Pastoral Search Update (Updated February 1, 2018)
Our new Lead Pastor is Ken Wytsma! We are so excited to welcome him and the Wytsma family as they join us soon! Pastor Ken’s official start at Village will be to join the pastors and directors at the Staff Spiritual Retreat, March 20-22. More information to come!
Pastoral Search Update (Updated January 22, 2018)
We have exciting news! As you know, for the past eighteen months the lead pastor search committee has been working to find a lead pastor candidate to bring before you. Covered by your prayers, and the faithful prayers of our prayer partners, and after thoroughly reviewing nearly 50 applications from across the country and internationally, we are pleased to present to you a man God guided to us and who we believe to be an excellent fit for Village.
We first approached Ken Wytsma last September and, although we quickly saw evidence of how God has shaped him to serve at Village, we continued discernment conversations with several highly qualified candidates until early December. Ken’s love of other cultures began in childhood while, due to his father’s military service, he lived in many parts of the United States and experienced life as the son of an immigrant. When he decided to follow Jesus in college, his heart was transformed and he became passionate about the necessity of faith and the mystery of a powerful God who can intervene in the messiness of life. He was eventually sent out by a Conservative Baptist fellowship to plant a church in Bend, Oregon. At this church, his love for nurturing what God was doing among his congregation led him and several of his members to start innovative projects over the years, like the Justice Conference. Since handing off those projects to others, Ken has felt compelled to focus on multicultural ministry in the local church and his passion for Biblical teaching.
Click below to learn more about Pastor Ken’s background
One of the main reasons we chose Ken to present to you is his ability to preach the Word in a challenging way, bringing fresh insights into his sermons. He has demonstrated an ability to collaborate with others to cast vision and to follow through with implementing the vision. He has also shown a strong dedication to shepherding and developing his staff and those around him.
You can learn more about Ken’s philosophy of ministry by reading his book, The Grand Paradox (available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble) and we encourage you to watch one or two of his sermons as well. We recommend:
Ken and his wife Tamara, along with their four daughters, Mary Joy (16), Esther (14), Sara (12) and Ashlin (9), visited Village the weekend of January 20th and 21st. To prepare for their visit, we sent more information via email (Click here to sign up) and had printed copies of that information available at the church over the weekend. In that email we also included information about various meetings that took place over the weekend to introduce Ken to Village. We plan to have a congregational vote during Village’s annual meeting services on the last weekend of January.
Thank you also for praying for us and for Village throughout this season of transition – your faithfulness has been invaluable to us. Would you continue to join us in prayer for Ken and his family as they visit us and follow God’s plans in their life? Pray also for the Lord’s guidance and blessings on Antioch Church in Bend as they likely approach a season of transition.
January 2018 Update (Posted January 10, 2018)
- The Lead Pastor Search Committee closed the job posting on Dec. 1, 2017 in order to focus our attention and energy on determining which of the high quality candidates already in the process was the best fit for Village. About 50 candidates had applied since the job was posted in late Oct. 2016. The committee decided to move forward with one of the candidates from three who had come for face to face interviews in the autumn.
- Staff, elders, and women advisors were involved in the next face to face interview with the leading candidate and his wife in mid-December. They provided feedback to the committee. The committee then asked further questions about a few key competencies during conversations with the candidate and additional references.
- On Jan. 4, 2018, the committee discussed recent insights and reviewed information gathered since the candidate applied in late summer. All nine committee members — despite diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and interests — were unanimous on the decision to recommend the candidate to the Elder Board.
- On January 9, 2018, the Elder Board approved their selection and initiated activities to move forward.
- During services the weekend of January 13-14, the name of the candidate will be announced and the steps leading up to a congregational vote will be outlined. Information meetings about the search process and the upcoming budget will be held 10 minutes after the services at 5:30 pm Saturday and 11 am Sunday. Please pray for clear communications during these gatherings. Information about the candidate will be provided by the leadership in the near future.
*A reminder of the process: Each applicant submits a resume, cover letter, and answers a short questionnaire. Qualified applicants then complete a phone interview. A candidate in the next stage submits a philosophy of ministry, affirms our doctrinal statement and reviews our bylaws. We then listen to sermon samples, hold a Skype interview, and check references. Next we conduct face-to-face interviews, including a site visit and a conversation with the spouse, and utilize personality assessment tools. Lastly, we’ll present the Elder Board with a top candidate to recommend for approval through a vote by church members.