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Transition Team - Frequently Asked Questions

October 18, 2018

Are we going to have a new Pastor on March 3?
No.  Bob has announced his retirement date as February 28, 2019.  Calvary’s By-laws clearly describe the roles of the Nominating Committee and the Pulpit Committee in the process of finding a new pastor.  They state that the work of the Pulpit Committee begins only after there is a vacancy which will occur March 1, 2019.

How does the process for finding a new Pastor begin?
The church voted on September 16 to create a Transition Team to facilitate a transition plan for the church as the future Pulpit Committee searches for a new pastor.  It was important at that meeting that the committees both be very representative of the church body.

How long will it take to hire a new Pastor?
While we as a congregation are eager to have a new pastor, we certainly want to get it right and hire God’s choice as a pastor for our church. Mistakes are costly and we want to be good stewards, but we also want to allow appropriate time for spiritual discernment and prayer in seeking God’s will for Calvary.  Averages are 12-18 months for a successful new senior pastor search after a long standing pastor has been in place.

What has the church formally done so far?
Bob has officially given notice of retirement. (Read Bob’s retirement announcement letter here.) The Church voted, at the recommendation of the Deacon Board, to form a Transition Team  to begin planning for the departure of Dr. Baker.  The Transition Team, chosen as an ad hoc Committee selected by the Deacon Chair, Becky Miller, included the Personnel Committee plus a few others. They met once on February 8, 2018.  After formally being elected in September, they have added four more members and have met four times.

When will the Pulpit Committee begin its work?
Calvary’s By-laws state the Pulpit Committee does not begin its work until there is a vacancy. In our situation, it will be March 1, 2019.  This requirement is common for many churches to allow the Congregation to have a “cooling off period.”

Are the Pulpit Committee and Transition Team the same?
No.

So what is the role of the Transition Team?
The Transition Team will:

  • Provide a vital communication link between the congregation, staff, and the Pulpit Committee.

  • Prepare the way for a successful new Senior Pastor by maintaining all current ministries and activities.

  • Coordinate interim preaching assignments for every service each week.

  • Handle transition details so that the Pulpit Committee can focus solely on finding a new Pastor.

Does the Transition Team or possible Interim Pastor influence or affect the new Pastor selection?
No

I heard the Transition Team hired a Consultant?
That is false. The Transition Team has studied many possible options for ensuring a smooth and successful transition. We have sought advice from trusted professionals who have helped us to understand our options. The Transition Team will make a recommendation to the church once the best path forward has been identified. No one will be hired without the approval of the church.

Has the Transition Team made any decisions so far?
Yes. We have agreed to establish methods of communication with the congregation and will create a page on the Calvary Baptist Church website with links to updates from the Transition Team and future Pulpit Committee.  An email address will be available soon for church members to pose questions and give feedback to these committees. The team feels ready to move forward with some sort of church-wide survey to gain broad input and will consider research professional assistance as needed to achieve a smooth transition.

What are the next steps?
Celebrate Dr. Baker’s 27 years as we lead up to his retirement date. In the meantime:

  • The Transition Team meets weekly to prepare for a church-wide study and research interim preaching options.

  • Bob retires on February 28, 2019.

  • Transition Team will work to assist the Staff and the Personnel Committee to line up pulpit speakers.

  • Pulpit speakers will begin on Sunday, March 3, 2019.

  • Nominating Committee selects Pulpit Committee nominees.

  • Church-wide Study begins.

  • Pulpit Committee begins work.

How can Calvary members help?

  • Pray for the Transition Team, the Staff, Nominating Committee, Personnel Committee, Finance Committee, and Pulpit Committee once it is formed. 

  • Participate in any congregational self-study and pastor profile activities.

  • Commit to being present as much as you can at Worship Services, Sunday School, Bible studies, and other ministry events.

  • Please support Calvary Baptist Church with your resources; volunteer your time and support the work of Calvary through your faithful giving .