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Pastor Search UpdateS

October 23, 2018

Thank you for continuing to check in on our Pastor Search Process. Over the past couple of months, the Elder Board and staff have done a great job addressing our ongoing needs as a church. Earlier this month, David Iverson shared an update on behalf of the Elder Board and the Search Committee. For those that were not in attendance, here is what David shared:


Good morning everyone! I’m David Iverson and I am part of the Board of Elders here at North Haven. Today I’d like to talk to you for a few minutes about our next steps as a church, specifically regarding our search for our next Senior Pastor. Several weeks ago we participated in the facilitated session with P3, which is when the search committee, Board of Elders, and some of the staff and congregation came together to process the results of the survey the congregation completed, as well as the work the Search Committee and Board had done up to that point. It was a very engaging and exciting day, and I’d like to share some of the results with you. Specifically, we clearly identified three roles we hope for our next Pastor to fill:

  1. Visioning – casting a vision and leading us to reach that vision
  2. Equipping – equipping the people of the church to do ministry
  3. Reaching – reaching out to those that don’t know Jesus and introducing them to him, to save the lost. 


As a Board, our first reaction to these results is one of energy and excitement. We believe this is exactly the right next step for us—to bring the good news of Jesus to our community and world and see people come to know him personally. However, as a board, we also saw a disconnect between these characteristics—a visionary with a passion and vision for saving the lost—and where we are right now as a church. We realized after many hours of discussion and prayer that we don’t have a very clear vision right now, particularly as it regards saving the lost. As we talked and prayed more about this, we realized that the next steps in the search process are going to take longer than we had initially expected.


The reason these next steps are going to take longer is that we want to set our next Pastor up for success, and if we bring in a pastor with a visionary leadership style but we don’t have a clear vision, we are not setting them up for success. The next step for the Search Committee is to draft a job description, and we want to make sure that if that job description describes a visionary pastor with a passion for saving the lost that we as a congregation are prepared to welcome that pastor with open arms and open hearts and follow where that pastor leads.


So, how long will these next steps take? We aren’t certain, but I can assure you that both the Board of Elders and Search Committee are doubling down on our efforts to find the right person and set that person up for success. As a board, we have committed to regular prayer about this and have increased the frequency of our meetings to ensure we continue to make progress. 


Lastly, I want to share that I personally have been both humbled and challenged over the past few months by the passion, commitment, and faithfulness of so many people here at North Haven. I know many of you have been praying for the search process and we appreciate that so much and ask for your continued prayers for our staff and leadership, for a clear vision for North Haven, and for the entire search process. 


We are thankful for your continued prayer and support through this process and have some specific prayer requests to guide you as you pray.

  1. The job description: Please pray that our final draft will draw great candidates into the P3 system.
  2. Our future Senior Pastor: Please pray that God will be preparing the heart of our future pastor (and his family) to join us in this exciting time at North Haven.
  3. Search Committee: Please continue to pray for protection and guidance for the search committee.

We are excited about the job description and are hopeful that the position will be posted in early November!


Remember: if you have questions about the search process, please feel free to reach out to a Search Committee member.



August 12th, 2018


Jason Norman hosted a Q&A about the Pastor Search process. Here are questions that were addressed during the presentation:


1. What has been done to date?

  • Allowed Pastor Darrell to finish strong
  • Performed search for Interim Pastor (Jason S.)
  • Selected Search Committee
  • Voted on Search Committee at special business meeting
  • Conducted numerous Search Committee meetings
  • Completed Theological Grid (thank you, Stan and Bob!)
  • Completed Elder Board profile
  • Completed Search Committee profile
  • Completed Congregational Survey (set new record!)
  • Created and completed first demographic survey
  • Navigated Search Committee transition (Brad came off, Betty came on)
  • Hosted Facilitated Session
  • Plus: additional discussions, phone calls, emails, updates, readings, etc

2. What is left to do? 

  • Finalize updated job description for Senior Pastor role
  • Post opening on numerous job boards
  • Encourage / wait for candidates to apply
  • Close posting / wait for P3 to interview candidates
  • Define North Haven’s interview process
  • P3 matches candidate profiles with our merged profile, forwards 3 – 8 with best fit
  • 25-30 minute video interviews with all best-fit candidates (1st Round)
  • Eliminate candidates
  • 30-60 minute video interviews with candidates (2nd Round)
  • 3rd Round
  • Online candidate review
  • Discrete candidating
  • Recommend a candidate, including their terms, to the church at a business meeting
  • Vote by written ballot, 3/4 necessary to extend a call

3. How long with this all take?

  • We can’t say for sure but the P3 guidelines recommend expecting it to take 1 month for every year the previous pastor was serving at the church.
  • We are on schedule with the P3 process which is more of a 14 – 16 month timeframe.

