What Characteristics Do We Seek in Our New Rector?

We trust our call process and search committee will bring us well qualified, honorable candidates but it is only by our prayers that we trust God will reveal to us the person who is best able to guide our faith journey ahead.

While we pray and listen I think God expects us to also help ourselves by being intentional and clear about our mission, core values and vision for what God is calling us to be as a faith community.

So here are my suggestion about the core values  we have as a parish and the characteristics we should look for in our new rector:

  • Living into our Welcoming Tradition. We seek a rector who shares our enthusiasm for being a welcoming parish open to all comfortable with our inclusiveness and diversity. This is who we are as a parish.
  • Welcome the Unchurched and Underserved. We recognize that as our community demographics change so must we to be open to seekers, to welcome the unchurched and underserved, to be an intergenerational family of faith that invests in our kids and celebrates our families across generations.
  • Guide us in our Communion Life in the Church. We are part of the diocese of California, the Episcopal Church of the United States and the Anglican Communion and expect our rector to be a respected leader in the work of our church and encourage each of us to do so.  We want our new rector just as the last rector to seek and help us find the common ground and shared values that bring us together as a church family, even when we disagree.
  • Transform Lives in Our Parish. We want our rector to love us, to care for us and be with us in times of happiness and joy as well as in times of sorrow, pain and need with a spirit of pastoral care that makes us feel embraced by the love in this family of faith.  We want a rector who will nurture and grow our network of ministry programs offering support, healing, service and companionship for those who need it to enable the community to serve our neighbors
  • Invest in Our Kids Faith Foundation. We have a strong congregational commitment to investing in our kids’ faith foundation even as we struggle to find the resources and sustain the critical mass of participation given the many conflicting demands upon kids and family time.  We want St. Timothy’s to be a place where kids want to be, where they learn our faith values and see them practiced daily.  We strive to have a program and staff sufficient for our parish needs, but we also recognize that some of the best opportunities for our kids may be found by collaborative efforts across the Diocese, in inter-faith efforts across the community, and by mentoring and service opportunities that expose our kids to the life lessons and the satisfaction from helping others less fortunate.
  • Make a Difference through Outreach. We have traditions of outreach and service as old as our parish that welcome the fresh eyes and new ideas of a new rector to guide our way forward. Through our pledges and the Fruits of the Harvest events we will continue to support local, national and global causes that make a difference in the lives of others.  But outreach is also an opportunity for a hands-on experience we will never forget so get us to roll up our sleeves and get involved.
  • We want our rector to be collegial and a good role model and leader for our staff. We don’t expect our rector to do everything, be everywhere by yourself in our complex and busy parish life, but meeting the needs of the congregation requires teamwork, planning and self-assessment of what works and what doesn’t.
  • We want St. Timothy’s to continue to be a place that raises up people from the pews for Holy Orders, welcomes seminarians and interns, makes effective use of the deaconate and encourages lay leadership in the mission and ministry work of the church.
  • We want a rector whose sermons leave us wanting more—-OK let’s settle for prayerful, sometimes edgy, truth telling life lessons that put the Gospel into context for our lives.  We get antsy if they are too long and bored if they aren’t pulling at our hearts or poking our conscious.  Speak to us from your heart and tell us the truths we need to hear.
  • We want our rector to help us grow in our knowledge of the Gospel and its meaning in our faith journey through education, programs and ministry service opportunities that bring Good News to others.  We value the many support ministries in our parish and others across the Diocese that provide opportunities for personal spiritual growth and service.  Put us to work doing God’s work in our midst.
  • We want a rector who can champion our goal of doubling average Sunday attendance and our pledge base over the next ten years. Achieving this goal will require new ideas and a willingness to experiment. We want to reach out in our community to the 85% of the population that does not belong to a faith community. We want to continue to be inclusive and diverse as a congregation.  We want to be attractive to seekers offering ministry, sustenance and support in our welcoming home to join us in finding Christ in our lives.  We want to be intergenerational.  We want St. Timothy’s to be vibrant hub of constant parish activity, service opportunities and renewal embraced by a variety of corporate worship styles and services to keep Christ central in our lives.
  • Our new rector must be a good manager and leader of our parish corporation.  Good stewardship and prudent financial management are essential to our success.  We have good professional staff and advisors but the rector is expected to provide direction and look out for the best interests of the parish, its properties and facilities, investments and staff managing our resources prudently like every family budget.

Oh, I forgot thrifty, brave, clean  and does not cry when people yell at you!


2 thoughts on “What Characteristics Do We Seek in Our New Rector?

  1. This kind of formal statement seems to me to be inappropriate for a post. The determination of qualifications for a new rector and the fulfilling of those needs is entrusted to the search committee and, based on input they have received, they then set the parameters. One would expect a lively discussion but to post a list of characteristics from a singular point of view strikes me as unhelpful to the process as well as being intrusive on the committee’s responsibility.

  2. Ron:

    I’m not on the search committee nor the Vestry.

    So I am free to have a personal opinion about the qualities and characteristics I think would make a good rector, and you are free to disagree with them.

    I don’t find anything inappropriate about this. If you read enough parish profiles you will find lists like this all over them.

    Whether the ideas are helpful or not to the search committee I don’t know, but i hope they at least produce as lively a discussion around their meeting table as we have had here.

    Peace, Brother!

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