We Are Now Seeking a Lead Pastor of Care and Discipleship
Please click here to see the job description and how to apply.
Last revised: 2/24/2020
It has been a time of transition for us at First Baptist Church of Durango. The elders commit to transparency and openness throughout the transition to new pastoral leadership. We know there are many questions and concerns, and we hope to address these here as best we can. Based on a few questions the elders have received, and a few others we imagine may exist for some folks in the body, we have compiled the following questions and answers. Feel free to return as we plan to provide updates here as we go.
Who is leading the church?
This church body is led by elders. We presently have one elder, Jimmy Thoma, who is also a staff pastor. The congregation ratified Jimmy to serve as the Lead Pastor of Ministry and Preaching, our Senior Pastor role, on February 23, 2020.
What are elders and who are they?
The New Testament speaks often about elders, their qualifications, and their roles. Elders know, feed, lead, and protect church members like shepherds do with sheep. They take their guidance from their Lord and Savior. Elders are called to shepherd church members like Jesus shepherded his disciples. This is impossible without faith and supernatural provision from God. See 1 Peter 5, John 21:15-17 and Acts 20:28. We lead with a plurality of elders. We are convinced this is a model well-supported and instructed in the Bible. A majority of the elders are unpaid non-staff volunteers called to minister in their gifting in this way (you may hear these called lay elders or lay pastors).
How can I contact the elders?
Please feel free to contact any of the elders at any time via email. If you would like to have a conversation, please include your number and request that they give you a call.
- Brian Shaffer
- DJ Cl.
- Dave Johnson
- Ken Flint
- Jimmy Thoma
- Robert Gerst
What is the current state of the church?
In the middle of 2019, both our Women’s Ministry Director and Lead Pastor stepped out of their roles at FBC. This has brought change that we did not seek but we fully recognize that Jesus Christ builds His church. He is and will be the hero of this story. Thanks to the Women’s Ministry leadership team (Jodie Klumpenhower, Rose Maes, and Allison Claassen), women’s ministry is thriving. Jimmy has led in interim lead pastor role and was ratified by the congregation as the Lead Pastor of Ministry and Preaching on February 23, 2020. Additionally, other members of the body plug into various teams and tasks to serve each other in this church. The elders affirm the staff and lay leadership as they faithfully and skillfully work towards the goal of seeing lives transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Will we be hiring someone soon?
We are now seeking someone that will be the best fit for our church, the job description that you will find above, and who the Lord places before us.
What other changes are coming? What’s next?
The elders will shepherd the body through this transition. Keeping James 4:13-17 in mind, the elders intend, if the Lord wills, to seek and then to find this pastor based on the job description we have put together. This will take as much or as little time as necessary. We at First Baptist have been blessed by the Lord with a diversity, sufficiency, and completeness of gifting in the people in our body. So the work of ministry goes on in pursuit of the mission to love God, love people, and make disciples. We will trust the Lord. Meanwhile, the Word will be preached and the gospel will be proclaimed.
Who will preach on Sunday mornings?
Jimmy will be in the pulpit primarily but not exclusively. We are also intentionally calling on some elders and others in the body to preach on certain passages and topics.
Will a search committee be formed?
The elders desire to seek the Lord with humility and dependence, be guided by the Word of God, and to represent the different interests in the body throughout this process. The elders have selected a pastoral search team comprised of a variety of individuals from the church. They will be assisting the elders with this important selection.
What can I do?
You are a vital part of this body. Please embrace the truth that the entire body is filled with gifted and empowered ministers, so prayerfully consider how you might help serve. Please pray as we seek the Lord. Join and pour into gospel community as we walk through this process together. We ask the body to continue joining us Sunday mornings to hear what God has to say through Jimmy and the others.