Solo Pastor

Wed Feb 21 00:00:00 MST 2018

Western PA District C&MA

This Pastor Profile describes LAC’s determination of what our church needs in its next Pastor. We prayerfully considered what pastoral characteristics we believe God desires, making our best attempt to list them here. Fortunately, God is in control! Our congregation is excited, knowing God has a plan for us. We are embracing this change and what the future may hold for this local body of Christ. We are seeking an individual who possesses the following characteristics and attributes: ? Interpersonal Skills – The Pastor should be outgoing, engaging and compassionate, building relationships and shepherding the church family in one-on-one situations as well as in larger groups. ? Preaching / Teaching – The Pastor should be a skilled public speaker, with the ability to accurately teach the Word of God in an expositional manner. ? Counseling / Support – The Pastor should be able to provide counsel and/or support to individuals and families. ? Discipleship / Outreach – The Pastor should be passionate about discipling others and participating in outreach activities of the church. ? Active in the Community – The Pastor should be engaged in activities in our local community. The elders and governing board provide much of the vision for the church, but relish the opportunity to come alongside a pastor who shares in their vision of a church reaching the community for Christ. When believers understand their calling to obedience of Jesus, they should begin to view the world, starting with personal relationships, then the community, and beyond, as their mission field. The pastor should be able to support the church as we build programs to equip believers for their mission. LAC offers an attractive compensation/benefits package, which includes housing, insurance, and retirement. If you are interested in applying for our open Pastor position, please forward your resume to David Nagel, District Superintendent of the Western Pennsylvania District of the C&MA to: About This Document This document contains the Latrobe Alliance Church (LAC), Pastor and Community Profiles, written for the purpose of selecting a new Pastor for our church. Recently, our Pastor retired from full-time ministry after 11 � years of service at Latrobe Alliance Church. He leaves the church in good standing and on good terms with the congregation, staff, and the Governing Board. Rev. Dave Nagel, District Superintendent of the Western Pennsylvania District of the Christian & Missionary Alliance, guided our Governing Board as we worked to prepare ourselves and our congregation for the arrival of the new Pastor that God has already appointed for this church. Every step in this process has been bathed in prayer, as we seek God’s will for the future of our church. The results of this exercise of discovery and discernment are contained in this document. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” – Colossians 4:2 Latrobe Alliance Church Profile Latrobe Alliance Future & Vision We believe the future growth of this church will rely on our building our people to enable them to reach out to others for Jesus Christ. By equipping them to witness and disciple we will build up our family of believers. Focusing on Biblical teaching will enable us to achieve this goal. Further, we believe that a thriving small group ministry is the vehicle by which to generate growth in our members, both personally and spiritually, as well as in numbers. These small groups are starting out as “Sunday Night Connect” groups at the church, where relational evangelism is being taught to the adults. Too many young adults fall away from the church once their faith is challenged in the face of “scientific evidence.” We want to equip our youth to be directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit in their daily living. By teaching them apologetics, we want to enable them to defend and stand firm in their faith when challenged by worldly “evidence.” The goal is for our youth to believe that following and walking in the Spirit will provide the best possible plan for their lives. Training and equipping our youth and young adults to take on future leadership roles in their church, their community, and their world is of great importance to LAC. We want to excite and prepare our youth, encouraging them to invite others to learn about Christ and fulfill the Great Commission. The goal is to eventually launch home Connect groups, thus fostering relationships among believers. The result will be a body that fellowships together corporately as well as in small groups. We want this body of believers to bring glory to God in their daily lives. These fully devoted followers of Christ will then be prepared to go out and offer help and hope in Jesus’ name. Acts 2:42-47 serves as the guidepost for the vision for our church. Current Church Statistics 1. Monthly Average Sunday Worship Attendance 53 2. Current Membership 34 3. Monthly Average Offerings $ 8,400 Description of the Congregation Reflecting the surrounding community, our congregation is composed of mostly Anglo/Caucasian Americans, though there is an adopted Haitian youth as well as one or two from other backgrounds. Most of the adult congregants are married. A wide variety of ages are represented in the congregation with an average age of approximately 50. While a smaller congregation, jobs and careers represented by