Your Pastor Search Team
Hello Ironbridge family. Your Pastor Search Team is off to a great start! We have already met three times and are busy at work. Thank you for entrusting us to seek and find our next lead Pastor at Ironbridge. The most important thing we do is seek God’s direction through His word and prayer. We know that God is already at work preparing our next Pastor to lead Ironbridge. He is giving us time to be ready to receive Him. This man will be our shepherd; he will lead us, and we will recognize his voice.
There will be special times and opportunities to pray for our team during the month of May. In preparation, we ask that you read Ephesians 4:1-16 and pray through this wonderful passage of scripture.
Anytime you have a question or insight that you want to share with our team, please email us at email@example.com. We will review and pray through your words and if a response is called for, you will hear back from us. We will be regularly updating the Leadership Team and Deacons on our progress and during our churchwide ministry conferences.
Jon Loftis – Chairperson, Rachel Adcock, Victoria Bates, Sarah Cochran, Angela Compton, Paul Repak, Rhea Shelton, Greg Sweeney & Tamara Tatum
Ironbridge Church Family –
First thank you for your continued prayers and support for our Pastor Search Team and the process we are walking through. Last week our team met to continue our search process. Our selected candidate cannot be further considered at this time. He shared in detail, seeking God in the midst of their family needs, that they are not in a position to consider moving their family at this time or in the near future. We will all continue in prayer for this amazing family. Our team continues to send our prayers and cards to them. An Easter gift basket will be headed their way soon. It is one way, we as a church, can love on this family faithfully serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We believe God has answered our prayers concerning our current candidate at this time.
As we shared with the church last month that we would be disappointed if our candidate was not able to come to Ironbridge, but we would not be discouraged or dismayed. We are reminded of these verses:
Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and I will help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
We are not dismayed because we have a plan and we will follow His lead. Our Pastor Search Team has begun the review of our top candidates and will search for additional candidates over the next month. We will continue to pursue God’s direction and plan for Ironbridge. We believe as we continue to be faithful, God will answer our prayers as we seek the lead pastor He is preparing for us. We are encouraged by the quality of candidates that God has already brought our way. I believe we are close because we are more ready. Pray that God will lead us and His chosen candidate to Ironbridge.
Thank you Ironbridge for investing and partnering with us as we search and seek God’s chosen pastor and shepherd for our church. Speaking for all of the PST – it is a privilege to serve you and our Lord Jesus Christ in this way.
Ironbridge Church – It is always profitable to read, study, and to commit God’s holy word to memory. During the month of March, join us in memorizing this prayer from the Apostle Paul. … your Pastor Search Team
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)
Hello Ironbridge Church! – As we continue on our journey seeking our next lead pastor at Ironbridge, we are very much seeking God and His direction and confirmation. Over the holidays, we extended an invitation and offer to a Lead Pastor candidate to come to Ironbridge for a visit and potential call by the church. Due to family reasons, he and his wife are unable to come at this time. This was unexpected for them and for us. They have spent many hours talking with church leadership and staff, and are very excited about what God has been doing at Ironbridge and the potential we have as a church body and serving in our community. They are saddened that this delay has occurred and desire God’s complete peace for His calling. We believe God wants us to wait and allow time for Him to continue working, providing the needs of our candidate, preparing us as a church body, and showing us how to take the next step. We understand that taking the narrow path can be more difficult, but “We will trust God”.
Pease join us, in person, on Sunday, January 30th immediately following each morning service for a time of prayer and an update with the Pastor Search Team.
Our Pastor Search Team is continually seeking confirmation, through the practice of prayer and our process, 1) God’s direction, 2) Our alignment with His will, and 3) Everyone’s commitment to His call.
After Candidate Visit
The Pastor Search Team (PST) wanted to provide you an update after our pastor candidate visit with our church leadership this past Saturday. There has been a tremendous amount of energy, work, and prayer to arrive at this point. First, let’s recap our process and progress since we began our search for a new lead pastor for Ironbridge Baptist Church. We have a fantastic search team! – the team members were nominated by the church in the spring and from those nominated, selected by the LT and finalized with the PST chairperson. We spent the month of May praying that God would show us His way – the only way we desire as followers of Christ and the only way that we, Ironbridge, would see the fullness of God at work. The first two months, we were off and running to review the by-laws and our charge as the pastor search team. We met with Pastor Gary, the SBCV, and BGVA leadership to gain insight into the search process and gain wisdom. We laid out a plan and moved through the recruitment and review process – reading, praying, reviewing, viewing, and praying more. This was super hard – the enemy brought in doubt and fear, but God brought excitement, peace, and direction. Time and time again – God answered. As we sought to finalize our leading candidates, we engaged the staff to meet them for confirmation and affirmation for the ONE pastor that God was calling to Ironbridge. The choice was clear and decisive. With our PST fully aligned with this pastor – we wanted the church leadership to meet and engage with him, his wife, and family. This was an additional time for God to bring confirmation and affirmation for this pastor and his family. God was faithful and did not waver, providing us with a confirming and affirming response from our church leadership and staff.
