What is the congregation’s or organization’s vision for ministry? Additionally describe how this vision is lived out.
The Pines Family is a welcoming congregation that accepts and loves those on the path of Christian faith, and all who have yet to learn the Good News. We come from many faith traditions. Members hail from across the country, are politically diverse, and have a variety of stances on denominational issues. Even with our differences, we are united in caring for one another and serving our community through mission.
We nurture our members through meaningful worship services, Sunday School classes for all ages, youth ministries, weekday adult Bible studies, a Men’s group, four Women’s Circles, numerous small groups built around age or interest, a Labyrinth, a well-established Stephen Ministry, chancel and children’s choirs, a hand bell choir, and a small orchestra. Pines programs are created and led by members. In addition, we provide a wide range of opportunities for members to engage in the life of the church and in community programs that benefit the poor, disadvantaged, immigrant, and marginalized.
We nurture our community through a unique “Taco and a Prayer” ministry. We support a nearby economically-challenged neighborhood by providing tutors, mentors, and service projects to the elementary school, as well as a weekly dinner and Bible Study for older, at-risk youth, and a Christmas store for adults to purchase children's gifts at low cost. We are home to a respected on-site preschool. We also reach outside our walls through local, national, and international missions.
How do you feel called to reach out to address the emerging needs of your community or constituency?
Our goal at Pines is to make church relevant.
Houston is the most diverse metropolitan region in the country. We work to be authentic, personal witnesses to our neighbors in the affluent subdivisions, in the new upscale mixed-use development, and in the older disadvantaged neighborhoods near our church. We strive to be a vibrant church that is a force for the goodness of the Lord in our community.
To do that, we hope to provide worship services that energize the congregation and youth, and create opportunities to attract youth and adults from outside of Pines. We want them to know that they are welcome here.
We interact with and serve our neighbors through activities like Taco and a Prayer, the Big Tent Event, Holy Week and Advent services, special music programs, Healing and Wholeness services, National Day of Prayer, CENTER Ministries, and the Labyrinth; and offer our space to neighborhood organizations, non-member Bible studies, and sports teams. We want to better partner with our preschool to reach out to their families.
We aspire to encourage peaceful interaction and cooperation with people of different races, ages, economic status, lifestyles, and beliefs to serve the lost, the least, and the last in our neighborhood.
We want to more effectively tap the education, experience, and passion of our members to enrich the lives of our congregation and neighbors as we carry out the Great Commission.
How will this position help you to reach your vision and mission goals?
The Senior Pastor will have the vision, maturity, and enthusiasm to take a courageous and unbiased look at Pines and discern fresh and original possibilities for our congregation. The SP will help us make the changes that are necessary to carry out our mission and vision, by clearly communicating well-reasoned strategies, identifying common goals, and encouraging cooperation.
Tradition has a strong hold on our congregation, but Pines wants to respond to the demographics in our community. The SP must have the insight, tact, energy, and conviction to help us make hard decisions that may move us away from the old and comfortable, yet still retain the traditions that give Pines its character.
S/He will inform and inspire us with Bible-based sermons that have practical applications to our lives and the work of the church.
The SP will encourage members to grow spiritually by getting involved in Sunday School, ministries, committees, and outreach so that we can be Christ in the world. S/he will lead staff and lay leaders in creating new ways to involve youth in worship, music, mission projects, and volunteer activities with adults.
S/He will help identify opportunities and lead our response to the broken, the flawed, the suffering, and the different, so that we can listen, comfort, and love them, as we learn from their realities.
Our new pastor will be an agent of change who helps make this possible.
Provide a description of the characteristics needed by the person who is open to being called to this congregation and or organization.
The Senior Pastor is theologically well-grounded, biblically sound, and spiritually mature, preaching the Word in ways that are simple to understand and have practical application in our mission fields.
The SP recognizes, develops, and guides the spiritual gifts in the Pines Family for the glory of God. S/he inspires participation in Pilgrimage, mission trips, and other activities that enable us to be Christ in a broken and hurting world.
As Moderator of Session, the SP promotes a spirit of unity by encouraging us to share divergent opinions without creating discord, dissension, or factions or compromising the work of the church.
The SP is firmly committed to PC(USA), supporting and participating in Presbytery activities.
S/He works with our Director of Music to develop worship services that include a variety of music styles that support the sermons, inspire the congregation, and glorify God.
The SP has a good sense of humor and is able to join in the fun with youth and adults.
S/He is a change agent, embracing the adventure of trying new things, and helping the congregation live into our vision for growth, mission, and evangelism.
As Head of Staff, the SP leads the professional development of other staff members, assuring that they are prepared, motivated, and recognized for success in their areas of responsibility.
The SP exhorts us to be a church with an open door, welcoming people in, helping them to know Jesus, and sending them out to serve and make disciples.
What specific tasks, assignments, and program areas will this person have responsibility?
We expect the Senior Pastor to oversee all of the program areas at Pines and to perform pastoral duties, with significant support from the associate pastors, church staff, the session, and members of the congregation.