Sr. Pastor Qualifications Criteria

Proposed by the Pastoral Transition Advisory Team
Context & Background
The “Pastoral Transition Advisory Team” (PTAT) was created by the Elders in January 2019 to advise them on how best to plan for and execute a smooth transition of Church leadership to a new Senior Pastor over the next 2 years, consistent with Pastor Craig’s planned retirement timeline. Acting purely in an advisory capacity, this team has been tasked with laying out a proposed path for the Elders to pursue and in advising on how best to execute on that path. One of the key deliverables of this team was to develop a list of criteria for the ideal Senior Pastor candidate to take over from Pastor Craig for Elder consideration and input. This involved engagement with the Elders to understand what they feel are the critical search criteria that best align with the areas of focused Church development going forward as well as taking into consideration other sources of input. Below is the criteria that the PTAT has developed to drive the assessment for candidates to take over the Senior Pastor role at North Suburban Church. The criteria allows for Pastor Tim to qualify to be considered but is not structured around his personnel gifts and skills but is written to grasp what is seen as the top criteria priorities in a future senior pastor for the Church going forward.
Education, Ordination & Work Experience
• Master of Divinity or equivalent degree from an accredited theological seminary or divinity school.
• Ordination or licensure by a recognized denomination or church organization.
• Must wholeheartedly affirm North Suburban’s Statement of Faith.
• In full agreement with North Sub’s core values and marks of a disciple
• Willing to affiliate with the EFCA and begin the denomination’s ordination process within a year
• Has a minimum of five years in full-time pastoral ministry or similar ministry experience with exceptional preaching skills and leadership abilities.
• Ministry experience in a large-city suburban setting preferred.
• Track record of operating as a “Team Player” with proven abilities to:
     -Recruit, motivate, organize and empower winning teams 
     -Develop and equip Staff as well as other leaders within the Congregation.
Spiritual Characteristics
• Meets the qualifications for Eldership as found in the following passages of Scripture: 1 Timothy 3: 1-7, Titus 1: 6-9 and 1 Peter 5:1-3.
• Primary focus on spiritual gifts of preaching and teaching with a secondary focus on gifts of evangelism and missional living.
• Theologically, he must place emphasis on the authority of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God and the final authority for faith and practice.
• Exhibits a high degree of authentic self-awareness of his own brokenness and leads as his transformed self in Christ’s likeness.
• He must exhibit a deep, authentic and contagious personal relationship with Jesus Christ evidenced by a life of faith and obedience to God’s Word.
• Engages in regular accountability and active soul care, creating the conditions for transformation by engaging spiritual disciplines that make himself available for the work only God can do.
Preaching Style
• Biblical, theological, and communication excellence for life-transforming impact within contemporary culture
• Able to approach controversial issues (e.g. abortion, divorce, homosexuality, race, wealth, etc.) with a sensitive balance between teaching Biblical truth and expressing grace
• Takes the truth of God’s Word and communicates it in the language of the marketplace, speaking to both the felt needs and spiritual needs of the people.
• Priorities for preaching abilities include: 
        -Ultimate respect for the authority and power of Scripture; sermons emerge from Biblical truths rather than from merely                    “applying” Scripture to the content 
        -Sermons that have the goal of life transformation versus being merely informational 
        -Emphasis on life application and infused with real life stories and examples 
 -By the leading of the Holy Spirit, able to guide worship and provide a sense of reverence and awe for God and prepare,           instruct, connect and engage the body of Christ in worship
Missional Leadership Criteria
• Recognizes that the church is a missional entity sent by a sending God. North Sub sends its members out among people in our community rather than attempting just to attract people from our community in among the people of the church.
• Demonstrates and encourages Christlikeness to those we are called to reach and serve, creating time and space to be involved with the lives of people outside the church that will lead to opportunities for tangible acts of love and sacrifice.
• Has the ability to motivate and equip others to evangelize
• Able to integrate an understanding of the distinct North Shore culture into outreach efforts
Leadership Skills & Abilities
• Strong interpersonal skills in his ability to engage and interact effectively with the various segments of the congregation as well as the community at large.
• Practices servant leadership and is humbly willing to receive input and feedback from others • Evidence of a shepherd leader, with experience as a mentor, coach and discipler, particularly in developing staff and leaders within the Congregation.
• Encourages discipleship and has the ability to integrate this into the church’s culture.
• Demonstrated ability to inspire lay leadership and volunteer involvement. Implements initiatives to equip the congregation.
• The ability to gain the trust and confidence of the congregation
• A leader who can face and resolve conflict and who can model and teach healthy, biblically based conflict resolution skills.
• Demonstrates the ability and desire to build consensus
• Committed to working with a plurality of elders and a team-based model of ministry