Important Lead Pastor Search Committee Update, 1/6/23

Evelyn Simmons   -  

We are pleased to announce that we have placed a call for a Lead Pastor and it has been accepted! Our journey has had some interesting and unexpected turns in the way the Holy Spirit has led us, but we are excited for this new chapter in Arvada Covenant Church’s (ACC) history.

Along this journey it became clear to us that the Holy Spirit was leading us to call two candidates, therefore, we are presenting two pastors for a Co-Lead Pastor Model at ACC. We are well aware that this is not what our congregation was expecting (and neither were we!) but we are convinced that this model of leadership, as well as these two pastors, will serve ACC well as we look to the future. We know that you must have lots of questions at this point, and we will start by answering two major questions:

What is a Co-Lead Pastor Model?

The Co-Lead Pastor model literally means that both pastors have the same authority to make decisions on vision, leadership, etc. They both lead the church; however, they do not necessarily do all the same things. This model allows each one to use their individual gifts more fully. As the committee has moved through this process, we have been researching many aspects of the wider Church and how it is changing. Post COVID, many people are looking for leaders who can build relationships and community rather than only preach a great sermon. We have seen the increased expectations placed on pastors and realized that no one, besides Jesus, can possess all gifts. Many lead pastors have fallen under the weight of responsibility or because of their lack of accountability. In wanting to care for our leaders well, we realized that having a Co-Lead Pastor Model allows each individual to lean into the gifts God has given them, as well as allows them to shoulder the burden of leadership with another person. In the end, we believe that this will be a healthier model for our leaders and at the same time provide significant benefits to our congregants.

What is the Biblical basis for this type of pastoral leadership?

While the Bible does not explicitly tell us how many leaders should be leading a church, we do see examples of leaders in the Bible who were paired together. In Mark 6:7 we see Jesus sending out the disciples in pairs, “…he began to send them out, two by two…” Throughout the book of Acts, we see the Apostle Paul paired and sent out at different times to proclaim the gospel with Barnabas and Timothy. Furthermore, in Acts, Peter was the main spokesperson for the Church while Paul was a missionary to the Gentiles. They worked together and used their gifts for a common goal, which was to advance the early Church. Sharing leadership in ministry is something that Jesus recognized as beneficial and it is something that the early Church emulated. Therefore, we believe it is something that the modern Church can emulate as well.

In next week’s email, we will reveal the two candidates that we have called to be Co-Lead Pastors. We cannot reveal their names as one pastor’s current congregation does not know yet. We want to make sure that the information to both churches is presented in a timely manner. Also, we will share both of their biographies next week in order for you to begin to know these leaders. So, we ask for your patience for one more week!

In addition, next week’s email will include a video of the Lead Pastor Search Committee sharing our journey about this decision, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). The candidate weekend will be February 16 to 19, 2023, with the vote for the candidates on Sunday, February 19. Details on the times to meet the candidates will be given at a later date. (Please note that all are welcome to attend any of the meetings but only active ACC Members will be eligible to vote on the Co-Lead Pastors.) We will also announce the dates for some Town Hall Meetings to learn more about the Co-Lead Pastor Model and to have a chance for people to ask questions.

We want to close by thanking everyone who has been praying for us and this process, especially the Lead Pastor Search Committee Prayer Team. We have felt the prayers and we are grateful for the Holy Spirit’s leading us through the past eight months!

Until next week,

The Lead Pastor Search Committee

Kinsey Ringenberg (chair), Jerry Reier (vice chair), Barb Rodriguez (secretary), Dan Fisher, Ellen Johnson, Peter Lee, Evelyn Simmons, Craig Vader Laan and Gordon Wu.