Anforderungen an einen leitenden Pastor

Was muss heute ein Pastor leisten, wenn er oder sie eine wachsende, dynamische Gemeinde leiten soll? Vor Jahren habe ich das deutsche Leiter unterschiedlicher geistlicher Prägungen gefragt. Die Liste der Anforderungen, die konkret ausgebildet und trainiert werden sollten, um effektiv als Pastor leiten zu können, steht hier zum Download bereit. Nicht alle Punkte muss ein Pastor selbst können, ganz im Gegenteil. Aber ein grundsätzliches Verständnis dafür braucht es schon. Und Räume sollte der Leiter machen für Leute, die ihn oder sie entsprechend ergänzen! Und hier noch eine ganz besondere Stellenbeschreibung:

Willow Creek ist auf der Suche nach einem neuen leitenden Pastor, nachdem Bill Hybels im April 2018 und seine Nachfolger im August 2018 ausgeschieden sind. Die Ältesten der Kirche haben die Anforderungen für diese Rolle zusammengestellt und die Aufgaben konkret beschrieben. Sehr spannend, wie ich finde! Hier ist sie zu lesen:

UPDATE 30.1.2020: Willow überdenkt sein Anforderungsprofil an den nächsten leitenden Pastor, Steve Gillen bliebt nur bis zum 17. März der Interimspastor … So spannende, wie die Entwicklungen bei der Pastorensuche dieser Mega-Church sind.

Religion News Service hat kurz zusammengefasst, was es zu berichten gibt. Nachfolgend das ganze Statement der Ältesten.

Hier die Info der Ältesten:

January 30, 2020

Dear Willow Family,

In our December update, we shared that the final two senior pastor candidates were presented to the full Elder Board. While both candidates have strong qualities as pastors, we released both from candidacy. Our consensus was that neither candidate is the long-term leader of Willow Creek; therefore, the search process has continued. We have provided updates throughout the process, and one of the consequences is that in our last communication, we set an expectation that we are not able to meet.

As an Elder Board, we started this process committed to being unified in the decision for selecting the senior pastor. This commitment helps safeguard our decision. While we acknowledge that no person is perfect, we trust the Holy Spirit to bring us collective clarity and wisdom. We have operated with full agreement on past decisions of great importance, and we are united in moving forward in the next phase of the senior pastor search.

This news is hard and disappointing to share, given the investment of time and anticipation for the next season in the life of our church. However, the candidates and the Elders have prayerfully approached this as a process of discernment. Our Willow church family and Christian family at large have prayed that God will give wisdom and guide this decision. We trust that God heard our prayers and that the Holy Spirit is at work in this determination.

Once we decided we would not move forward with the previous candidates, we immediately began two processes. The first was to continue our search with Vanderbloemen, pursuing new candidates. We have had initial interviews with six strong candidates this week.

Filling this pastoral role is the top priority of the Elder Board. Through the interview process, various listening sessions, emails that were received, and meetings with staff and congregants, we have gained more clarity and alignment on the pastoral and leadership qualities ideal for the next chapter at Willow Creek. While we desire to complete this process soon, we do not want to rush and choose out of fear or pressure. We look forward to seeing what God will do as we continue this process.

The second process was to re-engage with Steve Gillen on continuing in his role as interim senior pastor, which we began in early January and finalized last week.

Steve Gillen has faithfully served the Willow Creek family for 23 years in a variety of critical leadership capacities. As you know, 18 months ago, Steve graciously accepted the request to step in and lead our church on an interim basis during a very difficult time of crisis and change. He did so without hesitation and with a humble heart. Over the last year and a half, he has served as a steadfast, compassionate, and dedicated leader to the entire Willow Creek family.

Before starting the external senior pastor search, we asked Steve to continue in his interim role on contract to provide much needed leadership to the Willow staff and congregation. Given that the search process has taken longer than anticipated, Steve agreed to serve on staff until March 17, 2020. Steve will no longer be interim senior pastor after March 17, but he may stay engaged past that date to support the transition to a new interim senior pastor. He determined that now is an appropriate time for him and his family to seek out what God has in store for them in their next chapter.

We have the utmost respect for Steve as he chooses what is best for him and his family moving forward, and we will miss him. We are incredibly grateful for his leadership, pastoring, and teaching, which has most certainly blessed our church in countless ways. We ask for your prayers for Steve and his family in this time of transition.

In our commitment to keep the congregation informed, we are sharing this news while working through the details for future leadership. We are exploring candidates to help lead Willow through the gap from Steve’s last day until the announcement of a new senior pastor, and Steve is committed to transitioning well. We will provide an update in the coming weeks regarding next steps, and we also will share ways in which we can celebrate Steve and his family.

