Senior Pastor Search

On September 13, 2020, Senior Pastor, Marty Berglund announced that he will step down as the senior pastor in June 2021. He and the other members of the Elder Board have been making plans for this transition for many months. One component of the “transition plan” is to execute a search process that will find the next senior pastor. To do this, the elders organized a Search Team for the task of identifying potential candidates. This webpage is presented for describing the team’s process and progress. You can also receive updates and prayer requests by subscribing to the [Search Team Blog].

Prospective pastors should forward a resume and cover letter to [ searchteam@myfac.org ].

Overview

The process for the search is well-defined. It will involve steps that are obvious. First, we will publicize the opening. Second, we will evaluate the responses that have been submitted by potential candidates. Third, we will create a short-list for final interviews with the Elder Board.

We expect the process to take many months. So we will communicate periodic updates with you through this web page and weekend announcements.

We all are in this search together. Let’s pray together.

As fellow members of the family, the search team views our first role as a prayer team. The mechanics and activities of a search can be done with or without godly dependence. We are determined to walk in the Spirit while conducting the search. Please join us in praying now, and throughout the process. Persisting until our next pastor is found. If you have any questions that are not answered by the content that has been provided so far, please feel free to email the team at [searchteam@myfac.org].

Check out the [Search Team Blog] for more information, updates, and prayer requests, throughout this process.

Senior Pastor Profile

The Role of Senior Pastor 

(PDF)

Fellowship Alliance Chapel (FAC) is seeking its next Senior Pastor who, with God’s direction, will lead us into the next season of ministry in southern New Jersey.

Our current Senior Pastor (and founding pastor) of many years, Marty Berglund, is retiring in 2021 after 40 years of service to our congregation. 

The role of Senior Pastor at FAC is accountable to our elders and helps give leadership to over 20 staff. We currently have one executive pastor to share the leadership of the churchOur church is a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, elder governed, and staff led with a mix of ages, represented across all levels of our ministry. The average weekend attendance is over 1,800. 

In work with our Elders, the staff leadership team, the pastor search team, and engaged volunteers, we have established the following as key roles we expect the next Senior Pastor to play: 

Lead Teaching Pastor 

We desire someone who will be the primary teaching pastor. They will plan the weekend preaching/teaching series and guide the congregation in methods for applying God’s word to our lives.  

We seek “someone that has learned in their own brokenness the grace of Christ. We want to be abounding in grace in our vision for the future.”  

Chief Explorer and Future Thinker 

A person who will serve the congregation by seeking new territory to share the gospel, finding new methods, and innovations that equip the congregation for effective service in the future. 

“Engaged, involved to take on new challenges. Working closely with other leaders, not in a tower of study.” 

The Leader 

Our expectation is that the Senior Pastor will be the prime leader of the congregation. We want him to cast vision, shape direction, and make appropriate decisions.  

“We are not seeking a Senior Pastor to do everything but one who can empower others.” 

Evangelist 

In addition to the above we expect the Senior Pastor to model the role of evangelist, communicating the gospel in a personal way to unreached people.   He will prioritize this task personally and train others to do likewise. 

“One thing we would really love to hear preached and taught to the church is that it doesn’t matter who you are or what your background is, you can come in here with a totally messed up life… willing to take a step toward Jesus. ”  

Education: Master of Divinity or Master of Theology is preferred 

Directional Themes 

Many of FAC’s ministry activities of today and plans for the future arise from the following directional themes. Directionally, over the next three years, we desire to pursue: 

  • Evangelism – proclaiming Christ’s love through each participant, and watch God grow his church. 
  • Small groups – a key to strengthening our love and unity in a faith-based community, “making a big church smaller.”
  • The next generation – through ministries with students, middle school age through college. 

The Church 

While Fellowship Alliance Chapel recently celebrated its 40th year of ministry it is more excited about its future than its past.  

The church is a single-site, multigenerational congregation committed to a mission that more and more people would live a Jesus-centered and missionally engaged life.  

Within the last five years the church completed a new building project, located on the same property with its original building in Medford, NJ.  

The church is committed to faithfulness, sharing the gospel with others locally and beyond while trusting God to grow his church. We desire to see hundreds of faith decisions, baptisms and invest thousands of volunteer hours both locally and globally. 

