When a congregation calls a pastor or lay rostered leader (diaconal minister, associate in ministry, deaconess), many people have responsibilities. The Office of the Bishop of the Central States Synod is ready to assist the congregation, the council and the call committee, as well as candidates for call, in this process of discerning the Holy Spirit’s work to call a servant leader to ministry.
Download complete Calling a Rostered Leader Handbook [rev. 020513]
Step One: Closure — The Congregation Council
When Your Rostered Leader Resigns
When a rostered leader submits a letter of resignation to the congregation/parish council, the council has a new set of responsibilities. As soon as possible, the council notifies both the congregation and the Office of the Bishop about the resignation, including the date the resignation is effective. In the case of a pastor’s resignation, the bishop’s representative will work with the council to provide transitional ministry, which may include the service of an interim pastor. After the interim period has begun, the bishop’s representative will work with the council with regard to the formation of a call committee.
- Certification of Church Records
- Certification of Financial Obligations
- Exit Interview Questions
- Pastoral Ethics for a Pastor Resigning
- Pastoral Ethics for a Pastor Retiring
- Covenant for Departing Pastors
- Covenant Letter to Congregation
- Rationale for Interim Pastor NOT Becoming Candidate for Call
- Position Descriptions
- Suggestions for Selecting a Call Committee
Step Two: Selction — The Call Committee
Reviews This Call Process Handbook
Call committee members should be familiar with the steps of the call process as described in this handbook. Before beginning any of the steps, the committee and council will have an orientation session with the Call Process Minister.
- Devotions for Call Committees
- Visual Aid: Our Progress
- Ministry Site Profile
- Seven Optional Questions
- Sample Survey for Congregation
- Who We Are This Sunday
- Suggested Interview Questions
- Expense Voucher
- Referral Form
- Sample Cover Letter for Referral Form
- Follow-Up Letter
Step Three: Election — The Council and Congregation
Acts on the Recommendation of the Call Committee
When the call committee has recommended a candidate, the council votes on recommending the candidate to the congregation. If the decision is positive, the council identifies a tentative date for the candidate (and family, if applicable) to meet the congregation and sets a date for a special congregational meeting in accordance with constitutional provisions.
The president calls the bishop’s representative to report the date of the congregational meeting. In response, the Office of the Bishop sends a blank Letter of Call document to the president and appoints a representative to the congregational call meeting. This person’s sole role will be to observe the meeting.
Step Four: Start-up — The Council
Notifies Congregation and Bishop of Candidate’s Response
When the council receives the candidate’s written response, the president notifies the congregation and the bishop of the candidate’s decision. If the call has been declined, the process begins again at Step Two (more candidates are recommended to the call committee). This is a very rare occurrence if the process has been properly observed.