The President's Post

March 2017

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How Pastors Are Hired in Gulf States

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has had various ways of hiring pastors through the years. Each conference finds what works best for them. Throughout our own conference there has been some confusion on the process of hiring and who actually makes the decision. In this President’s post I hope to clear this up for us.

When I began in ministry, there was no input sought from the local church. In fact, there was no input sought from the relocating pastor. It was an assignment you received either by telephone or by discovering your name and a new district was listed on a board at camp meeting. Can you imagine how disruptive this method was to families and churches? In the Gulf Sates Conference, we place pastors with the help of our ADCOM team which consists of: Martin Fancher, Brian Danese, and Stan Hobbs. Often, I will bring in Ministerial Director Peter Trzinski, for additional direction and advice.

We currently use two hiring methods. Let me go through them one at a time. ADCOM interviews the prospective pastor through video conference, then we invite him to speak at the church on a Sabbath. After the church service, we hold a potluck and meet and greet. This is where it gets a little tricky. At this point the conference has not extended an official call to the individual; we are looking for a connection between the conference, the pastor, and the congregation. More than anything, the conference wants a good fit because, if we fail here we all pay a heavy price in correcting the situation. After the meet and greet, the conference officer leads out in a private discussion with the members of the church on everything they have heard. Then the local church takes a vote on the direction they would like the conference to go. I want to emphasize here that this vote is not an action by the local church to hire the pastor. What we are attempting to determine is did the church like his visit/interview, do they need more time to pray on the matter, or should we keep looking. If hired, the pastor becomes a Gulf States Conference employee. Again, I want to reiterate how important it is to find a good fit between the pastor and the local church. The information we receive from the local church is invaluable. If the direction is positive then the information gained is part of the decision to hire the pastor or not. We combine that information with a Profile Assessment Test, referencing, and an interview. Occasionally, we travel to where the pastor is stationed to observe him in his own environment. Placing pastors is one of the most important things we do as a conference.

The second way we place pastors is from within the conference itself. We know our pastors very well, and as an ADCOM team we discuss various pastoral opportunities for them within the Gulf States Conference. If we determine that a move is needed, we try to place a pastor within our conference. There are times when we let the church know we have someone we believe would be a great fit for them. After a visioning meeting with the church and explaining the situation, we invite the pastor to make that transition.

I hope this explanation helps in understanding the process of how we hire. Keep in mind that our system is not congregationalism, where the local church hires and fires when they feel like it. Our system, though imperfect, it is one of the best there is in our world church. Do we ever make mistakes? Yes, yes we do, however through training or mentoring, we try to correct the weaknesses the pastor or congregation may have. If that fails, we then begin the process of making a change.

Until next month,

Dave

  1. March 24-26 – Bass Academy Alumni Weekend
  2. April 7,8 – Camp Alamisco Convocation with Pastor Mike Tucker – Faith for Today
  3. Congratulations to the Fort Walton Beach Hispanic & Olive Branch Hispanic Churches – each congregation recently purchased a new building for worship. Both congregations are currently in the process of renovation – pray for each church as they continue to grow!
  4. Phenix City Church is completing a 175,000.00 addition and renovation on their church facility – they outgrew their sanctuary and needed more space

Pr. Jay Rosario's Ordination

Panama City, FL. March 4, 2017
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Upcoming Events

Camp Alamisco Convocation

Saturday, April 8th, 9:45am-5:30pm

Camp Alamisco Road

Dadeville, AL

Deadline for Camp Alamisco lodging applications is April 4

SABBATH LUNCH WLL BE PROVIDED

Friday 7:00 -8:30 pm

Sabbath 9:45 am -5:30 pm


Please send your applications to: GSC Camp Meeting

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PO Box 240249

Montgomery, AL.

Email: rvazquez@gscsda.org

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