laid out a plan for what the next few months will look like.  Pastor Ron said he’d like to communicate some of these plans with you, and you should see that in your church mailbox soon.

Please continue to pray through this process: the Search Team and the Elders need your prayers for God’s wisdom and guidance.  Also continue to pray for all of us as a congregation that we wouldn’t become discouraged or anxious waiting for God to reveal who He wants to lead this part of His kingdom.  Prayers for the man and his family that God has prepared for us would be good too.

I want to take time here to publicly recognize the hard work and commitment of the individuals on the Search Team, as well as the other Elders.  After we receive candidates, the process moves along quickly with meetings and time spent watching videos of them preaching and interviewing the candidates.  This requires much of these dedicated members and often pulls them away from their families.

I’m encouraged by the comments that I have received from some of you about how we all want what God wants for our church family and we are willing to wait for His perfect timing.  This is the best perspective we can have through this process.

I understand and sympathize with you all in recognizing the challenge of the process.  I would like to invite you to reach out to me or any of the other Elders with any thoughts or questions you have.  We desire clear communication and proper focus as we continue through the process so please reach out, we’d be happy to talk.

Search update email sen t out 4/20/19

As and Elder board, we consider it an honor to serve Midway in general leadership and also in facilitating the pastoral search process. It is our hearts desire to honor God through leading well. To maintain the trust that you have place in us, one of the areas in which we want to improve is communication. Thus, we are sending this brief email with an update as to where we are right now in the search process, as well as this week you will receive from us in the mail a detailed history of the process to date. Our hope in this is to alleviate any concerns or fears, to answer any potentially un-asked questions, and to demonstrate a commitment to improving our communications as we continue the search for our new Lead Pastor.   

Recognizing it has been a handful of weeks since we’ve had an update to provide to you regarding the search process, we want to let you know where we stand as of now. At the end of February, we let Vanderbloemen know that we were not moving forward with any of the 3 candidates they connected us with from the last group. One of those candidates removed himself, another didn’t match up with our vision or doctrine, and we didn’t feel the third was quite ready for the position that we are looking to fill. Our contact with Vanderbloemen assured us they would relaunch their efforts to review resumes matching our description and desires. This stage of what Vanderbloemen is doing usually takes 6-8 weeks before they are prepared to present new candidates, so we are patiently waiting for them, and God to work. With us being a handful of weeks out before we will be presented with candidates, and then the process of examining the candidates taking a handful more weeks, we are more than likely looking at sometime in June before we might be able to introduce a potential pastor to Midway. As we wait, and during the time of examining, Pastor Ron has accepted our request for him to bridge the gap as our Interim Pastor.   

We (Elders and Search Team) so much value your patience and prayers as we are now months beyond what we hoped to have been closure to this process. Our trust in God to direct in this process, our desire to see the right man at Midway, and our desire to see God’s best for Midway in the process, enables us to keep trusting, waiting, and working. Thank you for remembering us, the process, and the man and his family in your prayers. Keep your eyes open for a more detailed update in the mail.  

Search update 2/20/2019

On Monday, February 18th and Tuesday the 19th, the elders had web interviews with each of the candidates. Our first round we asked the majority of questions and due to stacking the interviews, we were not able to give the candidates a lot of time to ask us questions. We spent about 90 minutes with each candidates with an informal web interview. We gave the candidates notice that they would have the majority of the time to ask questions and learn about, Midway and the community. The time with each was encouraging and very valuable in the process. We believe that both the candidates and the elders walked away with a better understanding of each other and the expectations of the position. On 2/20, Wednesday afternoon, one of the candidates spoke with Howard Fish, leader of the search process, he said after meeting with us for 2 interviews and sleeping on his decision, he felt that God was pulling him another direction. He asked to be removed as a candidate. We have boldly asked God to open and close doors in this process. We are encouraged to see Him move and reveal to this candidate that Midway was not where he was called. The rest of the week the elders will be evaluating the remaining two candidates and spend the week in prayer, seeking God’s plan for the 2 men and their families. We ask that you please join us in prayer! We hope to gather together on Tuesday, February 26th to make a decision on the next steps of the process.