Our current ministry program includes family support ministries, extensive programs for adults, children and youth, as well as care and recovery ministries, and missions. 

Our theological tradition is evangelical. While our church is solidly committed to the Christian and Missionary Alliance as our denominational family, we would consider those candidates with theological beliefs compatible with our Alliance heritage but serving in other independent or other evangelical fellowships. 

The church has pastors on staff that will teach periodically during the year.  Historically this has been done to allow the Senior Pastor time to invest in the task of leading the staff and developing them to be great co-laborers of the gospel in our mission field.   

Communities 

Our church building is in a very desirable township in Medford, New Jersey. Located 30 minutes from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 45 minutes from the Jersey shore, Medford serves as a hub of business and culture for this region.   

With an average enrollment of 1,800 students, there are five high schools within a 15-minute drive from the church, demonstrating the church’s central location to the surrounding townships of Marlton, Medford, Mount Holly, Mount Laurel, and Tabernacle.  Members of the congregation live in these communities as well as many other townships beyond a 15-minute commute.  

There is great variety in neighborhoods when choosing where to livewith many amenities that appeal to families.   The public schools are very good, reporting strong graduation rates and college admission.  In addition, there are some private, Christian schools in the surrounding area. 

If this opportunity stirs your heart and you fit our profile, please send us a letter and a resume to [searchteam@myfac.org].

[ Click here ] to download a PDF version of the Senior Pastor Profile.

We will receive applications and inquiries until January 31, 2021. 

The Current Status

Pastor Marty Continues to Lead

As the Elder Board prepares for Marty’s departure in June 2021, we want to affirm for you that until then, he remains our leader. And he is engaged and active.

In fact, those of you who attend our weekend services in person know and can attest to, the weeks that Pastor Marty is not preaching, he and Laurie are in the building, greeting and loving people as they come into and leave the services.

Outside the weekend services, Marty is:

  • actively and enthusiastically leading the staff
  • preparing his sermons
  • meeting with the elder board weekly for prayer
  • praying for the next Senior Pastor of FAC and doing all he can in preparing the way for him
  • writing and recording several short clips for his Facebook posts

 

In the months ahead, Marty and Laurie will record videos of their journey during this momentous time and will share them with us in the near future.

To help prepare Pastor Marty and Laurie for their next season of ministry, the Elder Board has asked Marty and Laurie to take a well-deserved, multi-week sabbatical in the first quarter of 2021 for soul care. This will give them solitude away from the day-to-day details at FAC so they can:

  • Continue to pray to God and hear His call for their next season of ministry
  • So, they can dream together about their future and
  • To sift through ministry opportunities that have been presented to them

 

Update on the search for FAC’s next Senior Pastor

Progress to date:

  • Earlier this year, Marty, together with the Elder Board, setup a Pastor Search Team. As we speak they are active gathering names of pastors who might be considered for Marty’s replacement.
  • The process kicked-off in November. The Team publicized the open position, inviting interested pastors to submit a cover letter and resume. This application period will continue until the end of a three-month period, which concludes on January 31, 2021.
  • We are now at the halfway point of the application phase. Here are just a few of the accomplishments so far:
    • Our Pastor Profile which outlines the role of our next pastor is posted at 15 seminaries.
    • The Pastor Profile has also been published to three Internet job-boards that specialize in pastor openings.
    • We have currently received over 60 resumes from interested pastors
  • Because we still have more time, the Team plans to do more. We do not want to leave any stone unturned. So, we will expand the communication of our pastoral opening wherever new avenues are revealed.

Next Steps for the Search Team

The Search Team will be emailing the pastor profile to at least three friends or family members who attend different churches outside of our region and we will continue to call on targeted churches asking them to share our pastor profile with possible interested parties.

And now we are asking you to help too

Would join the Search Team by emailing the [FAC Pastor Profile] to at least three friends or family members who attend church outside the region? It is very possible that someone in our congregation already knows our next pastor.

Please spread the word.

In closing, please continue with us in prayer.

