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Pastoral Transition

In January 2024 we announced that Pastor George and our Board have begun a strategic succession plan to be executed over the coming year or so. A dedicated Calling Committee is being formed to find our next Senior Pastor, and that process will unfold while Pastor George continues to lead. Our hope is that this period of change is anchored by our commitment to helping people find and follow Jesus.

Determine Calling Committee

Committee Ratification

Annual meeting - Feb 25th

Establishment of Committee

  1. Assign calling committee roles & timelines

  2. Establish communication plan for updating congregation & staff

  3. Create job description & church profile

Candidate Search

  1. Post job opening

  2. Review Applicants

  3. Interviews & narrowing of candidates

Select Candidate

  1. Primary candidate reference check

  2. Final interviews & potential church visit

  3. Determine offer & call

Congregational Vote to approve candidate

Why is Pastor George retiring?

Pastor George has served in ministry for over 41 years, and as he approaches his 69th birthday he feels it is time for him to move into a new season.

What is the process for finding a new Sr. Pastor and, how long will it take?

The first step is the Church Board establishing a Senior Pastor Calling Committee and presenting those names to the congregation for ratification at the February Annual Meeting. Next, the Calling Committee will work on the search for our next Senior Pastor. They will review internal and external candidates and present one candidate to the congregation for approval. The plan is for all of this to take place while Pastor George is still leading and teaching. Once the new Senior Pastor has been approved by the congregation and accepted the calling, they will work with Pastor George for a few months until they eventually take over and Pastor George retires. It's hard to determine how long the process will take because we don’t know how long it will take for the Calling Committee to find a candidate.  It could range from 9 months to 2 years. 

What will succession look like?

Once the congregation votes on the new Senior Pastor, they will start working closely with Pastor George and teaching consistently while they do the hand-off.  It will likely be around three months of overlap between Pastor George and the new Senior Pastor.

Who makes up the Calling Committee?

The Committee is made up of two members of our board: Chairman Ryan Funk, and Vice Chairman Dr. Dan Moore. It also includes five other members of our congregation: Sarah Stachofsky, Josh Cheriyan, Courtney Ytreeide, Tim Weaver, and Bethany Allen.

How can I stay updated on the search for a new pastor?
One of our big goals as a church is transparency. We plan to keep the congregation updated as much as possible. The primary source of information will be on this webpage, but we will also share updates regularly in our services and on social media.


Will Pastor George and Elaine be around after he retires?

Pastor George and Elaine are still praying about what God has next for them, but their initial plan is to spend the first few years of retirement in Westport. They have always loved their time at the beach. After, they will likely help in other ministries, as pulpit supply for other churches, and perhaps even interim pastoral work for other churches in our network. He has always had a heart for empowering and raising up the next generation of leaders. Unfortunately, this does mean that we won’t see much of them around Bethany for at least the first year.

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