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Who is the Next Rector of All Souls?

In our parish survey, we asked what areas of ministry and what personal traits would be important in our next rector. The areas of ministry that were most often ranked as “very important” were:

  • Preaching: makes scripture relevant to people’s lives (72%);
  • Worship: services that nourish the congregation (70%);
  • Church Growth and Development: build programs and engage members in church life (43%); 
  • Spiritual Growth: leads others in spiritual growth (38%); and
  • Theology: deep biblical and historical knowledge (38%).

 

Other areas of ministry identified by many as “important” or “very important” were: administrative ability, adult Christian education, stewardship and pastoral care. The personal traits of a potential rector most often ranked as “very important” were:

  • Dynamic speaker/preacher (67%);
  • Well-read and broadly knowledgeable (50%);
  • Sense of humor (45%);
  • Good listener (43%);
  • Personable/outgoing (42%); and
  • Accessible (36%).

 

Many of the above skills and qualities were also identified as important during our open forum discussions.

 

Preaching

Our parishioners ranked excellent preaching as the most important skill for our next rector to have. In our survey and during focus groups, parishioners said they prefer sermons that are biblically based, relevant to daily life and “unapologetically Christian.” We have a highly educated congregation that would be disappointed by sermons that are “dumbed down,” banal, or poorly researched or prepared. For example, we would be pleased if the new rector were familiar with the original Greek or Hebrew biblical text or cited insights from great church theologians in sermons. We hope for challenging preaching that encourages spiritual growth while recognizing the diversity of opinions and spiritual practice in the congregation.

 

Christian Formation

We are looking for a rector who is enthusiastic and skilled in spiritual formation: a “coach,” guiding us as we learn to pray and become better Christians, tapping our unrealized potential. We live in a busy and distracting world and seek greater Christian engagement to bring us peace, focus, and inner strength.

 

Worship and Liturgical Leadership

We care about a beautiful and meaningful worship service. Please see “Worship” section.

 

Pastoral Care

Again and again, parishioners have shared touching stories of times in their lives when visits from our clergy comforted them and connected them to the church. We seek a rector who finds the “lost sheep” of the church and notices our needs. The leadership of the new rector should be radically inclusive of people of all classes, genders, ethnicities, ages and sexual orientations, making room for all souls.

 

Approachable Demeanor

We recognize that the sacrifice acceptable to God is a humble spirit. We appreciate a rector with a sense of humor. We hope to find friendliness, warmth and approachability in a new rector.

 

Administrative Skills and Experience

We hope for a rector who is an experienced, organized and flexible administrator. The rector must be comfortable both providing energetic leadership when needed and delegating significant responsibilities. We have strong lay leadership and don’t expect the rector to do all the work. For example, only 3% of survey respondents thought the rector should “directly lead most activities in the parish”, with all others calling for shared leadership or delegation to the laity.

The rector should be able to communicate regularly and clearly with the diocese and larger community. Experience with growing a congregation is a plus, especially if the rector has concrete ideas about how best to do this. We are not afraid of evangelism or talking about stewardship (stewardship talks by members during the annual pledge drive are often highlights of worship), and we would like a rector to be comfortable in these areas and also have experience in church finances. 

 

Rector Preferences

 


 

Last Published: May 2, 2016 9:39 AM
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