Search update 2/14/2019

On Monday, February 11th the search team meet to review their findings from the 4th. The Elders met on the 12th to review the recommendations and decide the next steps. The Elders would like to do another web meeting with each of the candidates before making a decision on who to invite to the church first. We have reached out to each candidate to meet again by web conferencing the week of the 18th.

This letter was mailed this week to all church members:

Hello Church Family,

About a year ago we launched the search process for a new lead pastor. Most of us, myself included, thought that we would have a new pastor by now, however God in His wisdom and timing hasn’t showed us exactly who that person is yet. As I look back at the process, Philippians 4:19 seems to be a fitting verse: “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus”. God knew we were going to need a new lead pastor and we can trust that He is in the process of preparing the man and his family for the transition even as I write this letter.

The purpose for this letter is to give you an update as to where we are in the process. A few weeks ago, Tim Stevens from Vanderbloemen gave us three candidates to consider. The search team has been diligently reviewing the resumes, watching sermons, and meeting to discuss our thoughts about each of these individuals. We have also had the opportunity to conduct online interviews with each candidate. After the interviews, we dedicated time to pray thoroughly about each candidate, evaluating the pros and cons of each man, and we turned our findings and recommendations over to the Elders.  The Elders also met and have reviewed the work of the search team.  After more prayer and discussion, the Elders are establishing another round of interviews to learn more of the candidates and to evaluate which of the strengths of these men most closely match what we are expecting to be in Midway’s best interest.  We will provide further updates about those future interviews after we have had them.

As we have updates for you we’ll do so as quickly as possible. We’d like to remind you that the church website (midwayministries.org/pastorsearch) is a great place to check in weekly for updates on the process,  We will also use the Midway’s email directory to send out non actionable types of communication.  These would be updates along the way for you to stay in the loop but do not require you to do anything.  For any items that require action on your part, such as when a candidate will be here preaching with further opportunities for you to get to know him, we will send communications through postal mail.   So non-actionable updates: church website, or email; actionable information to also be sent by USPS.

This brings me to the point where I remind you that we as a search team and Elders need your prayers.  There are many aspects regarding this process that we ask your prayers for:

·       We ask that you pray God would protect our hearts and minds as we continue in the process and that we as a congregation would continue to patiently wait on God’s timing for the next lead pastor.

·       Pray that God would continue to work in the heart of our next lead pastor and that He would give peace to his family as they are getting ready for this transition also.

·       Pray that once we receive our new pastor that we as a congregation will embrace the man that God has given us for a shepherd, and that God will protect the unity of our body.

We appreciate your partnership with us through prayer, and look forward to when we can present a recommendation to you for your approval.

For Christ’s Kingdom

Howard   

Search update 2/7/2019

On Monday, February 4th, the search committee and elders had web interviews with the 3 candidates that were presented on January 17th. The search committee is currently working on evaluations from the interviews. We are collecting a list of questions for the Elders to ask additional questions. The team will be meeting Monday, February 11th to prepare the recommendations for the Elders. On Tuesday, February 12th the Elders will meet to review the recommendations from the search committee and decided which candidate they would like to invite out first.

Please remember to commit time in your Small Group and ABF time to pray for this process. Please include the candidates and their families, that as much as we want God to make His plans clear to Midway, to make those same plans know to them.

Search update 1/20/2019

The search committee met on January 17th. Over web conference, Vanderbloemen presented 3 candidates to Midway. The Committee and Elders are in process of reviewing each candidate and completing an evaluation. The committee will meet again on January 24th to discuss candidates and review resumes with Vanderbloemen.

The committee wants to remind everyone to please use your small groups and ABF time to pray for this process and for God to make His plans clear for Midway.