those who attend run the spectrum from retirees, homemakers, teachers, shop workers, and professionals, to name only a few. The rest of the congregation is made up of young adults, youth, and children. The income levels also reflect the surrounding community. There are currently 34 who are official members of the LAC. This past year, 2017, saw an average attendance of 53 in the Sunday morning worship service. Even though the size of the congregation is small, giving averaged $8,400 per month. Congregational Strengths The following list is the observed and perceived strengths of our congregation: • Our members are friendly and welcoming to visitors. It is truly a family atmosphere. • All our ministries are Bible-based. Our people have a strong desire to learn more about the Bible and apply it to their lives. • Generosity is a hallmark of our congregation. Our people give freely of their time, talents, and money. • Serving others comes easily to this congregation. Everyone is happy to assist when there is a need. • Our people understand the significance of prayer in not only their own lives, but corporately as a body of Christ. During worship services, the elders open the floor for prayer requests. This becomes a time of sharing requests as well as celebrating answers to prayer. In addition, we have a weekly prayer meeting, where warriors bind together to pray for our congregation, our community, our nation, our leaders, and our international workers throughout the world. To keep us connected throughout the week, we utilize a prayer chain ministry for urgent requests. Opportunities for Growth Within Our Congregation The following list is the observed and perceived weaknesses of our congregation: • We tend to be “church centric” – every activity seems to have to happen at the church. • Our music ministry was heavily dependent on our pastor and his wife. With their retirement, we are exploring new ways to worship as a congregation, encouraging various individuals to step up and share their talents with the church family. • We currently do not have a young adult ministry. • As is typical with a small congregation, 20% of the people do 80% of the work. Description of Facilities LAC owns approximately 1.5 acres located at 130 Kingston Street in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, nestled in the foothills of the scenic Laurel Highlands. The site is also close to the small village of Youngstown. There are three buildings on the site. A parsonage, which consists of 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, kitchen, dining room, living room, den and 2-car garage. The pastor’s office is located on the ground floor of the parsonage and has a powder room adjacent. There is also a 2-car detached garage, which is used to store lawn care / snow removal equipment. This structure also has 2 second-floor storage rooms. In April of 2017, LAC completed a building program, opening its new worship / educational wing to its existing primary building. The church now houses a sanctuary which currently seats 85, with possible expansion to 115 seats. The educational wing consists of 4 classrooms, a family restroom and a nursery. The remainder of the building holds another classroom, a multi-purpose room, restrooms, and fellowship hall. The fellowship hall is the recently converted old sanctuary. It can seat 80 – 100 people for dinners or special events. Building fund pledges and special offerings resulting in nearly $100,000 in donations, providing a strong base to fund the construction of the new building. These donations were coupled with a loan of approximately $280,000 to construct the building shell and finish the sanctuary. We saw God’s hand at work during the entire construction project. The abilities of the congregants, and their willingness to devote time and energy to the church, allowed us to finish constructing the interior of the building. The monies collected were only enough to finish the sanctuary. The educational wing was not going to have any interior walls, but by God’s grace and provision, we were able to completely finish all of the rooms. Our members’ faith has been strengthened through the miraculous experience of finishing the building project when there was no logical way we could – financially or physically. Our Elder Board and the congregation desire to pay down the loan balance at an accelerated rate. With as faithful as the Lord has been through this process, we have no doubt that He will enable us to accomplish this. History of Latrobe Alliance Church LAC has undergone many changes since its origin in 1932. The church has moved from a store front, to a private home basement, to a funeral home – never losing sight of its mission to serve the community of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. In 1980, a two-room school house was purchased to meet the needs of a small, but growing congregation. A parsonage, then garage with classrooms on the second floor was constructed and the growth continued. In 1997, The congregation had outgrown the current facilities and a larger building, with a much larger sanctuary and a few more classrooms, was constructed. The Lord blessed the church by allowing the mortgage to be paid off several years early in 2009. The time to rest was short, when the realization hit that a larger structure, with more classrooms to educate students eager to learn about their savior and spread the news of