This news is challenging given all that has taken place in the past couple of years. We feel the pressure of delay and a sense of loss. In the waiting, we have also seen God’s grace. With every step, God has faithfully provided for our church. We are resolved to lean into God’s direction for each step. We move forward remembering that the mission of Willow Creek has not changed. We believe that lost people matter to God, and they matter to the church. We continue the work of sharing the gospel with our friends and neighbors. We allow the good news of Jesus Christ to lead us to greater depths of worship, discipleship, and service. We do this work in community because this is what it means to be the church.

We close this update with a prayer of benediction from Paul:

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

2 Thessalonians 2:16–17

In His service,

Willow Creek Elder Board
Shoji Boldt
Barb Butz
Jeff Choh
Silvia Escobar
Jeff Mason, Chief Governance Officer
Michael Roth
John Sleeting, Secretary
Mary Square

UPDATE 27.1.2020: Dieses Anforderungsprofil hat Prof. Scott McKnight, lange selbst ein Teil von Willow Creek South Barrington kritisch reflektiert. Hier geht es zu seinen Reflexionen.


In Spiritual Leadership:

  • Although not expected to deliver the message every weekend, when teaching, communicate biblical truth in an inspiring fashion that helps reach irreligious people and help people at all levels of their spiritual journey to become fully devoted followers of Jesus.
  • Exemplify a life of walking closely with Jesus, including strong spiritual leadership in the home.
  • Can balance leadership and vision along with accountability and submission while working with a board of lay Elders. The senior pastor will meet with the Elders regularly and will have full voice into all matters, but will not be a voting member of the Elders.
  • Help bring healing to a staff and congregation that has experienced significant loss.

In Visionary/Organizational Leadership: 

  • Bring strength to Willow’s regional locations through a unified vision, while continuing to provide a great deal of autonomy that has allowed the regional sites to attract top talent and thrive as self-supported congregations.
  • Focus initially on strengthening Willow as a local church. Once strength is restored and Willow is healthy and thriving once again, continue Willow’s legacy of high-impact ministry outside the walls in the Chicago area and around the world.
  • Lead the executive team to bring unity and clarity to all programs and ministries, so that all of Willow is pulling for the same mission and vision.
  • Work with the Elders to clarify the relationship with Global Leadership Network (formerly WCA). Note: GLN (WCA) and Willow Creek do not share leadership or governance. The GLN does still occupy space in the building. Focus on building an executive team.
  • Initial hires are likely to be a teaching pastor, as well as a South Barrington lead pastor to focus on the broadcast campus and largest staff.
  • Put emphasis on leadership development, individually modeling this at the highest levels. Equally, place a focus on building processes and systems so that managers and team leaders across Willow are being developed.
  • Provide leadership to help Willow discover its target audience. In the past, it was “unchurched Harry and Mary.” This needs to be redefined for 2020 and beyond.



Willow Creek values candidates who are lifelong learners. Proven leadership experience is important, and this individual should be theologically grounded, but a formal theological classroom education is not a requirement for selection.

Experience and Skills

  • Has a proven communication gift with the ability to effectively deliver talks with a large audience in a room that seats 7,000, while simultaneously engaging with people who are viewing from other locations via high-definition video.
  • Has the ability to deliver messages that reach the seeker, as well as provide depth to help believers grow in their faith.
  • We have a strong preference toward leaders with multi-site or complex organizational experience.
  • Has life experience in connecting with professionals, entrepreneurs, and people who have outwardly made it in life but are seeking significance.
  • Has a heart for those who are under-resourced and history of fighting poverty and injustice.
  • Has a track record of developing and equipping leaders.
  • When you look in the rearview mirror of this leaders life, you see growing organizations.

Personal Characteristics

  • Values and champions women in leadership roles at all levels of the organization, in both executive and ministry capacities.
  • Has likely worked in a nonhomogeneous environment and embraces a diverse culture.
  • Can balance being accessible, while also exhibiting healthy personal boundaries.
  • Is known to be a humble servant leader. This shows up in learning, asking questions, and relying on the strengths and gifts of others.
  • Displays a high level of emotional and relational intelligence.
  • While very grace-filled, holds to a traditional view on marriage (between one man and one woman).
  • Has likely weathered a season of great pain and loss that has helped humble, refine, and shape him or her into a better leader and pastor.

Mehr zum ganzen Prozess bei Willow ist hier berichtet:

Über Lothar Krauss

Ehemann | Vater | Pastor | Blogger | Netzwerker
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