Happy Autumn, epikos!
It’s the beginning of new small group season, a new study, and new opportunities to connect with the community of faith. We recently enjoyed our Fall Kickoff, and we want to say a big THANK YOU to those who volunteered and gave of their time and energy to help make it a great day. We also had over 900 people sign up to be in a small group! For those unable to find a group that fits your schedule, we hope to have more available later this fall and definitely in January at our mid-year Small Group Connect event. As always, if you are not in a small group at this time, the next best way to connect in community at epikos is to get plugged in with a serving team. You can find out more information on that by going to serve.epikos.org.
It’s been a while since I’ve written an update about the Lead Pastor transition (click here to get caught up on the process). We continue to make strides forward. In early August, our search partner, Vanderbloemen Search Group, presented to the Overseers a list of seven recommended candidates (both internal and external). Since then, the Overseers have spent much time in prayer and discussion about the current state and future of epikos as it relates to our next Lead Pastor. They have also conducted interviews via video with candidates. I’ve been highly encouraged and at peace with this process in my role as a resource to the Overseers and participant in their conversations. The unity around the good news of Jesus Christ and the passion for that to be the driving force in this search is awe-inspiring to behold.
I did want to communicate what the next steps of this search will entail. There will be in-person interviews, assessments of final candidates, a nomination of one final candidate, and a vote by Covenant Members. Speaking into that process will be these four groups:
- The Overseers are serving as the Nominating Committee. As the Nominating Committee, they are narrowing the current field of seven candidates down to two or three, who will then be interviewed extensively by groups of staff and attendees (described below). The Overseers will engage with those groups to listen and receive feedback on each candidate, using that information as a vital part of the discernment process. They will then select the final candidate, who will preach on a Sunday, and present that candidate to the Covenant Members for a vote.
- There is a group of seven staff members who are serving as the Staff Advisory Team. They will be involved in the in-person interview process, seeking to provide the Overseers with detailed feedback as it relates to a candidate’s fit with the staff and the daily ins-and-outs of ministering at epikos.
- There will be two epikos Advisory Groups. These will be groups of about seven people each: Covenant Members and engaged attendees representing our diversity in age, ethnicity, gender, and campus. These groups will meet face-to-face with the final candidates, giving feedback to the Overseers about a candidate’s ability to engage in conversation, exude the gospel of Jesus Christ, and grasp the culture of epikos and Milwaukee.
- The final vital group in this process is the Covenant Members. At epikos, “church membership” is a next step of discipleship. It’s an acknowledgment of commitment to this local expression of the body of Christ. One of the privileges is being able to vote in certain church matters: the Overseer Board, the annual budget, property acquisition, changes to the epikos Constitution, and the Lead Pastor. Once the Overseers have chosen one final candidate, that candidate will come and preach on a Sunday morning. Then, a few days later, there will be a called meeting in which the Overseers will place that candidate as their nomination for Lead Pastor before the Covenant Members for a vote.
Moving forward, the interview process will only get busier. I fully expect October to be a whirlwind of interviewing, hosting, and prayerfully considering candidates. If you have questions or desire for something in this process to be clarified, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, the greatest role you can play in this season is to be in prayer for epikos, the Overseers, the Staff, the Advisory Groups, and the candidates. May we discern and know clear direction from the Lord. May we honor God, His church, and the candidates. And may we be unified in our passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.