Key Characteristics for Successful Pastor

During the 2023 Calling Conversations and subsequent table discussions, congregational members had the opportunity to express their priorities for the essential characteristics needed in our new settled pastor. These characteristics have been shared with the FCC Church Board and with members of the Search Team for inclusion in the Local Church Profile.

Participants identified alignment with our congregation’s progressive practices of Christianity as a vital component in considering who to call as our new pastor. A pastor who understands our identity as Open and Affirming and our commitment to living Christ’s teachings of service and caring for our neighbors and the world is foundational.

Two characteristics stood out above all of the rest as critical for our new Lead Pastor: delivery of Great Sermons and personification of being and living as Spiritually Grounded.

Great Sermons: The highest priority across every Calling Conversation and subsequent table discussions was the need for a settled Pastor who will consistently deliver an inspiring sermon that is intellectually and spiritually challenging. Sermons based on shared theological values are critical to this congregation. The ability to translate scripture to our modern lives in ways that will sustain us throughout the week is our top priority.

Spiritually Grounded: Our members desire a pastor who will work hard for us, and who is both grounded to the Spirit within them, and aware of the world around them. We seek a pastor who is anchored to the core beliefs, values, and purposes of progressive Christianity and whose decisions, leadership, and actions are aligned with those anchors.

There were four other consistently highly valued characteristics to seek in a new Lead Pastor.

Visionary: A pastor who can envision our future and help lead us to be the best congregation that we can be. That vision must be a shared vision developed with the congregation, and with shared leadership moving in the direction of our mission.

Children and Family Ministries: A pastor who is committed to and has proven success in building strong Children and Family ministries.

Community Presence: A pastor who desires interfaith collaboration and community presence and partnership, particularly in Social Justice and Witness issues, and will represent progressive Christianity and FCC to our community and to other faith leaders in Eugene.

Strong Lay Leadership: A pastor who will work hard for us and will also help train and mentor strong Lay Leadership. We seek a pastor who has the confidence and desire to work in a congregation where lay leaders are strong and highly involved and to make key decisions with the congregation.

Other characteristics mentioned as important were strong leadership and problem solving skills; ability to manage and inspire staff; authenticity with strong interpersonal skills; good listening skills; successful experience with administration of a church, particularly in financial administration

Our team will continue to work to support the transition of our congregation over the next several months as we prepare ourselves to welcome a new Lead Pastor.