The Commission on Ministry, COM, of the presbytery, has given our church leeway to determine the best way for us to organize our search. We could have chosen two completely separate Associate Pastor Nominating Committees, APNCs, with two separate liaisons assigned from the presbytery to offer support and guidance. We also could have formed one large APNC to conduct the search for both positions, supported one liaison from the presbytery.
Each of these different models has its own strengths and weaknesses. On one hand, having two completely different committees allows for each group to completely focus on the characteristics needed for the pastoral role they seek. On the other hand, there is a weakness in that the two groups may not communicate very well and miss opportunities to share candidates and information. In addition, two separate groups could move at considerably different speeds causing issues of confusion around the process.
Having only one committee searching for two people could become cumbersome very quickly, and with one group looking for two people there could be a loss of focus; the members could become bogged down in the process and even experience burnout.
We have chosen a middle way – one that aims to take the best of each approach and tries to minimize its negatives. We will have a single APNC committee that will work with one liaison from the presbytery. This will be especially critical at the beginning of this process as the committee is formed and being oriented around their work - a single mentor from presbytery will help keep members on the same page and holding the same expectations. However, the committee will be organized into two different working teams, one for each Associate Pastor position. This will allow the teams to stay focused on their position, but remain in constant contact with each other to share candidate names and other information that will help the full committee conduct its work.