Pastoral Search, Starting April 2019


Kalamazoo Mennonite Fellowship, of Kalamazoo Michigan, is seeking a full-time pastor, or one full-time equivalent, to lead and nurture our fellowship and to help it grow to be self-sustaining over the next three years. This position will be perfect for those interested in pioneering new ways of church growth and church planting. This position is fully funded for three years.

 History. We have met together for twelve years as a house church and have remained a fluctuating group of about twenty. Most of us are in complex jobs requiring many hours, emotional intensity, and interpersonal relationships. We come from a variety of economic backgrounds and ages. All of our families with children have adopted kids, most of them transracially. As a church, we are serious about our Christian faith, living the lives we have been called to live. We have met in a home since our beginning and have had no paid staff except for childcare. The focus of our life together has been Sunday worship and a common meal and providing for the spiritual and physical needs of one another. We have three seminary-trained members working outside the church (one an associate member) and we hold their credentials. Our budget has remained small, and most of our funds to date have been dispersed to charitable causes. We have been fine, although we are (as we have always been) one family away from being too small to function. Our lay pastor (licensed for the special purpose of leading this church) is planning to retire from his job by September 2020, and our model and method of financing need to change if we are to continue.

 Job Description. We need a leader who can help us grow the seed of our house fellowship into something that is self-sustaining beyond the first three years of the funding that has been established. This could be by growing our fellowship to a congregation large enough to be self-sustaining. This could be by creating a network of house fellowships in Kalamazoo or Southwest Michigan. This could be … something else that the pastor has a vision to lead us to. Given the size and demographics of Kalamazoo, there are a lot of possibilities.

 At the same time, we need a leader who will pastor and call forth the gifts of the current members of the fellowship: someone to lead worship, teach and preach, help shape our Christian education for our children, and ensure that we care for one another. Many in our group are outdoorsy types. We love, love, love our kids. We are generous and practical. A lot of us speak Spanish. No one plays an instrument although we love music and sing well. We are not cool. We are trying our best to be honest and faithful and close to Jesus. We are all passionate about our lives and work. Lately, we’ve been thinking of ourselves as being joyfully serious. We are looking for someone who is passionate and hard-working and serious and joyful, too.

Further, we need leadership that helps us stimulate life in Michigan churches, and develop and maintain good relationships within the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference.

Job Description Specifics

Church growth

·      Create and execute a plan, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, to bring Kalamazoo Mennonite Church to become a self-sustaining congregation by the end of three years of tenure. Note: This is the primary reason we are funding this position.

·      Lead the congregation to envision what such a church should look like

·      Make strong connections with Mennonite churches and other churches in the peace and Anabaptist traditions in Kalamazoo, outstate Michigan, Michigan, and the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference

Pastoral leadership

·      Organize weekly worship, calling forth the gifts of the congregation in worship and fellowship

·      Organize Christian formation classes for the children of the church

·      Teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ

·      Organize instruction classes for incorporating new members

·      Organize and call forth the gifts of the congregation for the ministries of the church and their vocations

·      Nurture healthy communication within the congregation

·      Adhere to the ethical standards as described in A Mennonite Polity for Ministerial Leadership

Spiritual and Professional Development

·      Maintain an active life of prayer and spiritual discipline

·      Meet with a spiritual director on a regular basis

·      Meaningful and healthy interpersonal relationships, boundaries and self-care

·      Participate in continuing education opportunities

·      Costs for spiritual and professional development will be borne as outlined in the congregation’s Covenant of Understanding with the pastor


·      Show evidence of a strong and ongoing relationship with God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

·      Have adequate training for pastoral leadership, ideally a seminary degree


·      The pastor is responsible to the congregation through the leadership council

·      The pastor will undergo a yearly review with the leadership council for the first three years, and every three years afterwards