Search update 12/2018

Personal/family issues took a search that many of us had felt was nearing completion, and reminded us that sometimes when we think we have reached a successful finish, God has his own plans and finish lines. Currently Vanderbloemen is vetting new applicants using more defined criteria and lessons learned from the original search plan. There is a tentative date set in early January to review the top candidates with our representative from Vanderbloemen, the Search Team and the Elders.

The Search Team and Elders plan to complete a thorough review process once these top candidates are presented. They will prayerfully determine the top three to move deeper into the process with and will complete a thorough interview process with each top candidate. It is expected to take approximately 3-4 weeks’ time to finish this process. The overall best time frame we can put on this would be sometime mid-to-end of February before the Elders and Search Team would be able to settle on a top candidate to move forward with in the process. This is our timeline and not necessarily God’s, so stay tuned for updates!

Please continue to be in prayer that God will quickly and clearly direct us to His choice to lead Midway, while giving strength and wisdom to the leaders who will be taking on more responsibility in the coming months.

Search update 9/10/18

The Pastor Search Team had a good experience, and a learning one, in getting to know the first candidate better. In answer to our prayers for the Lord's leading, He showed us that this good man of God was not His choice for our church. The team will be getting to meet a second candidate in the near future. Please pray for the team and this candidate as they seek the Lord's best for both our church and him and his family.

 

Search update 8/6/18

It has been a busy last couple of weeks for the Pastor Search Committee.  We met with Vanderbloemen on July 19th and were presented with a short list of candidates.  All were very qualified on paper, at this time we also were able to review a short video each candidate had made and were directed to sermons they had taught.   After many long hours of watching sermons, and reviewing resumes the search team decided to narrow in on a few of the candidates.  Since this time, we have interviewed each in a face to face setting or over video conferencing.     Many long hours in interviews, research, and prayer have been put in by the team.  We believe we are beginning to move into the ending phases of the search which will include a personal visit to the area and some more in-depth interviews.  The team set a goal  to approve a candidate for presentation to the congregation over the next 6 weeks.   Please continue to be in prayer for the team to seek God’s will, God has given us some very good and worthy men through this process. This has given the team much optimism, but at the same time, made our decisions very difficult.    

Search update 6/14/18

The Pastor Search Team has added a few new members, to replace Nate Mouw and Becky Tenter. Dave Defields will step in for Nate Mouw. Becky Tenter's spot will be filled by Erica Kirshman and Ashley Tenter. Please continue praying for the search team as we transition and begin to enter a phase in the search process where candidates will start to be narrowed down and presented.  

We met with Tim Stevens (Vanderbloemen) on Sunday 6-10.  They currently have 69 candidates they are starting to narrow down to the top 15.   After getting to the top 15, they will continue a deeper dive into these candidates until they have identified the top 3-6.   Around July 19th,  Vanderbloemen has committed being on-site at midway to present their top 3-6 candidate to the Elders and the Pastor Search Team.   Also during this conversation, we were presented with a sample resume of one of the candidates that Vanderbloemen would consider in the upper echelon based on criteria already established with Midway.   This was a correlation exercise to determine how closely we are both aligned to Midway’s needs.   The sample resume was approved by the search team as a good example to move forward with.  So, the good news is, Vanderbloemen has a good understanding of what it is our church is looking for.  


Informal Prayer Gathering Sundays at 5pm

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The Pastor Search Committee is offering to open the church for an informal prayer time for those interested in getting together to pray for the future of our congregation as we select a new Pastor. The doors will be open Sunday evenings beginning May 6 from 5:00 - 6:00.

The most powerful tool we have is prayer and everyone that is interested is invited to come and join in prayer for the many aspects of this process. We will try to have adult supervision available for parents with little children that may want to attend. Please plan on coming as many Sunday evenings as possible as we pray for our church.

And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him. 1 John 5:14-15