Moving into the new year, and continuing our focus on Connections, the family of St. John’s continues to see countless blessings from our Lord. Pastor Dave Kellerman’s retirement brings new opportunities to see how see God reveals His plans for us as we move through the process of calling a Connections Pastor. The Lord already knows the shepherd he has chosen for us, and we continue to work diligently and pray constantly as the process unfolds. Staff and Lay Leaders in the family of St. John’s have been praying, gathering, processing, and evaluating to discern God’s will of a Connections Pastor to shepherd us, and it has been a lot of work.
The Interview Team, consisting of: Danielle Gunville, Pastor Dave Kellerman, Anna Loeber, Alan Lull, Chairman Dawn Oldenettel, Brian Pesch, Georgia Robedeau, Dan Rudolf, Sarah Schultz, and Mike Senkbeil, first met back in November, as the process started with lots of prayer and preparation. A call went out to congregation members for candidates that the we felt would help us further our mission and vision, and the response was amazing. A list of 28 names was submitted to the South Wisconsin District President and just last month we received a large file of information with names from all over the country.
Each Interview Team member poured over the candidate packets, over 20 pages for each pastor, and used an evaluation tool to screen and eliminate candidates whose gifts do not match those outlined in the Connection Pastor position description. In addition, members of the team spent a great deal of time reviewing the web presence of each candidate, including listening to sermons and podcasts as well as analyzing church calendars and missional philosophies. All of these processes have been bathed in prayer from within the team, staff, and family of St. John’s.
Team Chairman, Dawn Oldenettel reflected on the power of the Holy Spirit working throughout this process. “I experienced a clear testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit working through the process as I assembled the results. How often do 11 people working independently come up with such amazingly similar ratings?”
The hard work, prayer, and diligence continues as team members make plans to video conference the candidates that God provides and bring the top candidates to West Bend, along with their spouses, for face to face interviews with the interview team, pastoral team, management, leadership, as well as with the Leadership Board.
Anna Loeber reflected on how amazing the process has been for her. “I’ve had a wonderful experience being on the Interview Team for our newest pastor. It’s been very inspiring to see multi-generational congregational members working together, wrestling through hard conversations and working towards God’s will for St. John’s future leadership. It’s pleasantly revealing to see a new dimension of how members work together, each one bringing their varied experiences to play in this process!”
Sarah Schultz echoed the same sentiments as she reflected on the honor it is to serve. “It is encouraging to see the unity and vision of the team in terms of selecting a pastor that meets the needs of our congregation. The enthusiasm and dedication of the team is unmistakable.”
God has amazing plans for us and it is exciting to see Him use so many different people to Connect, Care, and Share in Christ.