Insights on the Lead Pastor Call Process


The Call Committee

As defined in the Olivet Beacon of Light Church Constitution, a Call Committee consisting of six voting members was elected by the Leadership team to search for a new Lead Pastor. Called to serve were Ivan Bucher; Miles Harter; Lisa McCormick; Mike Pavel; Claire Ristow-Seib; and Patrick Strain.

Pastor Eric Hulstrand serves the committee in an advisory capacity along with non-voting members Braden Sanwick (youth representative) and Jan Pearson. The committee has been meeting bi-weekly since the end of September.

Call Committee Responsibility

First and foremost, we are called to be in continual prayer for God’s guidance. The call process is about the revealing of God’s will, not completing the process as quickly as possible. We pledge to keep the congregation updated on a regular basis. What must remain confidential is information about the candidate(s), not information about the process.

The Marketing Process

  1. The Call Committee has designed an Invitation of Call packet to be used in soliciting applicants for the Lead Pastor position.
  2. The position will be posted on multiple platforms.
  3. In addition to the job posting, we will be sending information to active LCMC pastors via e-mail and postcard.


The Evaluation process

The committee is currently accepting applications and will be evaluating applicants.

  1. Candidates must submit a resume and letter of application.
  2. The Committee will screen and select candidates to move forward.
  3. Those selected candidates will be asked to complete pre-interview essay questions.
  4. The Committee will initiate internet (e.g. YouTube & Facebook) discovery.
  5. Following another screen, the field will be narrowed, and we will hold Zoom interviews.
  6. Finalists will be invited to an in-person interview and visit with the congregation.


The Pastoral Call

Per the Constitution, authority to call a pastor shall reside in this congregation and be exercised by at least a two-thirds majority ballot vote of members present and voting at a meeting called for that purpose.





  • The job has been posted on the LCMC website as well as Olivet’s. We received five applications for review within 48 hours. A definite cut-off date has not been established at this time.
  • The e-mail to LCMC pastors will be sent the week of November 9th.



  • A postcard mailing was sent to over 800 LCMC active pastors on 11/20 as a follow up to the e-mails sent on 11/12.
  • To date, 18 resumes have been received and reviewed. The Call Committee has selected seven candidates to move on to the next step. They will be sent a series of essay questions to answer.
  • The job will continue to be listed on the LCMC website. In addition, we will be post the position on another job site that is specifically geared to church staffing through the end of December.
  • The Call Committee continues to ask for your patience and prayers.

December was an exciting month for the Call Committee. As outlined in the last Beacon, we developed a multi-step vetting approach to guide us in the selection process. We continue to accept resumes and have received close to thirty applicants thus far. Of those, we invited nine pastors to move forward to the next step which involved answering a series of essay questions that address their walk with God, their role as a pastor, their motivation, successes, and failures. Based on the responses that we received, we are excited to announce that have invited a few of the candidates to participate in the next phase which is an initial Zoom interview.

On Monday, December 21st we interviewed several candidates that we believe possess the attributes and passion for God’s Word that we seek in a lead pastor for Olivet. We will continue to keep the position open well into January knowing that December is a terribly busy time for pastors who may be praying about a new call.

The Call Committee continues to be in prayer seeking God’s will for Olivet and ask that you also lift up in prayer whomever God is calling to be the next Lead Pastor of Olivet.

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

We appreciate your patience, your prayers and ask that if you know of a potential candidate, to please let us know. We can be reached at:
We continue to receive new applications, so have multiple candidates in various stages of our evaluation process. We have held several Zoom interviews in the past couple weeks and also recently hosted a candidate for an on-site weekend visit and interview, with hopefully more to come in the coming weeks. Our goal is to have a short list of candidates to come back for a final interview weekend as well as preach and be available to meet more members of Olivet’s leadership and congregation.
We ask for your continued prayers that the person God has prepared to be lead pastor for Olivet would be made manifestly known, both to us on the Call Committee and to that person as well. — Patrick Strain on behalf of the Call Committee
It may sound like a broken record, but we want to share with you the steps in our discernment process and where we currently are in that process.

STEP 1 – Gather applications and resumes.
STEP 2 – Invite the candidate to answer a series of essay questions.
STEP 3 – Invite the candidate to an introductory hour-long Zoom interview.
STEP 4 – Invite the candidate to visit Olivet for an on-site interview.
STEP 5 – Invite the candidate to come to Olivet for second on-site interview as well as preach and be available to meet the congregation.
STEP 6 – The Call Committee will recommend a candidate to the congregation for their approval.

We continue to receive applications and resumes, so we currently have five applicants within the first four steps. During all of these steps, it is important for us to keep the candidates’ identities confidential, as some of our candidates are currently serving other congregations. Additionally, the first on-site interview will be the only time that our candidates can experience Olivet without “being a Pastor” – which is important for them.

We are hopeful that in the coming weeks we will be able to announce when a candidate or two will be invited back for a second interview and at that time we will let you know when and how you will be able to get to know more about them.
While we’re sure many of you are anxious to get our next lead pastor in place, we also trust that you join us in recognizing the importance of this decision. We know that in God’s timing our lead pastor will be called, but until then, we thank you for your patience and for joining us in prayer that God’s will for our next lead pastor will be revealed with clarity and unity.
On behalf of the Lead Pastor Call Committee, we are thrilled to announce that we are now in the final stages of our call process.
  1. We officially closed the position and are no longer accepting resumes/applications.
  2. We have narrowed our candidate list to three – two of whom have already visited Olivet with their spouses/family in the past month. They have been genuinely impressed by what God has done and continues to do here.
  3. The next step will be to narrow the field to two finalists – both of whom will be invited to come back with their spouses to preach and meet the congregation. In fact, we are pleased to announce that one of the finalists is scheduled to preach the weekend of March 6th & 7th. We are uncertain what that will look like just yet but will have more details for you in the coming week.
  4. Following their final visits, the Call Committee will make their recommendation to the congregation and schedule a congregational vote.
The Call Committee has spent countless hours diligently reviewing resumes, essay submissions, corresponding with candidates, conducting Zoom interviews and hosting in person visits. We are so impressed by the people God has sent to us and we are anxious for you to meet them!
Please continue to pray for God to make clear to our candidates His call for them. We ask that you pray unceasingly for Olivet – that our minds and hearts will be open to His plans. Please know that your prayers for the Call Committee have been so appreciated.