Jesus Christ, was already needed. The new church ended up being three times the size of its predecessor, meeting many more needs of the congregation and the community it serves. We look forward to outgrowing this one. Worship Style & Current Ministries The Sunday morning worship service is the core of the weekly life of LAC. It is the time when our members and regular attenders gather for fellowship, prayer, rejoicing in song and giving, celebrating Communion, and coming to know Jesus better through the scripture taught from the pulpit. We believe that teaching from the pulpit should not be just Biblically “based,” but must be teaching of the Bible, as it is God’s revelation of His Son, Jesus Christ, to us. While the worship service is open to all, kids through fifth grade are given the opportunity to go to a special “Children’s Church” during the last half of the regular service. Music plays a large part of the worship service each Sunday. During the tenure of our recently retired Pastor, it was traditional that the pastor, or the elder filling the pulpit if the pastor was away or on vacation, would choose the songs for each service. The choices were regularly made from traditional hymns as well as more contemporary music. Instrumental accompaniment was provided by the pastor’s wife, on the piano or organ. There are several members of the church who share (i.e. rotate) the duties of leading the music worship each Sunday, including the elder who oversees the music ministry. There are other congregants who, on occasion, fill in to play the piano. Additionally, there are several congregants who use their musical talents for special music and/or for music during the collection of offerings. This includes both singing as well as instrumental selections. Both adults and youth participate in this ministry. As Communion is one of the ordinances instructed by Jesus, it is the tradition of the congregation to celebrate Communion on the first Sunday of each month. Though there have been sermons specifically dedicated to expositions about Communion, it is more usual for the pastor to lead a short introduction of the Communion service. The elders and pastor service Communion to the congregation. Usual practice has been that all wait to eat or drink until all have been served, and to eat and/or drink together. The ordinance of Baptism is celebrated with special services outside of the church building, as the church does not have facilities on-site to perform baptisms. In the past several years, the service has been held during the summer in a pool volunteered by someone in the congregation. The pastor would begin with a short service describing the importance and significance of baptism, followed by the actual baptisms, and then a time of fellowship. While the worship service is the central gathering of LAC body each week, there are several other vital ministries which flow from it. The first is Sunday School. Several years ago, the elders decided that the focus of Sunday School should be building and equipping the individual to be able to study the Word of God on his or her own. We started with a three-year through-the-Bible inductive curriculum from Answers in Genesis (AIG) which provided the same topics (though in an age-appropriate manner) for all Sunday School levels, from pre-school through adult. It was felt, and has subsequently shown to be correct, that this would foster communication and discussion within individual families after and outside of the direct church (building) setting. After completion of the three-year curriculum from AIG, another three-year all-ages curriculum was chosen from Lifeway that follows the thread of Christ through the entire Bible chronologically, The Gospel Project. Again, the inductive method of Bible study is emphasized to equip the individual with the tools necessary to study the Bible on his or her own, especially in the child and youth levels of this curriculum. We currently have Sunday School classes for ages 4 through second grade, third grade through sixth grade, youth, young adults, and adults. Since the emphasis on inductive study was introduced, the attendance at Sunday School has been slowly growing. The kids always seem to be excited to come to Sunday School, and the adult group has been starting to run out of chairs, even in the new classroom. As the worship service invites a closer and more intimate relationship with Jesus and Sunday School prepares individuals to personally study God’s word, the Connect groups serve to foster fellowship between members of the body at Latrobe Alliance Church. These groups provide a time to unwind and get to know each other better through informal conversation over some snacks, a time of Bible study, and a time of sharing needs, requests, and praises that are brought to God through small-group corporate prayer. There are currently Connect groups for kids through sixth grade, youth in junior and senior high school, and adults. Unlike Sunday School, each group has its own curriculum. The kids use a curriculum that follows the lessons from “Children’s Church” that Sunday morning. The youth are currently using a video series to learn how to lead a more Spirit-filled life. The adults are learning about relationship evangelism as part of our effort to encourage and equip people to go into the community to spread the gospel. Outreach Jesus Christ commanded us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” – Mark 