Pray for:

  • Marty and Laurie that God will reveal to them where and how they are to serve Him in their next season of ministry.
  • Pray for the next Senior Pastor. We know God has chosen him and we must remain faithful to God in our due diligence process as we continually seek God’s will.
  • Pray that God’s church will continue spread locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Finally, we want to remind all of us that this is a very exciting time in our Church history as we are not focusing on endings but instead choose to celebrate the new beginnings of a new era for God’s church!

We will be providing another update for all of you in the next several weeks. In the meantime, please feel free to contact the [Elder Board] and/or the [Search Team].

Check out the [Search Team Blog] for more information, updates, and prayer requests, throughout this process.

The Timeline

The dates below represent a broad timeline for the road ahead. Check out the [Search Team Blog] for more information, updates, and prayer requests, throughout this process.

2020

May | Elders invite individuals to consider serving on the Pastoral Search Team.

June | Search Team begins meeting for prayer and plan preparations.

Sep 13 | Marty together with the Elder Board announce his plan to step down as the Senior Pastor in June 2021.

Oct 3-4 | The Search Team conducts focus groups with a subset of engaged, volunteer leaders.

Oct 20 | The Elder Board approves the publication of the “Pastor Profile”, describing the role of the next senior pastor.

Oct 20 | The Search Team publishes a web page for ongoing communication with the congregation and potential candidates.

Nov 1 | The search begins. The Pastor Profile is published through various networks, inviting interested candidates to apply.

Nov 19 | Day of fasting and praying.

Dec 10 | Day of fasting and praying.

2021

Jan 14 | Day of fasting and praying.

Jan 31 | The invitation to apply for the position concludes.

January – March | The Search Team collaborates with the Elders, screening and interviewing candidates.

June | Marty steps down as the Senior Pastor.

Prayer Requests

Please join us for a day of church-wide prayer and fasting on January 14, 2021.

  • Pray for our church and leaders.
    • Pray for Pastor Marty to have continued strength as he finishes his well-run race as senior pastor.
    • Pray that Pastor Marty and Laurie would have continued peace as they prepare for this emotional transition.
    • Pray for our ministry and staff team as they help lead and continue to serve us well in this transition.
  • Pray for our Search Team
    • Pray for our search team, that they may be led by the Spirit as they search for candidates to serve in this important role.
    • Pray that the search team can conduct its work in harmony with FAC’s guiding values, mission, and vision for the future.
    • Pray that the Lord would bring the right candidates to the attention of the search team. Pray that the Lord would provide clarity for any candidates whom He is calling to apply for the position.
  • Pray for the people of FAC
    • Pray that all of us will be faithful in prayer through this process, seeking God’s presence daily in our life.
    • Pray that our church family will be united as the Body of Christ as we face this transition.
  • Pray for our future lead pastor
    • Pray that even today God will grant the next lead pastor peace to make wise decisions about leading us.
    • Pray for God to instill a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit to give the next lead pastor and his family clarity in hearing and responding to the Lord’s calling.

Check out the [Search Team Blog] for more information, updates, and prayer requests, throughout this process.

Information about Fasting

Fasting is a regular discipline that God calls us to. There are many ways to fast, and we encourage you to find a way that works for you. One idea is to fast for 24 hours, from dinner to dinner. Fasting is a great way for us to be unified as a church family and seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance as a whole. We all want exactly the pastor whom God has already chosen to next lead FAC, so let’s seek Him together for His perfect plan.

Why are we fasting?

We are fasting to intensify our dependence on the Lord as we pray for His guidance, wisdom, and favor during this process. We are doing this together as a way to link arms as we pray earnestly for God’s help.

How are we fasting?

We are first examining our hearts and asking the Lord to reveal any sin in our own lives, in order to bring us to repentance.

Once we have asked the Lord for forgiveness for any sin in our hearts, we will fast on the given days.

While we are doing this together, it is important to do so quietly and humbly, not as a display for others to see. Therefore we encourage you to refrain from sharing this on social media, etc. Rather, let this be a time to quiet your heart as you seek the Lord.

“16 And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6:16-18

As you fast, please consider praying for the needs throughout the various sections of this page.

