Assistant Pastor of Shepherding & Discipleship

September 26, 2022

Faith Presbyterian Church, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in Tacoma, Washington, is seeking a full-time Assistant Pastor to increase our capacity for shepherding and discipleship, and to help us create structures and opportunities to foster deeper community and relationships within our congregation. The minister in this position would also have opportunities to preach in our Sunday evening service and help lead our prayer meeting.


About Faith Presbyterian Church

Faith Presbyterian Church exists to be God’s instrument in making, maintaining, and maturing disciples for Jesus Christ.

 

Four of our historic and ongoing core values are:

  • Deep Exposition of the Holy Scriptures
  • Thoughtful & Robust Liturgical Worship
  • A Culture of Reformed Catholicity
  • Nurture & Equipping of Covenant Children
Our History

Faith Presbyterian Church is a vibrant and active congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in Tacoma, Washington. Originally established in 1953, we are one of the larger congregations in the Pacific Northwest Presbytery and have a heart for growing faithful disciples of Christ in a predominantly secular region of the country.

 

Our senior pastor, Steven Nicoletti, was installed in February 2019 after serving here as an assistant pastor since 2013. He took over after the forty-year pastorate of the Rev. Dr. Robert S. Rayburn. In the summer of 2019, we called Nathaniel Gutierrez as our Assistant Pastor of Youth and Families, who had been serving with Mission to the World.

Our Congregation

Faith Presbyterian Church is a well-established, multi-generational church that seeks to disciple and mature Christians of all ages in a covenant community. Approximately half of our families consist of parents raising children. Another 25% are middle aged couples and 10% are senior citizens. Our college-age singles and young married couples without children comprise the rest of our congregation. Faith’s adult membership includes approximately 60% white collar and 40% blue collar careers. We also have a number of military families as we are located close to Joint Base Lewis McChord. The majority of our families educate their children in Christian schools or home school.

 

Most of our church members would probably consider themselves as middle class with a high percentage of adults having had at least some post-secondary education and many with degrees. While Tacoma consists of a large number of ethnic groups and we have been considering ways in which we could be more welcoming to people of color, we are predominantly a white congregation.

Our Ministries

Our worship services are faithfully well-attended, with combined attendance at our two morning services currently averaging 320. We also have a Sunday evening service that provides us the opportunity to begin and end the Lord’s Day in worship, with current average attendance of 125. We offer Sunday School classes for ages two through adult, with multiple offerings for adults. Wednesday evenings include adult prayer meeting, a children’s choir rehearsal, and youth groups for junior high and high school. We have groups led by congregants that meet during the week offering fellowship to young adults, as well as the Mother’s Encouragement Group and a number of decentralized Bible studies. We have an active women’s ministry that meets regularly and provides committees that supply many services to the congregation.

Our Core Values

We are a church that is committed to the whole Word of God, as exhibited by our emphasis on engaging expository preaching, and our practice of gathering both morning and evening on Sundays to hear God’s Word. Faithful preaching over the decades has steeped the congregation in the whole Bible, revealing how God’s redemptive works are woven through all Scripture.

 

We are committed to a rich worship life, seeking to draw from the best liturgical practices and music of the Christian tradition, encouraging all ages in active participation in the service, and practicing weekly communion. The inclusion of children in worship illustrates our belief that they are numbered with the people of God.

 

We are committed to a culture of Reformed catholicity, by which we mean that while we are clearly Reformed in our theology, we are not “narrowly” Reformed. We seek to be firmly established within the Reformed tradition, while also appreciating, learning from, and drawing from the insights of the universal/catholic Church as it spans across the centuries, reaches around the globe, and extends across different Christian traditions. While firm in our Reformed faith, we seek to maintain an openness to new insights from Scripture changing our thinking or practice.

 

We take seriously our calling to disciple our covenant children, which led us to found Covenant High School in 1992, an ongoing ministry of our church with over 80 students (www.chstacoma.org). We also have a longstanding partnership with Springfield Classical Christian School to provide primary and junior-high education on the church premises. Using our Sunday school program, youth groups, and Covenant High School, our aim is to train our children to know the Triune God, and to glorify and enjoy him forever.

Our Region

Faith Presbyterian Church is located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, in the heart of Tacoma, Washington’s third most populous city. Located on the Puget Sound, between the Olympic Mountain Range to the west and Cascade Mountain Range to the east, spectacular views are visible year-round, most notably the towering and majestic Mount Rainier. The proximity to the mountains and beaches offers ample opportunity for outdoor activities with friends and family.

 

As a predominantly secular region of the country, the Pacific Northwest is not only a place of natural beauty but also of cultural challenge. We live in a mission field. As a congregation that the Lord has established in this region, at this particular time, we believe that we are called to be a faithful presence in our community as we seek to engage with and love our many non-Christian neighbors, and to bring our faith to bear on every area of life.

