Over the course of its 30-year history, despite the ups and downs that many New England congregations experience, Grace Baptist Church, located in the Metrowest suburb of Boston, has become a welcoming community of people from a wide variety of backgrounds. As one of the largest churches in the area, Grace is a growing, racially-diverse congregation from a wide variety of ethnic, religious and personal backgrounds who seek to know and follow Jesus.
Operating from a position of strength and a healthy state, Grace is currently experiencing considerable growth and becoming more recognized in the broader community. Up to one thousand people come to Grace every Sunday, from over 30 towns in the region, to worship and engage in ministry programs. Sunday services feature authentic worship and Christ-centered biblical preaching.
There is an abundance of ministry going on within the congregation and to those outside the church family. In addition to Sunday services, Grace features vibrant ministries for children and youth, outreach to families in the surrounding communities, growing community life groups and a strong care ministry. Grace is experiencing a renewed focus on relationships and lifestyle discipleship whereby God is leading many non-believers to “lean in and listen,” leading to changed lives.
Viewing scripture as authoritative, Grace is theologically reformed at the “highest level,” conservatively evangelical and baptistic in practice while also offering a spirit of openness and acceptance toward the brokenness of the human condition and individuals. This “come as you are” approach, combined with an energetic, upbeat environment, has a great appeal to individuals and families of all kinds.
Grace is led by Lead Pastor Marc Peña and a gifted team of five pastors and ministry directors, as well as a strong administrative staff. Grace sits on just under 40 acres of land with a 40,000 square foot facility housing a large, theatre-style worship space, ample room for children’s and youth ministries, multi-use gathering spaces and offices. The governance and leadership of Grace includes an Elder board with broad oversight of the church while the direction and day-to-day leadership is staff centric.
With a population of nearly 20,000, the town of Hudson, Massachusetts is located approximately 45 minutes northwest of Boston in Middlesex County. Hudson’s recorded history began in the early 1600s. To this day, Hudson continues the traditional town meeting form of government. From around 1850 until the last shoe factory burned down in 1968, Hudson was known as a “shoe town” and at one point had 17 shoe factories. The area is now inhabited with high technology and medical R&D companies. Lying along two heavily traveled thoroughfares, the region offers easy access to a variety of vocational and educational opportunities.
In this highly unchurched area, Grace possesses the potential to reach people for Christ in significant ways. While Grace is experiencing the common challenges of breaking the 800-1,000 attendance barrier, the church is at a major transition point with a high level of enthusiasm for what is next. There is a sense that the refinement of identity and focus, which has occurred over the past five years under Marc Peña’s leadership, has positioned Grace on the threshold of something big. This includes the possibility of a major facilities expansion. The desire is to serve a broader community and to impact more people with the Gospel.
The Executive Pastor/Director Role
It is into this context that Grace Baptist Church is seeking to call a new Executive Pastor/Director. While the role has been ably filled on a part time basis for the past three years, it has become clear that for Grace to fulfill its mission and achieve the potential that lies in front of the church, a full-time person is needed.
The role requires a balanced combination of pastoral skills, organizational leadership and “business” acumen. It will add structure to abstraction in a way that doesn’t stifle creativity but instead brings cohesion, clarity and mutual understanding. In many ways, the role of the ideal candidate might be identified as that of a bridge. They will serve as the bridge between the lead pastor and the staff to ensure alignment to vision and mission as well as holding the staff accountable to mutually agreed goals and objectives. This individual will also help bridge the church from the present to the future by executing the strategy of Grace’s mission and vision. Finally, the person will be able to build bridges between all staff, fostering an environment that promotes team work, support and encourages staff members to serve at the highest level of their abilities and gifts.
The ideal candidate will understand and embrace a biblical framework of ecclesiology and mission. While their role will primarily mirror that of a COO, the Executive Pastor/Director will possess general knowledge of all aspects of church ministry & operations, including organizational leadership, staff development and strategic & tactical implementation of goals and objectives. The primary responsibilities of the Executive Pastor/Director are twofold: One will be to support the Lead Pastor in such a way that allows the Lead Pastor to work within his strengths and humbly complements his weaknesses. Second, in partnership with the Lead Pastor, the Executive Pastor/Director will be charged with organizing the church’s greatest resource for mission—its people.
- Committed follower of Jesus Christ.
- Significant ministry experience and qualified for ordination under SBC guidelines; seminary training preferred.
- Bachelor’s degree in business-related field desired, Master’s in Business Administration preferred.
- Minimum of 10 years as a member of an executive team in the business or non-profit/social sector; 15 years preferred.
- Willing to fulfill the duties required of the membership covenant.
- Demonstration of humility, discretion, perseverance, patience, sense of humor, team spirit, and caring.
Knowledge and Skills
- Ability to create and maintain organizational culture with the Lead Pastor.
- Strong operational and administrative skills.
- Strategic thinking and the ability to define and implement plans and focus on details.
- Proficiency in assessing, evaluating and applying continuous improvement across church operations.
- Professional-level skills in managing people, programs and finances.
- High relational IQ.
Process for Candidacy
After reading this Opportunity Profile and if you possess the gifts and experiences required, we invite you to begin the inquiry process. All candidate information and conversations are handled confidentially.
Please provide the following documents and responses for review.
When formulating your resume for this position, please include the following information for each position you have held in the past 15 years:
- Your title(s), time of employment there (e.g., 2001-2006) and details concerning transitions.
- Budget, scope and size of the organization and your department.
- Three specific achievements or accomplishments that were most meaningful to you while in these positions as it pertains to strategic visioning, team leadership and management.
- Please also include any meaningful assessments or inventories that help us know more about you (e.g. DISC, MBTI, StrengthsFinder, IDAQ, and EQI…)
(They will not be contacted without your prior knowledge)
- The person who knows your spiritual journey best or has had the most significant impact on your life.
- Three references from your professional life—preferably a significant manager, a peer and a subordinate.
- Two personal references that can speak to your character and personal faith.
In order to give us a more complete picture of you and your interest in the Executive Pastor/Director position, please provide thoughtful responses to each of the following questions, submitted in writing:
- What is it about Grace Church and the role that is most compelling?
- Tell us about a significant experience in your own leadership development, ministry/service involvement and business experience that would translate to success in this role.
- Describe your Christian faith journey and your practice of spiritual disciplines.
- Describe how your background, strengths and experiences fit with the roles and responsibilities of the Executive Pastor of Grace Church.
- Describe what you think might be both the positive possibilities, as well as the challenges, associated with multiple ministries residing under an umbrella entity.
- Please review the core theological commitments of Grace Church and comment on your alignment with them.
Submit these responses (in WORD or .DOC format) along with your resume/CV to:
Partner and Senior Search Consultant, Sima Partners
[email protected] | 612-384-0410