In Him,

The Pastor Search Team

 

Resources for Further Study

DesiringGod.com – Fasting for Beginners

“There are many ways to fast. Fasting should really be made to include abstinence from anything which is legitimate in and of itself for the sake of some special spiritual purpose. If the better part of wisdom for you, in your health condition, is not to go without food, consider fasting from television, computer, social media, or some other regular enjoyment that would bend your heart toward greater enjoyment of Jesus.” [more]

 

DesiringGod.com – Humble Yourself and Fast

“A third major category of fasting takes a forward orientation, seeking God’s favor. Before setting out from Babylon, Ezra proclaimed a fast “that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods” (Ezra 8:21). Here fasting serves as an intensifier alongside “forward” prayers for God’s guidance, traveling mercies, and hand of favor. Ezra reports, “So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty” (Ezra 8:23). This kind of fasting forsakes self-reliance and admits our inability to produce or even predict the desired outcome (James 4:13–16).” [more]

Search Team Comments

Remembering the Past While Looking to the Future

Courtney Gager

October 2020

 

I’ve been reflecting a lot over the past year on the kindness of the Lord. Long before I knew Jesus, the Lord was at work building the church I’d one day call home. The Lord was at work calling Pastor Marty and Laurie to South Jersey, where they knocked on doors and invited strangers to attend a small church service in their house. The Lord was at work multiplying this small group of people and moving among them in amazing ways, making a way for Fellowship Alliance Chapel to eventually settle at 199 Church Road in Medford. The Lord continued to work, calling more and more people through the doors, and creating new opportunities for ministering to the surrounding community. In his kindness, the Lord saved a seat for me at FAC. I especially see his kindness in the way He created good works for me to do here, using the gifts He gave me to serve Him. I have such joy and excitement when I serve at FAC, often alongside my husband and sometimes with our children, too.

When we look back to the beginning of FAC, it is clear that the Lord has been kind, and sovereign, and miraculously at work in building this church we love. There is no question that Pastor Marty has been a good gift to us from the Lord (James 1:17). All of us have grown to love Pastor Marty, and it can be difficult to imagine FAC without him in the senior pastor role. In this season of transition, it has been important for me to remember that Pastor Marty did not build this church. Rather, Pastor Marty committed his work to the God who did. The same God who called Pastor Marty to South Jersey, and who called each of us through the doors of FAC, is now calling a new senior pastor to continue the work of building this church.

As your search team, our task is to serve you as we look for candidates to fulfill the role of the new senior pastor. You should know, though, that much more than we are looking for candidates, we are looking for the Lord. We are committed to prayerfully seeking the Lord’s will and direction. We’ve devoted a tremendous time toward prayer, committing our efforts to the Lord as we set about this task. We invite you to pray with us, as this work is mostly a labor of prayer.

In His kindness, the Lord is not leaving us to face this next chapter in our own strength. In His kindness, the Lord is continuing to build his church. In His kindness, the Lord is calling more people through the doors of FAC, perhaps people who don’t yet know Him. Perhaps your friend, your family member, or
your neighbor. In His kindness, the Lord is still unfolding his plans to give the people of FAC a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

He is the God who is, who always was, and who is still to come (Revelation 1:8). Remembering the Lord’s kindness in the past as we look toward the future makes this an exciting time!

Elder Board Announcement

Introduction of Search Team

Vice Chairman Phil Morgan

September 30, 2020

 

As we look at the future of FAC, the Governing Board of Elders are asking for your prayers as we seek to discern God’s will for the next season of ministry of the church. Our role is to oversee the vision and the health of the church—both today and into the future.

Pastor Marty will be concluding his time as Senior Pastor in June 2021. At that time, Pastor Marty will have completed over 40 years of ministry at FAC. As Marty and Laurie previously stated, after years of praying and seeking private counsel they now feel that it is time to pass the baton on to the next generation of leadership.

Discussions surrounding Marty’s succession planning started over five years ago. Since that time the succession planning was a frequent topic at our Elder meetings. In preparing for this transformation, we read multiple books on this subject matter, sought counsel from outside advisors and received guidance from churches who successfully worked through a similar transition as the one we are going through now.