During their visit, our pastor candidate and his family were seeking God’s confirming call on their lives to walk this path toward serving at Ironbridge. This is not an easy path to walk – they have a church family and leadership team that they love and serve with, and God has blessed their ministry in enormous
measure – with growth and spiritual fruit. Even so, God is not wavering, and the path and call is clear in our candidate’s heart. The call must first be placed in the candidate’s heart. Only God can do this.
We are currently planning a churchwide visit and formal call where members will be invited to meet our candidate, his amazing wife, and wonderful three boys (10, 8, & 6) and beautiful daughter (4). We will plan a meet and greet fellowship on a Saturday. The following day, on Sunday morning, we will hold one service where our pastor candidate will preach the Word of God and worship with us. After worship, we will have a time for he and his wife to share their testimonies and call to ministry, and what has led them to Ironbridge. This time of worship and sharing will be immediately followed by a called business meeting of church members. The purpose of the called meeting will be for the sole purpose of the church voting on the pastor candidate’s approval to serve as our lead (senior) pastor.
At this time, it is very important that their names and church remain confidential. We will announce a called business meeting and provide information on the pastor, links to past sermons, and their names two weeks in advance of the meeting. Please continue in prayer as there are several more steps to take down this path before we reach our destination. Our destination will begin with a new beginning for Ironbridge. A new pastor – shepherd, a gifted leader called by God to impact our lives and lead us to “seeing all peoples and all generations sharing the love of Christ” in our church and throughout Chesterfield. May God raise up Ironbridge to be a beacon of Light to our community. God is with us.
See you all in church on Sunday!
Open Letter Update December 2021
Dear Ironbridge Church,
We are so thankful for you and your support as the Pastor Search Team (PST) has been working diligently and following God’s leadership as we seek God’s will and person for our new Lead Pastor. Our team began our first meetings eight months ago. God has been with us and faithful to guide us every step of the way. This coming Saturday our pastor candidate and his family will be visiting Ironbridge for the first time. The PST and the staff have met our candidate and his wife on video calls and have shared much already. As the chair of the PST, I have had the privilege to speak and communicate almost daily with him. He is a gifted leader and communicator with a shepherd’s heart. His wife is a gifted singer, teacher, and mother of four; ages 10, 8, 6, and 4.
During this Saturday’s visit, our candidate will be meeting with the staff, touring the Ironbridge campus, seeing our mission field, and meeting with our Leadership Team, Deacons, and ICCS Board and their spouses. Throughout the day, our pastor candidate and his wife will be sharing their heart through testimony, their call to ministry, and how God is currently using them. Key leadership and staff will be meeting with them in large and small group time. Our Prayer Room will be open from 8:30am – 3:00pm. We invite you to come and pray during this time. If you can serve in this way, please stop in the Prayer Room or pray at home to ask for God’s hand on Ironbridge, for wisdom, and for a clear call upon our candidate.
There is a yearning and hunger at Ironbridge for our new lead pastor. This Saturday, we will take a big step toward calling a new lead pastor. We will prayerfully consider all that we learn and have learned and will report to the church as God directs our steps. If God confirms a call in our current candidate’s heart and in the hearts of Ironbridge leadership, the PST will bring a recommendation to the church for a confirming call. At the right time, God’s time, we will bring lead pastor candidate to the church body for you all to hear how God is working in his life and how God wants to use him and his family at Ironbridge.
If by chance you have learned their names or their church – please do not share this information. It is very important for us to protect them and allow them the time to follow God’s leading. If a call is confirmed, at the right time they will inform and help transition their current church that they continue to love and shepherd. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. See you all on Sunday at the church!
