In the summer of 2016, Park Church’s long-time Lead Pastor Christian Andrews followed God’s call and moved on from Park Church. In the absence of a new lead pastor, there are three key steps we are taking – which this page will contain ongoing updates for:
1. Working with a church-consulting organization, called Vital Church Ministry. Their primary work with us will be to come alongside us in order to help us become a healthier, focused, and faithful church that is better positioned moving forward to fulfill the vision God has given us. They will get to know us by conducting a survey of our community, and then phone and in-person interviews with community members in the first week of January. We have asked VCM to review our constitution and organizational structure, as well as our strategic vision and plan. Their work will also help us focus our Lead Pastor search. VCM will deliver a report with detailed recommendations focused on changes that our community can make in order to enable us to better fulfill our vision and then will work with us to best make those changes.
2. Welcoming onboard an Intentional Interim Pastor named Tom Wilkens. He has a lot of experience in helping churches move through periods of transition. See his bio here. Our plan is for Tom to begin his official role as the Transitional Pastor in the beginning of February. As part of the VCM team, his primary role will be to help implement the plan that VCM develops. He will do this by working with and further developing our leaders, preaching and teaching, and supporting the ongoing process of conflict resolution. To be clear, Tom is not eligible to serve as Park Church’s Lead Pastor after this period of transition – this is written into the VCM contract. Tom’s role is completely transitional in its nature and will end shortly after we identify and hire Park Church’s next Lead Pastor.
3. Searching for a new Lead Pastor. While VCM and Tom work with us, we will be searching for a new, long-term Lead Pastor. Our lead pastor search committee was recently formed and has begun this important work. We are excited to have Matt Lang serving as the committee’s chairperson and we are equally excited to have Andy Bova, Eric Bowers, Adam Kiernan, Nicole McGrouther, Alex Murashko, Mary Paolantonio and Juan Rivera serving as committee members. Based on other churches’ experiences searching for lead pastors, we expect the search process to take time: typically around 6-9 months. We fully trust that God will provide our church with the leadership we need and we remain open to the possibility that His timetable may be shorter or longer than we expect.