As an Elder-governed church, we are charged with driving the process and making the decision on the next Senior Pastor for FAC. We will also be in consultation with the District Superintendent of our denomination, the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

We know you all have and will have a lot of questions about the process and I would like to inform you of some key aspects:

1. We ask for your prayers and your input. While the decision will be made by the Governing Board of Elders, we want to hear from you. We will also be providing periodic updates as we go through this process. To help facilitate more effective two-way communication, we are asking you to send your questions, comments and/or concerns to elders@myfac.org.

2. No decision has been made on who will replace Pastor Marty. Starting now, we will begin the search for the next lead pastor. We will conduct a national search with a thorough and objective method for due diligence.

3. We will be looking for someone who clearly has God’s anointing, feels called to the church, is in alignment with the vision of FAC and can provide strong Godly leadership.

4. As one of our final steps in the preparation and process, the Elder Board has commissioned and established a Pastor Search Team. The team will be introduced to you in a moment. The Pastor Search Team’s primary function will be to identify candidates for our next lead Pastor.

Again, we ask that you keep the transition process as a priority in your prayer life. This is a big deal and change is often a challenge. But we also serve a big God that wants the best for the future of FAC. And we are still on a mission. We have much to accomplish in the years ahead and for our children’s generation.

F.A.Q.s

Who will select the next Senior Pastor?

The District Supervisor of the Christian Missionary Alliance will preview the list of candidates prepared by the Search Team in order to confirm qualification. The Elder Board will select the next Senior Pastor.



What is the role of the Search Team?

The team will conduct a search process that is to result in a prioritized list of pastors to be considered for a call to Fellowship Alliance Chapel. In collaboration with the Elders, the Search Team will make recommendations to the Elder Board.



Will there be an interim pastor hired while the search is being conducted?
(i.e. Someone with some experience who is not going to be the replacement.)

At this time, no decision has been made to hire an interim pastor. Marty will continue to direct the pulpit teaching until the time of his departure. This will include the continued sharing of the weekend preaching with other pastors on staff. The elders will be evaluating this process as time goes on.



How did people get asked to be on the Search Team?

The process was managed by the elders and involved two key components: Creating a list of the church members who are active and invested in ministry leadership at FAC (this list was very long). Then, praying for God’s guidance to shorten the list to less than 10 people. FAC is blessed to have many church members whom the elders believe could have served well in this capacity.



Will we as a congregation be allowed to know about and vote and approve the new, potential pastor like we do for our elder positions?

When we reach the final stage of the selection process, the candidate will certainly be introduced to the congregation. We expect to receive input from the congregation as well. In fact, like the elder affirmation process, if disqualifying information is known, then the elders will invite members of the congregation to share it.

The method for this information exchange will be determined later. What is certain is that two participants will affirm the final decision, the FAC elder board and the CMA (Christian and Missionary Alliance) District Superintendent.



Are you considering pastors who are currently on staff at FAC for the position?

Every candidate who applies will be considered, of course that includes anyone currently on staff. We have not yet created a short list of candidates for interviewing. Such a list will be prepared sometime in the months ahead.



How were people chosen to participate in the focus groups?

It is wonderful to belong to a church where over 1700 people attend and hundreds volunteer. The upcoming transition will be felt by us all and each of us has a keen interest in the process as well as the outcome of who will be the next lead pastor.

The search team would have loved to involve everyone in all the preparatory steps, including the focus groups. However, it was not possible with such a tremendous number of people who serve in our church. In deciding to use focus groups, we were confident that the input from a subset of engaged volunteers would represent the larger church family. A long list of candidates for the groups was submitted by staff and other ministry leaders, from which only a subset participated in the focus group exercise.



Who is on the Pastor Search Team?

Courtney Gager
Melissa King
Lindsay McClure
Jackie Shaeffer
Michael Bolognone
Tommy Calisterio
Matt Miller
Jeff Foering
Chuck Pederson

Check out the [Search Team Blog] for more information, updates, and prayer requests, throughout this process.

Announcement from Pastor Marty Berglund

“Laurie and I have an announcement to share with you about our upcoming transition. I am very confident in God’s leading through this process and even excited to see how He is putting things together for our church in the future. Please watch this video announcement from Laurie, me, Phil Morgan (our head Elder), and Chuck Pederson (a former Elder). Then please join us in praying for the exciting future God is preparing for all of us.”

–Pastor Marty Berglund