A SURPRISING DEVELOPMENT
About three hours before our most recent Pastor Search Team meeting we received an application for our Second Pastor position. We had received many applications up to that point, but it was this late arrival that captured our interest.
When our team met, we thought we were going to discuss suspending the search process temporarily. The Governing Elders told us they wanted to conduct a study of our church’s staffing alignment, which would require the delay. However, the GE also told us to remain open and receptive to candidates in case God had any surprises in store.
The Search Team felt that our latest applicant just might be that surprise. We sensed from his resume that he would be a good fit for our position. After interviewing him and checking out his references, we felt even more strongly that this was the case. We recommended to our Governing Elders that we invite him to candidate for a call to Bethel, and they agreed.
The applicant’s name is Cris Harper. He graduated from Beeson Divinity School last spring, and completed the EPMC program through Calvin Seminary (which is necessary to qualify for ministry in the Christian Reformed Church). After a year in a chaplaincy program, Cris made himself available for a call—just shortly before our Search Committee met in September.
Cris is married to Christy, who also has an M.Div. degree. They have two children, Ruth (two years old) and Gabe (eight months old). Cris loves pastoral care work, has led small group programs, and could be comfortable leading a team aimed at improving our social media presence should he come to Bethel. He enjoys and is eager to develop in the area of preaching.
We look forward to hosting Cris and Christy December 6-9. Cris will preach on Sunday, December 8, and meet with various groups over that weekend. The Sunday following their visit we will vote on whether to call Cris. Assuming we vote “yes,” it will be up to Cris to decide whether to answer us with his own “yes”.
Look for information in the weeks to come. –Pastor Tom
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