4. Why are we using P3?

  • Directed by By-laws: “In seeking a suitable person, the calling committee shall consult the leaders of the Conference and take suggestions from the members of the church.”
  • Prescribed process
  • Proven process
  • Pre-populated pool of candidates
  • Leveraged experience

5. How can the rest of the congregation keep up-to-date with what is going on?

  • Commitment to improved communication, bi-monthly update on church website
  • eNews
  • Ask a Search Committee member

6. How can the rest of the congregation pass along questions?

  • Talk to a Search Committee member in person or over the phone
  • E-mail
  • Postal mail
  • Church mailboxes

7. What happened at the facilitated session?

  • Great discussion that lasted 6 hours
  • Merged the 3 profiles: Church, Elder, and Search Committee
  • Made sure that we understand our current perspective and our future preferences and goals as a church

Soon, you can expect to see a few things added to the Pastor Search section of the website:

  • Updated prayer requests
  • FAQ section
  • Pictures of search committee members



August 11, 2018


The Search Committee, Elders, Pastoral Staff, and a small group from the congregation gathered together with the P3 administrators for a facilitated session to go over our church profile. We learned a lot and were encouraged. We still have a big job ahead of us but are happy to report that we are on schedule!



July 18, 2018


Thank you for taking a moment to check in and see how the North Haven Church Pastor Search Committee is moving forward! The Pastor Placement Process (P3) is detailed and we are excited to see how it assists us as we search for our next Pastor.


The last few months have been filled with prayer, meetings, data collection, a shift in Search Committee members, and surveys.


Earlier this summer Jason Norman was elected to our Board of Elders. Our bylaws state that the Search Committee must have three members of the Elder Board and three members of the congregation at large, so we had to make a change. The Search Committee members are now: Betty Austring, Ashley Binneboese, Steve Dreyer, Bob Janisch, Jason Norman, and Marilyn Witherspoon. We are thankful that Betty was willing and able to step in. Her perspective and wisdom will be put to good use through this search process. We would also like to thank Brad Gerdin for his faithful service throughout the initial months of the search process.


P3 starts with the creation of a detailed church profile. This church profile will be used to match North Haven Church with pastoral candidates that will meet our current needs as a church and match our desires to grow as a congregation. 


Included in the hard work involved in building a complete church profile, both the search committee and the Board of Elders have been meeting separately to go over a series of essay questions about North Haven. Staff members have been asked to answer a few questions to help us understand staff culture of North Haven. Stan Anderson and Bob Stein have helped us explain the theological landscape of North Haven. All regular attenders had the opportunity to complete a demographics card and a survey (we had a great return rate, you are the best!). All this information is being compiled to create our Church Profile. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to help us with this process. It hasn’t been easy, but we have learned important things about North Haven.


The next step will be a meeting with P3, so they can walk us through our church profile. We are planning this meeting in August or September. After that we will begin screening candidates.


For now, we are continuing to meet as we work through our marketing/communication needs in relation to the posting of the Pastor position.


We will continue to check in with prayer needs and updates as we are able. For now, we ask for prayers for:

  • Wisdom for navigating the many steps and decisions involved in this process.
  • Prayers for patience as this process is long.
  • Insight for an increasing understanding and awareness of the unique needs of our church body
  • Discernment, as we will need to judge which pieces to include in our church profile, so it is truly reflective of who North Haven is, while the church body works to become a better reflection of Christ.

Thank you again, for your continued help and support. We are thankful to have such an amazing church family.


- Pastor Search Committee

Pastoral Leadership During the Transition

Jason Steffenhagen joined our staff in March 2018 as Interim Preaching Pastor. He preaches Sundays at both the Classic and Modern Worship Services. Pastor Jason is also Assistant Campus Pastor at Bethel University.


Don Mortenson has been with North Haven Church since late 2015. As full-time Associate Pastor, he oversees the staff, guides a number of ministries, and provides pastoral care.