Special Announcement

From Pastor Van N. Houser

Van’s Announcement Frequently Asked Questions

Recently Pastor Van announced that he was ready for the church to begin the process of finding our next pastor. While he’s not retiring just yet, he’s looking forward to the next season for both him and the church. The FAQ’s below will answer many questions related to what this season of ministry will look like for our church. If you have other questions or concerns, please reach out to Keith Warren in the Church Office.

Search Process Questions

What does the process of finding a new pastor look like?

Our church bylaws define the process used for forming a search committee that will oversee the process of finding our next pastor. The process the committee adopts will include communicating with church members and staff, interviewing potential candidates, and finally presenting a selected candidate to the church for consideration. Once they have completed their search and a candidate is presented, the church will have an opportunity to meet the potential pastor and his family, ask questions, and finally, vote to call the next pastor. A 90% majority vote is required to call a pastor.

What is the timeline for the new pastor search?

We will form the committee this fall, and they will begin their work after the first of the year. The process includes a round of nominations and a round of voting on those nominees. To allow for greater participation, these steps will play out over several weeks with clear communication in our bulletin, weekly email, etc. The search process itself will likely take several months.

What will Pastor Van’s role look like as he prepares to retire, and the new pastor selection process proceeds?

Van chose this approach to lessen the impact on the church during the search process. While he plans to spend a little less time in the office, and take a Sunday off here and there, most church members will not be impacted by this transition.

Will Pastor Van be part of the new pastor selection process?

No, the search committee is completely autonomous. They may choose to interview staff members or seek input from church leaders outside the committee but there is no role for the outgoing pastor in the process.

Will the church receive a survey on what they feel we need in a new pastor?

Yes, once the committee is formed church members will be given an opportunity to share thoughts on what is needed in our next pastor. This is an important part of the process and will help to inform the committee as they begin their work.

Ministry Impact Questions

How will this transition impact the overall ministry of North Side?

By choosing to begin the process prior to his actual retirement, Pastor Van is allowing the ministry to continue uninterrupted. As mentioned above, most will not feel any impact of this decision. All of our many capable staff and lay leaders will continue to lead out as they have for many years. We expect this to be an exciting time of continued growth as we look expectantly for our next leader.

Who will fill the ministerial "gaps" while Pastor Van transitions to retirement, and we seek a new pastor?

NSBC is blessed with several pastors who collectively have decades of ministry experience. Van will continue to be available to families in crisis, and other significant ministry needs. However, our other pastors are very capable of filling any perceived gaps that arise.

What is the ongoing communication plan as the process takes place?

We will use every tool at our disposal to keep the church informed about the process. The weekly bulletin and email will be a primary source of information, but we will also use social media, video updates, and town hall meetings to share relevant information.

As a church, what should we do during the selection of a new pastor?

First and foremost, pray. This is a spiritual process both for our church and for the man that God calls to become our next pastor.
  • Pray for the committee to be formed in a way that represents our church well.
  • Pray for the committee once it’s formed to be able to discern the Lord’s leadership in the process.
  • Pray for Pastor Van as he transitions into retirement.
  • Pray for our next pastor and his family, that God will clearly reveal His will to them.
  • Finally, pray for the Lord to be honored in the process. Above all, we want His will for our church, and we want to honor Him in all we do.
Secondly, continue to be the church. NSBC has been blessed for over 125 years to be a vital part of this city. This is true because those that call our church home have invested themselves in the ministry of the church and in the fabric of the community. If we can maintain this posture during the search for our next pastor, we will both honor the Lord, and prepare the church for our next season of ministry. Greater things are yet to come!

Personal Questions for Pastor Van

Why have you chosen this strategy for retirement?

My heart is to give the church a “soft landing.” So often the transition from one pastor to the next involves a difficult time without vision or leadership. Because I feel good about where the church is going, it made sense to get the process started while continuing this momentum.

Will you still preach funerals?

Of course! There are so many wonderful friends and families within our fellowship. I will be happy to assist those in their time of loss.

Will you be available for counseling?

Yes, but on a more limited basis. Over the past months, we have begun to refer some of the more serious needs to trusted local counselors. We will continue this practice, but I will be available for those in crisis.

Why are we not hiring an interim?

The role of an interim pastor is to fill a void in leadership when a pastor resigns. Not only will we not have a void in the position of pastor, but we also have capable leaders on our staff who could easily lead the church should something cause me to be away from my duties for a time. Because of this, there simply isn’t a need for an interim pastor.

What is the leadership "hand-off" plan from you to the new pastor?

As soon as the church has selected God’s man for this church, I will begin my retirement. I look forward to meeting this man and supporting him fully, but I have no intention of remaining on the staff once he has been selected. Just as I had the opportunity to lead NSBC as the Lord led me, our new pastor will need that freedom as well. I can’t wait to see whom the Lord provides, but I can’t wait to retire either!