Lead Pastor Search

The Elder Board, after observation, discussion, and prayer, have unanimously agreed to begin a search for a Lead Pastor. We are confident we can build on the foundation that has been laid over the last year and that the position of Lead Pastor can be added to our team in a way that is healthy for that person and stabilizing for our church and staff, while also bringing that one, primary teaching voice to the pulpit.

Video Transcript

Hi, Bent Tree family. In May of last year, we, as an Elder Team came to you and introduced a collaborative leadership structure for our church. We introduced it with the expectation that we might need to adjust as the new structure unfolded. In January, we began observing and evaluating what has worked over the past year, what needed improvement, and what changes would help carry us forward. So, amid some pretty big changes, we observed and talked and prayed about how we should be led as a church. After doing that, we unanimously agreed that it’s time to begin searching for a Lead Pastor at Bent Tree. We believe that we can build on the foundation that has been laid over the last year and that the position of Lead Pastor can be added to our team in a way that is healthy for that person and stabilizing for our church and staff.

We are proud of our Senior Leadership Team and have been encouraged by how they have confronted the challenges of the last year. JoAnn, Steve, Mike, Sheila, and Scott have served us admirably. We have lived the benefits of working together as a team, and we are committed to a church environment where a Lead Pastor can work in tandem with other staff leaders, while also bringing that one, primary teaching voice to the pulpit. We believe that’s what is needed for our Bent Tree family.

At the same time, we know our limitations in identifying the right person to fill that role, so we as a Board have enlisted the help of Slingshot Group to conduct a comprehensive search. Slingshot is a nationally recognized search firm, and they’ve agreed to help us identify candidates, select, and hire a Lead Pastor. This process could take anywhere from 6 months to 12 months, but we are confident that the Lord will bring us the right person in his perfect timing.

We will update you regularly throughout the search as events unfold. To help keep you informed on the process, and to answer some frequently asked questions, we have created a web page, benttree.org/pastor-search. If you have any specific questions you would like to ask the Elder Board, you can email us at

Now, you may be asking: What can I do to help? We would ask you to pray for Bent Tree, pray for us, and pray for the person who God has in store for our Bent Tree family. We actually created a prayer guide to lead you through some specific ways we would invite you to pray through each step of the process, and you can find that guide on our website at benttree.org/pastor-search or on our Bent Tree App.

Now, it’s important for us to tell you in our own words: Thank you for continued investment into our church and the community over the past few months since we’ve been unable to gather. Your faithfulness in connecting with us online, giving faithfully in a time of economic uncertainty, and loving people around you has been nothing short of miraculous.

We know that some of you are ready to gather. Thank you for your patience: it’s almost time to do that. We are with you and for you. We know that some of you are worried about gathering. We’re with you and for you. We know that some of you have never walked through the doors of a church before, and you’re gathering with us online. We’re with you and for you. God is on the move here. He’s working in and through you to transform people into disciples of Jesus, here and around the world. Let’s keep joining him in that, together.

Stages Overview

Stage 1 | Current Stage


• Elder Board meets to launch the process and partners with Slingshot Group.
• Senior Leadership Team & Elder Board work together with Slingshot Group to develop Lead Pastor candidate profile & church profile.

Stage 2

∨ Stage 2

• Application process is opened.
• Team of experts at Slingshot Group actively search nationwide for who God is calling to Bent Tree Bible.

Stage 3

∨ Stage 3

• Slingshot Group interviews, evaluates, and identifies potential candidates.
• Elder Board vets and assesses qualified candidates presented by Slingshot Group.
• Select candidates go through multiple rounds of interviews.

Stage 4

∨ Stage 4

• Elder Board prays and selects the final candidate.
• The new Lead Pastor is introduced to the Bent Tree Bible family.



Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the search process take?

It is important to do an exhaustive search to find a Lead Pastor who aligns with Bent Tree’s mission and values. With that in mind, we believe the search could take anywhere from 6 to 12 months but we are committed to follow the Lord’s leading and timing throughout the process.

How does hiring a Lead Pastor impact our current Senior Leadership Team (SLT)?

JoAnn, Steve, Mike, and Sheila are humble before the Spirit, love this church, love you, and most importantly, love Jesus Christ. We have been and will continue to be blessed by their giftedness, their leadership, their teaching, and their work through the Spirit. We are committed to a church environment where a Lead Pastor will work in tandem with our staff leadership team.

Why hire a search firm?

The Slingshot Group are experts in their field, and partnering with them gives us the opportunity to cast the widest net possible with a nationwide search specifically designed to identify the highest caliber candidates.

Is the Elder Board no longer concerned about the solo senior pastor model as explained in the May 12, 2019 update to the body?

It is still the belief and intent of the Elder Board to guard the body and our pastors from the tension, weight, and influence that can develop from the solo senior pastor model at the top of the organization. Over the past year we have experienced the benefits of working together as a team and sharing the load of leadership and teaching. We are committed to continuing in that same mindset with a new Lead Pastor working collaboratively with our current leadership and bringing a singular voice to the pulpit. Read the May 2019 update here.

How is the new Lead Pastor selected?

The Elder Board is responsible for the hiring decision for the Lead Pastor. They will be doing this with input from staff leaders, lay leaders, and our search firm.

Will the Elder Board be considering internal candidates?

We may have internal candidates who apply for this role. The Elder Board has determined that a robust, nationwide search will likely yield the best possible result, and the Board is committed that all internal or external candidates or referrals will move through the same process.

What can I do to help?

The main thing you can do is to pray. Pray for the individual who God will bring to Bent Tree to join us in our mission of being used by God as he transforms people into disciples of Jesus Christ, here and around the world. Pray also that the Elder Board will clearly discern who that individual is. Below are weekly prayer guides with some suggestions of how to pray during each stage of this search.

Stage 1 Prayer Guide Stage 2 (coming in stage 2) Stage 3 (coming in stage 3) Stage 4 (coming in stage 4)

Where do candidates apply?

All applications will go through Slingshot Group. The application system will open in Stage 2.

Apply (coming in Stage 2)


If you have questions for the Elder Board, please reach out to us at .