Our Vision for the Future

Over the past four years we have been a church in transition. We have thoughtfully and intentionally walked through the senior pastor transition following a long-term pastorate. Like many churches, we a saw significant drop in attendance while navigating the difficult waters of 2020 and 2021, though we have been encouraged to see steady growth in our attendance and participation over the past year.

During the summer of 2021, our pastors and session worked together to clarify our theological vision and values as a congregation, and to do strategic planning for the year ahead. Through this process, we identified two key areas of needed growth in our congregation. The first need was to increase the capacity for shepherding and discipleship, and the second need was to create structures and opportunities to foster deeper community and relationships between congregants. It was decided that the best way for us to pursue these needs would be to seek a third pastor who would focus on these two areas by providing direct pastoral care, and by developing and then overseeing a small group ministry in our congregation.

Position Summary

The primary responsibilities of the Assistant Pastor of Shepherding & Discipleship will be to 1) provide direct pastoral care, counseling, and shepherding to members and adherents of our congregation, and 2) to oversee the development, implementation, and ongoing support and supervision of a new small group ministry that we hope to establish at our church. He will also preach on a monthly basis in our Sunday evening service, and help lead our Wednesday night prayer meetings.

 

Job Description

Requirements

  • A living faith in Christ, actively pursuing a relationship with the Triune God
  • Evidence of faith lived out in one’s personal life, marriage (if married), and family life (if he has children)
  • Fulfilling the character qualifications of a minister found in the Scriptures
  • A sense of call to minister to God’s people in the local church
  • An interest in ministering in the Pacific Northwest, a largely secular part of the country
  • A willingness to work in a collaborative way with the church’s staff and session
  • Possessing an MDiv (or equivalent), and ordained or ordainable in the PCA

 

Qualifications and Experience:

  • An ideal candidate would have significant experience and/or advanced training in pastoral counseling, shepherding, and/or discipleship
  • An ideal candidate would have significant previous experience leading or overseeing a small group or community-building ministry in a local church
  • An ideal candidate may have more pastoral experience than our current senior or assistant pastors (nine years and fourteen years, respectively), and would possess a willingness to share their experience with younger ministers, while still serving under the leadership of a senior pastor who may be younger than him

 

Opportunities & Responsibilities of the Position:

 

  1. Direct Pastoral Care             (Appx. 35%)
    • The minister in this position will meet with congregants one-on-one, as couples, as families, etc., to provide direct shepherding, pastoral counseling, and discipleship to members and adherents of our congregation.
    • He will also visit elderly and ill members of our congregation as needed.
 
  1. Small Group Ministry             (Appx. 25%)
    • This position has been created in part to help facilitate the development, launch, and ongoing support and oversight for a small-group ministry in our congregation.
    • The details and format of these groups is yet to be determined, and one of the first tasks of this minister would be to work with the church staff to discuss possible formats. (At this point the staff has especially had an interest in a sermon-discussion-based model, though there remains openness to other possibilities.)
    • The minister in this position would then work with the church staff and the session to develop a proposal and plan for this ministry.
    • He will then work to launch the new ministry, recruiting and training lay leaders, and gathering participants from the congregation.
    • Once the ministry is up and running, he will provide ongoing support, training, and assistance to the ministry and its lay leaders, in order to ensure its long-term health and sustainability.
  1. Preaching in Our Evening Service Appx. Once Per Month             (Appx 10%)
    • Because we have a Sunday evening service that is an addition to (rather than an alternative to) our Sunday morning services, there are two separate sermons preached every Sunday. The minister in this position would have the opportunity and responsibility to preach approximately once a month in our evening service as well as additional opportunities to preach in the morning and/or evening services when our senior pastor is on vacation. (The result would be preaching approximately 15-20 times per year.)
  1. Leading Our Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting Appx. Twice Per Month (Appx 10%)
    • We have a weekly prayer meeting on Wednesday nights in which we pray for the needs of missionaries we know around the world, as well as the needs of those in our congregation.
    • This prayer meeting is usually led by one of our ministers.
    • The pastor in this position would split this responsibility with our senior pastor, with each leading the meeting about half of the time.
  1. Other Work with Congregants, Session, and Staff             (Appx 20%)
    • Sunday Ministry Work:
      • All pastors at Faith Presbyterian Church are expected to be present and engaged in pastoral work during our regular Sunday worship, fellowship, and Sunday school times.
    • Events, Hospitality, Etc.:
      • The pastor in this position is encouraged to cultivate relationships with congregants through in-home hospitality, attending church social events, and ministering to others in social settings.
    • Working with Pastoral and Office Staff Throughout the Week
      • While each person has a defined area of work and responsibility, we also seek to cultivate a team-approach to ministry as a staff, and the minister in this position will be expected to engage with the staff in those ways.
    • Involvement with the Session
      • The pastor in this position will participate in session meetings, and will be working under session supervision, while cultivating a relationship with individual elders.
    • Other Duties as Assigned