At the end of 2016, the Common Ground West leadership discerned that it was time to look for a long-term lead pastor. Jeff Krajewski served our congregation as the lead pastor on an interim basis, and together with our leadership discerned that 2017 was the time to look for a long-term pastor. Our leaders were edified and encouraged at that time, when the Spirit highlighted the story of Moses handing off his leadership before the Israelites entered the Promised Land.
The first step the elders took last winter was approaching Nick Morrow (our worship pastor) with the possibility of stepping into the lead pastor role. After much prayer and consideration, he and his wife Melissa discerned he was called to be the worship pastor and therefore declined the lead pastor role.
The elders then gathered a Pastor Search Committee, formalized a pastor search process, and started pursuing people within our network of relationships. The first thing the committee did was gather to pray and listen for the voice of God. He highlighted the passage in Samuel when David is anointed as king. The Spirit called our attention to the process Samuel had to go through in order to find David, who was the unlikeliest candidate that was already tending the sheep. The word “process” was highlighted throughout the search and especially that we were to pay attention to what the Lord was going to do through this process.
The elders and search committee talked with many wonderful candidates, and in each case it seemed the Spirit was closing the door. During that time, Nick agreed to function as an interim lead pastor for us. The Lord used that time to speak to the leaders and to Nick. Nick approached the elders in August rather bravely, and told us he felt the Spirit prompting him to "Ask are you open to the conversation (of being the lead pastor)?” The Pastor Search Committee and the elders interviewed Nick and Melissa and have spent time praying, listening, and discerning alongside them.
We have also spent time discerning what the role would specifically look like for Nick, who has a love for leading worship, a growing call to lead and preach, and shares the passion to help everyone step into their unique giftings. Nick would be the consistent voice as a teacher and worship leader, but continue to train and equip others to lead and teach. Together with the elders, Nick would also help discern the Lord's will for our congregation and cast that vision as a team.
We feel confident that the pastor search committee and the elders have done our due diligence in this process, especially in trying to hear the voice of God throughout it all. We would now like to invite the congregation in fasting, praying, and discerning with us regarding Nick Morrow as our lead pastor and an elder. It is our tradition that anytime we bring an elder candidate for consideration, we create space for congregational discernment regarding that person. It’s important to us that you pray and discern with us. Over the next month we invite you to ask the Lord for wisdom and clarity regarding Nick stepping into this role of elder and lead pastor. As you pray, please share with us any concerns that come to mind, as well as affirmations concerning Nick stepping into this role.
As always, we are available to discuss anything that is on your mind. The elders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.