Pastoral Transition FAQ's

After joining SDCF in 2009 and faithfully serving as North Congregational Pastor, Lead Pastor, and South Congregational Pastor, Pastor Steve Houston will be retiring from the ministry by May 2024 or perhaps even within 2023.   In this time of transition, Pastor Matt will be assuming the role of Lead Pastor and a new South Congregational Pastor will be installed.

1.     Why is this happening?

Pastor Steve and Leslie have long felt the call to be closer to Leslie’s parents in order to provide them the urgent care they need in their advanced age.  Pastor Steve and Leslie will be moving to Arizona upon retirement to be close to them

2.     When is this transition taking place?

The Board of Elders will vote to appoint Pastor Matt as Lead Pastor on January 15th, and Pastor Matt will be installed as Lead Pastor before the church at our New Year’s Launch service on January 22nd.  Pastor Steve will continue serving as South Congregational Pastor until his retirement date, which will be by May 2024 or perhaps even within 2023.

3.     What does the process of finding a new South Congregational Pastor look like?

Possible pastoral candidates were identified by the pastoral staff from existing ministry contacts.  The opening for the congregational pastoral position will also be publicly posted for a period of two weeks.  A Pastoral Search Committee composed of the members of the Board as well as several leaders from the South congregation will review possible pastoral candidates and make recommendations to the Board.  Per our constitution (Article XIII, Section 1 – Calling) “1. The Board shall consider a potential Pastor at any Quarterly or Special Board meeting. 2. A Pastor candidate must receive the majority endorsement of the Ministry Team Coordinators and the Life Group Leaders. 3. A Pastor candidate must be confirmed by unanimous vote of the members of the Board.”

4.     What is a Lead Pastor?

The Lead Pastor’s main role is to implement the SDCF mission and vision.  According to our church Constitution (Article XIII, Section 3 – The Lead Pastor) “… His giftedness to implement vision would have been demonstrated in his ability to communicate, unify, and motivate people. His giftedness to exercise supervision would have been demonstrated in his ability to train, coach, and delegate.”  The Lead Pastor’s other duties include leading the pastoral team and advancing the SDCF mission and vision.  This takes place in Board meetings, the Church Team Rally, and church gatherings.  The Lead Pastor can also serve simultaneously as a Congregational Pastor of the church.  As Pastor Matt takes on the role of Lead Pastor, he will continue to serve as the North Congregational Pastor.

5.     How will this transition impact the current ministries of the church?

Everything we do, including pastoral transitions, serves the purpose of fulfilling our church’s mission and vision.  It’s our prayerful intention for ministry and church life at SDCF to continue in good health to the glory of God.

6.     Will there be opportunities to celebrate Pastor Steve and Leslie?

Yes!  We will have upcoming times together to celebrate and appreciate Pastor Steve and Leslie’s years of faithful service to our church.  Stay tuned!

7.     How can I help during this transition?

Please pray for wisdom for our leadership as we take these steps of faith.  Pray for Pastor Steve and Leslie as they prepare for the season ahead.  Pray for Pastor Matt, Heather and kids as they prepare to assume the additional role as a family tied to Lead Pastorship.  Pray for God’s gracious guidance as we identify and call the next Congregational Pastor for the South.

8.     What if I have additional questions?

Pastor Steve, Pastor Matt, and Pastor Rick are available for you if you have more questions about these transitions.