Senior Pastor Call Process & Updates
Call Process Outline
- Contact the LCMS District President’s Office to inform them of the pastoral vacancy and request assistance as needed. (completed 8/15/23)
- Open up nominations to all Communicant Members to nominate potential pastors to fill the vacancy; beginning August 13th and ending September 17th. (completed 9/17/23)
- Circuit Visitor and District Support Specialist visit with the Call Committee and presents on the Call Process and typical practices (completed 9/5/23)
- Call Committee reviews the submitted nomination forms to verify Communicant Member status and check that the nominated pastors are qualified to receive a call; must be in their current congregation no less than 3 years and be a LCMS pastor in good standing. (completed 9/27/23)
- Call A parish-wide survey that will help the District to select names from their list, provide insight for the Call Committee, and also be included in a report that is sent along with the Call Documents to the elected candidate will be conducted. This will be an online survey (there is a print option available) of 15 questions with optional comments that will be published by the Church Office. (completed 2/11/20024)
- Circuit Visitor and Congregational Support Specialist from TX District to meet with the Call Committee to present survey results and be ready to receive names from FLC&S the following day (Meeting completed 2/15/2024, Request for call list submitted 2/16/2024)
- All of the qualifying names are submitted to the District Office who will assist in gathering information from the pastors nominated and may also add some names based on the call list the district maintains. This part of the process can take 2-3 months to complete and send back to the Call Committee. (expected completion of this step by mid-late March 2024)
- Call Committee will conduct interviews with the nominees, the goal is to winnow the list down to 1-3 names to present to the Call Meeting in which they will be voted on by the Voting Members of the church. (expected completion of this step by mid-late April 2024 depending on number of nominees)
- Once the final nominees have been selected by the Call Committee the compiled information on each will be sent to all Voting Members ahead of the Call Meeting; though the Bylaws mandate at least a week in advance of the meeting, it is our desire to get this information out sooner than that to allow every Voting Member ample time to review the materials and do their own research on the candidates.
- The Call Meeting will take place, votes will be taken, runoff votes are possible, and if we can reach 80% vote in favor of one of the candidates then there will be one final vote where every Voting Member will have the opportunity to vote for that candidate, placing the support of the entire congregation behind the elected candidate (as close to unanimous as possible to show our commitment and support for the elected candidate.
- The Call Documents will be finalized, signed, and delivered to the elected candidate who will begin their prayerful deliberations and they will be invited to visit our church, much like we saw recently when our Pastors have received calls.
- If the elected candidate accepts the call then we will have our new Senior Pastor! If the elected candidate declines the call then the whole process starts over again by getting new names from District and the Parish Members. Some of the steps will be a little quicker and some may even be skipped based on how the Call Meeting goes.
- If you have any questions at all please contact one of the elders, who make up the Call Committee here at Faith Lutheran Plano.f
Extracts from the FLC Constitution that relate to the Call Process
ARTICLE VIII – The Pastoral Office
The ministerial office shall be conferred only upon such male persons (either a pastor or a candidate for the Holy Ministry) who wholly and completely accept the Confessional Standard of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Cfr. Article III) and who have been prepared for and are duly qualified for their work.
The right of calling a Pastor shall ever be vested in the Voters’ Assembly and shall never be delegated to an individual or a group.
ARTICLE XV – Amendments to the Constitution
Proposed amendments to this Constitution must be made in writing and presented to a properly convened meeting of the Voters’ Assembly. At the next properly convened meeting of the Voters’ Assembly, said amendments shall be adopted if approved by a two-thirds vote of voting members present. Upon adoption, such amendments shall be submitted to the Texas District Committee on Constitutions for approval in accordance with the Bylaws of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Article III (The Confessional Standard), the principles laid down in Articles II, V, VI (Sections A through C), VIII, IX, XII, XIII, and this Article shall be unalterable and irrepealable.
Extracts from the Bylaws that relate to the Call Process
ARTICLE II – The Calling of Pastor, Headmaster, Principal, Teacher or Pastoral Staff Member
A. The Board of Elders shall serve as the Call Committee and the Chairman of the Board of Elders shall be the Call Committee chairman for calling a Pastor.
B. Any communicant member may submit names in writing to the Nominating Committee for the office of pastor prior to the call meeting.
C. Additional names may be solicited from the President or other appropriate officials of the Texas District. The Elders may place additional names into nomination from this list.
D. Resumes of all the nominees shall be prepared by the Call Committee and shall be mailed to each family unit at least one week prior to the call meeting.
E. The call meeting shall be a properly convened Voters’ Assembly. Election for pastor shall be made by secret ballot from the list submitted by the Call Committee.
F. A four-fifth majority of the votes cast shall be required to elect. The election shall be made unanimous, if possible.
G. The President of the Congregation shall be responsible for sending the call and other related information to the pastor-elect.
H. In the event that a call is declined the call procedure will be reinstated.
I. The calling of a headmaster or principal shall be the same as calling a pastor as stated above in paragraphs A through H except substitute headmaster or principal for pastor; Board of Christian Education for Board of Elders; and the Chairman of the Board of Christian Education for the Chairman of the Board of Elders.
J. The calling of a Pastoral Staff Member shall be the same as calling a pastor as stated above in paragraphs A through H except substitute Pastoral Staff Member for Pastor.
K. The Board of Christian Education shall have the authority to issue a “call” or “contract” to an individual serving on the staff of Faith Lutheran School. An applicant’s educational background determines whether he/she receives a “call” or “contract”.
- A “call” may be issued to an individual that has received his/her educational training and Lutheran Teaching degree through a sanctioned program at a Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) institution of higher learning. The “call” may be tenured or non-tenured. Non-tenured “calls” will be issued only for special circumstances. These circumstances might include, but are not limited to, an interim principalship, serving for a female teacher on maternity leave, or serving for a teacher on medical leave. The general practice will be to issue tenured “calls”.
- A “contract” may be issued to an individual that has received his/her educational training and degree through a sanctioned program at other institutions of higher learning. The “contract” will be renewable, non-tenured, and up to twelve months in duration.