16:15. At LAC, we take this command to heart. We have a Guest and Outreach (GO) committee that focuses on providing opportunities for our congregants to invite friends, neighbors, and family to participate in various events. Some of these events include: • Resurrection Egg Hunt – Children are invited to come hear the story of Christ’s resurrection, create a small craft, and hunt for Easter eggs. • All Church Game Night – Participants are assigned groups in an effort to create evenly balanced teams of folks: older, younger, athletic, studious. Teams compete in a variety of games to demonstrate manual dexterity, general knowledge, balance, etc. • B.Y.O.P. (Bring Your Own Pizza) & Family Movie Night - families bring their own pizza and watch a classic family-oriented movie. • Ladies’ Night Out – One night per month, the ladies meet at a local restaurant to share a brief devotional and a meal with each other. • Summer Movie Nights – The church lawn is converted to an outdoor movie theater and a family-friendly movie is shown. • Ice Pop Giveaway at July 4th Parade – congregants pass out free ice pops immediately prior to the start of the 4th of July Parade in Latrobe. Flyers advertising upcoming events, along with service times and directions to the church are handed out. When asked what is the cost for the ice pop, our reply is, “This is our free gift to you, because of God’s free gift to us by sending His son.” • Feed the Mission First – Instead of the typical church potluck dinner, we take food to the Latrobe Mission first, then we eat the “leftovers.” • Trunk or Treat – We decorate our car trunks and dress up. Each trunk has a bowl of candy inside. Children who come hear a Bible story, create a small craft, get their picture taken utilizing green-screen photography, have a small meal (hot dogs, chips), then trick or treat in the parking lot at the trunks. Photos were available for pick up the next Sunday at the church. • Christmas Pageant – Congregants, their families and friends participate in a variety show. • Operation Christmas Child (Samaritan’s Purse) – Shoeboxes are filled with small gifts to be sent overseas to children who would not otherwise receive anything at Christmas. God’s Word reveals that God wants a relationship with all people everywhere. To do that, we must repent and turn to live for Him. This message of Jesus is too wonderful to keep to ourselves! Out of our love for God and those around us, our desire is for others to experience the mercy, grace, and forgiveness we are experiencing through Jesus. We are called to share this gospel message in our mission field – the Greater Latrobe community - and we delight in seeing others come to Jesus! LAC’s Relationship in the Greater Latrobe Church Community The greater Latrobe area has a number of churches. Although there are several evangelical churches, the majority of residents consider themselves Catholic. However, a large number of residents in this community do not attend church regularly. Our retiring Pastor was an active member of the Latrobe Ministerium, a group of clergy representing all faiths in our community. The Ministerium works together to provide benevolent assistance to area families in need as well as other various community outreaches. Community Profile Latrobe Fifty miles east of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the small community of Latrobe. Of Westmoreland County’s 357,000 residents, Latrobe has about 2% of the population, or 8,000 inhabitants. Latrobe has a strong sense of community and a rich heritage. It has a collection of family-oriented people, from both blue-collar and white-collar backgrounds. This hamlet has produced some famous persons, notably Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and professional golfer Arnold Palmer. This unique city is the birthplace of the banana split and professional football. This conservative community is predominantly Catholic, but many are not active church-goers. There is a tremendous opportunity to reach these people for Christ. The Greater Latrobe School District provides educational opportunities for students in grades K–12. The surrounding communities in Westmoreland County are home to a number of colleges and universities. Of note is St. Vincent College in Latrobe. In addition to outstanding curriculum, every summer the campus plays host to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ training camp. Latrobe and its surrounding communities provide a wonderful place to rear a family. The nearby Laurel Highlands mountains offer numerous outdoor activities. Hiking, skiing, white-water rafting, camping, water sports, festivals, hunting and fishing are just a sampling of ways to enjoy the rolling hills of Pennsylvania. Latrobe’s Arnold Palmer Regional Airport provides easy access for tourists to come to the area to enjoy all our region has to offer. Nearby: Pittsburgh Only an hour’s drive from Latrobe is the city of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has a vibrant cultural district. Among its many attractions, Pittsburgh is the home of the Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, touring Broadway shows, art galleries, festivals, concerts, museums, the Carnegie Science Center, and Pittsburgh Zoo. With professional baseball, football, soccer, and hockey teams, Pittsburgh has something for everyone.


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