What is the congregation’s or organization’s vision for ministry? Additionally describe how this vision is lived out.
Fourth Church is a vibrant community with renewed energy and commitment to our mission. Our vision is to celebrate and deepen this using the following gifts.
Active, Diverse Congregation. Fourth Church is an active congregation, attracting members of diverse faith backgrounds and life experiences. Our church bustles with activities, classes, and worship every day, from early morning to late at night. Members and guests are drawn to the church by worship services, music programs, mission activities, and major life events. Our four-generation urban church provides unique opportunities for enrichment and service.
Strong pastoral staff and lay leaders. A staff of 8 ordained clergy work with the Pastor to lead the congregation through teaching, preaching, and hands-on programs. Fourth Church is also blessed with committed lay leaders who make up our 37-member Session, 50-member Board of Deacons, 21-member Board of Trustees (overseeing financial, legal, and property affairs of the church), and 20-member Chicago Lights Board. Our Personnel Committee works with the Pastor and Senior Associate Pastor to plan staffing and administer annual reviews. Our joint Finance Committee works with staff on financial matters.
Discipleship. Discipleship is a central, current conversation at Fourth Church. Part of that includes actively defining how the congregation can more deeply engage in addressing interfaith, racial, and cross-cultural issues facing our city, the church, and the world.
How do you feel called to reach out to address the emerging needs of your community or constituency?
Fourth Church’s ministry reflects key theological issues of our church and society.
Reformed and Always Reforming. We believe the Gospel must be proclaimed with the Bible, informed by awareness of current world events. That stance is reflected in our strong Reformed worship and insightful preaching that ties the Word of God to the issues and struggles of contemporary life; in education programs that focus on daily Christian discipleship as well as Bible study and spiritual disciplines; and in dynamic mission programs that help others and draw volunteers to the church.
A Light in the City. Fourth Church believes that Christ calls us to reach out to all people. We are a welcoming community, diverse in age, economic status, and faith backgrounds, steadily increasing in racial and ethnic diversity, with programs for all ages. Our Interfaith Resource Committee supports efforts to engage with Jewish and Muslim neighbors and with other faith communities. We are actively leading conversations on racial tension, working to increase our understanding of cross-cultural issues and values.
A Leader in the PC(USA) and the Nation. Fourth Church clergy and members have held significant leadership roles in the PC(USA), NEXT Church, and the Presbytery of Chicago. We are a founding member of the Covenant Network. Our commitment to diversity led to forming a Multicultural Committee, currently being redeveloped to actively seek concrete ways we might widen and deepen the inclusivity of our church.
How will this position help you to reach your vision and mission goals?
The new, unique role of Senior Associate Pastor for Leadership Development and Adult Education (SAP) was defined by our Personnel Committee and new Pastor to increase synergy and alignment so that we can more fully live into our vision and mission. Reporting to the Pastor, the SAP will be a close confidant of hers and responsible for three key areas:
Supervising pastoral staff. Supervise pastoral staff and build bridges across programs. A strong communicator and collaborator, the SAP will equip pastors to achieve their goals within a synchronized plan. Our candidate will bring spirituality and humor to lead and support staff.
Leadership Development (LD). Create LD activities for pastoral staff and lay leaders to support them in fulfilling their potential and deepening their faith. The SAP will provide coaching and help identify individual strengths and growth areas by working with the Pastor, Session, Personnel and Nominating Committees, and lay LD team. Our candidate will bring energy and authenticity to magnify the gifts of others.
Adult Education. Lead adult education through programming, teaching, and equipping teachers for their roles. The SAP will develop a strategy to foster personal enrichment and community engagement through activities like classes, discussion panels, and interaction with interfaith partners. Our candidate will bring a passion for teaching and learning, championing new and existing programs to actively engage others in discipleship.
Provide a description of the characteristics needed by the person who is open to being called to this congregation and or organization.
- Ordained as a teaching elder in the PC(USA).
- Leadership in pastoral ministry, ideally in a larger congregation.
- Ability to be collaborative with colleagues.
- Skills in leading teams and in developing staff and lay leadership.
- Strong sense of self and ability to support, partner, and collaborate with the Pastor.
- Keen interest and skills in building organizational capacity.
- Energy, discipline, and willingness to work in a complex organization on multiple functions: supervising, leading, discerning, and collaborating.
- Commitment to urban ministry and affinity with Fourth Church’s worship and theological values.
What specific tasks, assignments, and program areas will this person have responsibility?
- Staff Leadership
2. Vision and Strategy
- Support the Pastor in communicating strategy, direction and decisions to the entire staff.
- Lead the staff in the absence of the Pastor.
- Participate actively in budget development and monitoring.
- Supervise the work of the Associate Pastors, Pastoral Residents, and other assigned program staff members.
- Establish and supervise creation and execution of yearly goals, in conjunction with Pastor and Personnel Committee
- Provide counsel and support to his/her direct reports.
- Assist the Pastor in communicating with the Associate Pastors.
- Ensure implementation of vision and strategy through program areas.
- Oversee and monitor performance against budget by program area.
- Support and advance leadership development activities for the staff.
3. Lay Leadership and Programming Support
- Work with the Pastor and lay leaders to create and guide the vision and strategy for Fourth Church.
- Lead the staff in support and pursuit of the vision and strategy set by church leadership.
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- Participate in Session Meetings
- Moderate Session meetings in the absence of the Pastor
- Participate in Board of Trustee meetings
- Act as head of staff in the absence of the Pastor or as requested by the Pastor
- Lead adult education through Session and the congregation.
- Oversee nominating committee, church officer training, leadership development of lay leadership and the congregation.
4. Administrative Support
5. Pastoral Duties
- With Executive Assistant, oversee the overall administrative support functions supporting the Associate Pastors and program staff, including balancing work loads and training.
- Participate actively in worship.
- Preach, occasionally, as assigned.
- Champion the development and execution of an actively engaging congregation in faith formation activities.