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Denomination: Evangelical Covenant
Weekly Attendance: 200 in-person, 60 online
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Role: Teaching Pastor
Meet Thornapple Covenant Church:
Since 1979, Thornapple Covenant Church has been called to help people find and follow Jesus Christ (John 1:35-51). We believe this to be our main task and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we participate in God’s mission that all people come to faith and that all things be made right in and through Jesus our Lord. Thornapple started a visioning process in January 2022. Leadership has been engaged in this process and the congregation will be engaged through vision launch events in late April 2022. In May, the visionary plan will be made available on the public website.
As an intergenerational Jesus-Centered Community, we believe we are called to know Jesus and follow him by centering our lives around him, and by doing so, experience his transforming presence, a transformation by which we become more like Christ, know his abundance in our lives, and willingly live like Christ for the sake of others and the sharing of the good news of the gospel (Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 4:19; 1 Peter 2:21).
At Thornapple, finding and following Jesus means we humbly commit ourselves to a way of daily living that honors Jesus and winsomely draws people to him. To that end, we invite each person to practice the following missional habits.
- Bless our neighbors with God’s love and the good news of Jesus (Witness).
- Look to God in prayer at all times and seasons (Pray).
- Learn Jesus through engagement with God’s word (Word).
- Share our life with a small group of disciples (Community).
- Care for the poor and vulnerable as we extend the compassion of Christ (Serve).
It is our hope and prayer that as a result of our active faith we will see people find Jesus Christ, follow him with passion and maturity, and work for the flourishing of our city and world.
About the Teaching Pastor:
Thornapple Covenant Church is seeking its next Teaching Pastor. The Teaching Pastor is a second-chair leader who serves under the supervision of the Lead Pastor. The Teaching Pastor will serve as the primary preacher in worship services and will design and implement the comprehensive system for adult spiritual formation.
The Teaching Pastor Responsibilities Include:
Preaching and Worship: The Teaching Pastor will serve as the primary preacher in worship services (approximately three Sundays per month).
- Plans the preaching calendar (Sunday and seasonal worship services) for each quarter (minimally) in consultation with the Lead Pastor.
- Prepares sermons grounded in and driven by the biblical text, through which he/she will invite hearers to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and to incarnate the message of the biblical text.
- Speaks evangelistically, persuasively, authentically, and prophetically.
- Collaborates with the Minister of Worship Arts in planning and leading worship services that invite a multigenerational congregation to respond to God’s person and work.
- Supervises the Minister of Worship Arts.
- Schedules other speakers to preach on those occasions (Sunday and seasonal worship services) when he/she steps aside to allow the congregation to hear another voice.
- Assists other pastors and staff with worship, sacraments, teaching, pastoral care, weddings, funerals, etc.
Adult Formation: The Teaching Pastor will design and implement the comprehensive system for adult spiritual formation through small groups and other adult ministry models.
- Develops pathways for adults to enter the community of faith.
- Recruits, develops, evaluates, and supports leaders involved in adult ministries.
- Equips adults to discover, develop, and deploy their God-given gifts.
- Enables adults to flourish out of their identity in Christ.
- Helps adults engage complex and controversial questions from a Christian worldview and in a safe environment.
Other: Undertakes other duties and projects as needed, including, but not limited to:
- Attends weekly staff meetings.
- Preaches or teaches in venues outside the congregation.
What You Bring:
Education & Experience
- Holds a Masters of Divinity Degree (preferred minimum), or a Master of Arts in Theology, Homiletics, or Ministry Degree.
- Possesses a minimum of five years of congregational ministry experience, including preaching and leadership responsibilities.
- Holds ordination or is willing to fulfill the requirements for ordination set forth by the Evangelical Covenant Church.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Conforms in private and in public to the qualifications for leaders found in 1 Timothy 3:1-15 and Titus 1:6-9.
- Possesses gifts that complement the rest of the staff, particularly the Lead Pastor.
- Leads as a servant in a team-based system (a servant among servants).
- Offers respect and grace to each member of the staff, setting the tone and example for team ministry.
- Devoted to “…the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13; cf. 4:14, 15-16; 2 Timothy 2:13-14 4:2).
- A diligent student of the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15), theology, homiletics, community, and Thornapple.
- Works comfortably with others in one-on-one, small groups, and large group settings.
- Proficient in Google Workspace, Microsoft Office, and church management software or equivalent systems.
- A strong personal relationship with Christ: Devoted to prayer, both personally and corporately.
- Authentic: Willing and comfortable sharing their own struggles and stories.
- Approachable: Staff, lay leaders, and congregants feel they are able to approach and confide in them.
- Wise and Discerning: Able to handle conversations on difficult issues thoughtfully and with courage.
- Humble: Not self-seeking or self-gratuitous.
What it’s Like to Live in Grand Rapids, Michigan:
The Grand Rapids area is considered a great place to live and raise a family with a cost of living that is very reasonable. We are the second-largest city in Michigan, with unique cultural offerings, including the nationally-recognized Grand Rapids Symphony, Michigan’s only professional ballet company, and Broadway Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids is also the home of the Grand Rapids Griffins hockey team and the Detroit Tigers-affiliated West Michigan Whitecaps baseball team.
Grand Rapids is only an hour away from Lake Michigan and some of the most beautiful sand beaches, boating, camping, fishing, and recreational activities in the Midwest. There are several beautiful lakes and rivers around the Grand Rapids area and numerous local parks that offer hiking and biking opportunities during all four seasons. With an abundance of snow, winter sports include downhill or cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Chicago and Detroit are only a few hours away, with all they have to offer.
Medical facilities in this area are many and excellent, including the nationally-ranked Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Three of our medical leaders, Spectrum Health, Mercy Health, and Metro Health are in the top ten largest employers in Kent County. Other top employers include Meijer, a Midwest supermarket chain with 253 stores, Steelcase, an office furniture manufacturer, and Amway. Amazon has also recently become a presence in the Grand Rapids area, providing over 1,000 jobs in the last year.
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