Jon Loftis – Chair PST
We have received many Lead/Pastors resumes and out of the 123 resumes we have narrowed them down to those we believe would fit the needs and vision of Ironbridge. Thru lots of prayer, God continues to guide us from 10 selected down to four. Interviews have already begun and will continue into November. We will meet and interview four pastors with their wives, that we seek to know better. At the appropriate time we will introduce selected candidate(s) to our staff, deacons, leadership team and then to the church. We are trusting that God will lead and guide us to the man he is preparing for Ironbridge not based on our personal interests, biases, or preferences, but to the one GOD is calling to lead and shepherd our church. Thank you all for your continued commitment to prayer for our team and for our next Lead Pastor.
Hello Church! August has been exciting and rewarding as we have begun our Pastor applicant review process. We are reviewing resumes, opening letters, viewing publications and on-line sermons. As word has gotten out, we are now receiving personal referrals. God is at work and is preparing us for our next pastor. The most important thing we do is PRAY for these pastors and their churches, and for God to lead us to seek His will and His chosen Pastor for Ironbridge. This month, we will continue reviewing the applicants and begin the selection process… which means to discover who God is shaping to lead us here at Ironbridge.
Church, let’s be thankful for all God has given us. The tangibles: A great location and visibility to our mission field – may our community see our buildings and parking lots filled. Great facilities to reach and teach 500 mid-week and 1,000 plus on any given Sunday. Pastors, staff, and leadership that love our church and work tirelessly to minister to our body and community. The spiritual: A God that loves us so much that he chose us and gave His Son for our salvation. His Holy Spirit that guides us through every decision when we humble ourselves and seek His perfect will. We are encouraged by God’s word and this familiar passage:
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give us hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord…” Jeremiah 29:11-14a
Standing on His promises,
Your Pastor Search Team
August BridgeBlast Update
Last month our Pastor Search Team began the recruitment process and we are receiving our first round of resumes from interested candidates. This month we will begin our review process. This will continue through mid-September when all candidate resumes are due. We are very encouraged by the response and the many pastors that serve all across our convention. Please pray for our team and our future pastor God is preparing. We encourage you to continue to use the Pastor Search Prayer Guide in your daily prayer time. As part of serving God and you, our congregation, our team has joined together in the following covenant.
As a member of the Pastor Search Team of Ironbridge Baptist Church, I gladly covenant to participate in the work of the team according to the following agreements.
Covenant of Ethical Behavior – I agree to relate to each member in a manner consistent with the ethical standards characterized by Jesus Christ and His Word.
Covenant of Spiritual Preparation – I agree to make Bible study and prayer ongoing priorities in my life.
Covenant of Prayer – I agree to pray regularly and seek God’s direction for the work of the team and each member and for the work of the church.
Covenant of Unity – I agree to work in unity, not regarding myself as of more value than others, “diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us” (Eph. 4:3).
Covenant of Honesty and Openness –I agree to be honest and open with others on the team, always seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance so that the fruit of the Spirit identified in Galatians 5:22-23 will characterize my participation.
Covenant of Confidentiality – I agree to refrain from discussing with persons outside the team, including members of my family, information shared in team meetings that should be held in confidence unless the team agrees to release information to other church members.
Covenant of Faithfulness – I agree to serve God and our congregation to the best of my abilities and to remain faithful to the church and its ministries so that church members will have confidence in the team and so that I can effectively and honestly interpret the work of the church to prospective pastors being considered by the team.
Covenant of Communication – I agree to support the team, encourage, and communicate regularly and frequently with church members throughout the process.
Seeking God’s direction,
Your Pastor Search Team
July BridgeBlast Update
Over the last two months your Pastor Search Team has been seeking, listening, and praying for God to connect and prepare Ironbridge for our next pastor. The month of May was a great season for focused prayer. God is speaking and at work in Ironbridge. Last week, we posted the position for our lead Pastor. We are having a tremendous response. God has much work for Ironbridge to do in our community and our world… “the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few”.
As part of the process, we will be asking you for two things. 1) Complete an anonymous survey in mid-July. The purpose of the survey is to share with our church demographics with prospective candidates: age, gender, family makeup, church engagement, leadership roles, etc.… 2) Pray and ask God to lead us to His chosen pastor for Ironbridge.
If you would like to make a referral please personally invite and encourage the pastor to prayerfully consider if God is leading him to apply and if so email us firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask them to let us know that you referred him to us. There is time for prayer, listening, and applying. We will be receiving resumes until September 10th.
God bless you church!
Your Pastor Search Team