The final step of the pastoral search process is the congregational vote. A candidate must receive two-thirds’ support from members present to become the new Senior Pastor of the Moody Church. Given the importance of this congregational vote, it is vital to understand two things about the vote: (1) the congregation is not expected to separately vet the candidate before the vote, but instead (2) the congregation will affirm the people and process behind the search and provide a vote of confidence in the selected candidate.
Why isn’t the congregation expected to vet the candidate?
Logistically it’s impossible for the church membership to thoroughly vet the candidate, and not everyone can meet the candidate in advance. By the time the candidate has been presented to the congregation for a vote, the candidate will have been thoroughly vetted by the leadership of the church. First, the Pastoral Search Committee (PSC) will have listened to numerous sermons from the candidate, done background research on the candidate, read the candidate’s resume, read letters of recommendation submitted by the candidate, reviewed an in-depth questionnaire submitted by the candidate, visited the candidate’s church, and spent time with the candidate and his family. The Elders Council will then review the same material and also spend time with the candidate and his family before recommending the candidate to the Leadership Council. The Leadership Council will hold a special meeting to discuss the candidate before recommending him to the congregation for a vote.
How is it that the congregation will affirm the people and process?
As noted above, the elected leadership of the church will have thoroughly vetted the candidate before presenting him for a congregational vote. The congregational vote at the end of the process provides a mechanism to hold church leadership accountable throughout the search process, ensuring that the leaders act as good stewards of the responsibilities entrusted to them. Therefore, the congregational vote is an affirmation that the leaders of the church have faithfully carried out the search process. Each member should ask: Is there any reason, based on what I know about the vetting process, the church leadership, and the candidate, why I couldn’t vote to affirm the nomination?
Of course, for the congregation to be able to participate in such a vote, each member must have access to clear information about the process. The PSC is focused on providing as much communication as possible to that end. We believe the process is a good one and trust that it will ultimately produce the man God intended for the role. And although the PSC does not yet know when the congregational vote will be held, the congregation can be praying even now for a process that glorifies God and finds the right candidate for Moody Church. In the end our hope is that there will be far higher support from the membership than the constitutionally required two-thirds.
If you have any questions or concerns about the process, please let us know by reaching out to a member of the Elders Council, a member of church leadership, or by posting a comment below. For additional details about the search process please check the following link: https://www.moodychurch.org/pastoral-search-process/.
And as always, please keep the PSC, the church leadership, and the search process in your prayers.