In Search of a Lead Pastor
In the fall of 2017, MacArthur Blvd’s former Lead Pastor, Josh Smith, was called to a different assignment from the Lord. We are prayerfully and prudently in search of the next Pastor that the Lord has for MacArthur Blvd.
The members have affirmed a Pastor Search Committee of nine people to locate and recommend a pastor.
On this page, you will find:
– Process Updates on the search
– FAQ’s about the process
– Names & info about the Pastor Search Committee
– Info for potential candidates
If you have further questions, you may submit them through the form on this page.
Praying through the Process
The Pastor Search Committee is prayerfully proceeding with diligence to bring before the Directional Pastors and the church the man they believe God has called to be our next Lead Pastor. Please join in this process by praying for MacArthur Blvd and the committee.
Members are also encouraged to participate in our church-wide fasting. Once a month, on the same Wednesday, the Directional Pastors call upon all members to pray and fast as one body. Sign up to participate and find more information on the Prayer Calendar page.
Wednesday, May 16
Written by Mike Gibbons and Chris Kinman
Unity – In Every Season
As a committee, we are so thankful for the prayer support and the unity of MacArthur Blvd Baptist Church. We appreciate the opportunity to serve Christ and His Church in this capacity.
The following information was shared at The River service on Wednesday, April 25. You may listen to the audio if you would like to hear the presentation.
What have we been doing?
Josh announced he was leaving in November. The vote to affirm the members of the committee was January 21 and our first meeting was January 28, so we have been together for approximately three months.
These are just a few of the documents we have been putting together alongside our focus on praying.
Lead Pastor Position Profile
Church Profile – this is a document that explains what our church looks like and believes including our philosophy of ministry, our mission, our method (Discipleship Pathway), and our culture (core values). This also includes our philosophy of pastoral ministry (a plurality of pastors and text-driven preaching), the history of the church, and broad attendance and budget numbers.
Surrounding Community Profile – this includes statistics on population, ethnicity, and religion.
Job Description – what we desire in our Lead Pastor.
Sermon Evaluation Form
This is a form we will use as a committee to listen to sermons.
Church Demographic Survey
We believe this is important for our next Lead Pastor to understand our church. Just as a missionary needs to understand the culture of his mission field, so a Lead Pastor needs to understand the culture of the church he is praying about.
What is something we can be praying for as a church body?
Please continue to pray for the unity of the body in the mind and spirit of Christ. We want to model unity in all we do as a committee.
What are the next steps?
We will soon be advertising the position and begin the process of reviewing resumes. Although we hold our plans loosely, we are on track, if not ahead, of the timeline we have outlined. The timeline listed below is tentative as we are praying for God’s timing in this transition.
January-February: prayer; affirm committee
March-April: prayer; team building; review mission, vision and core values; develop communication/prayer plan for the congregation; training
May-June: prayer; create church profile, community profile, and job description
July-August: prayer; begin advertising the role
September-October: prayer; begin interviewing candidates
November: prayer; present final candidate to Directional Pastors and congregation
December: prayer; offer extended
What has been one of the most common comments you’ve received?
Our most common question has been about internal candidates, specifically Rickey Primrose. I am thankful for Chris Kinman, a committee member, that addresses that question below:
“I am reminded during this time of transition that God has been so gracious to us over the years, abundantly providing this body with the right man at the right time. We have had great pastors and preachers like Ron Dunn, John Meador, David Allen, and Josh Smith and today with men like Richard Taylor, Darrin Mechling, and Bob Bolander. We are truly a privileged people and we praise God for that.
Pastor Rickey Primrose is a part of this blessing. As a member, leader, teacher, and pastor, he has contributed much to MacArthur Blvd over these last ten years. There has been a considerable discussion, both open and private, amongst the staff and members regarding the open lead pastor position and Pastor Rickey. So that there is no confusion and to guard the unity of the church, it is fitting to clarify a few points.
Pastor Rickey is indeed interested in the lead pastor position and has presented his resume to the committee. It is important to note he is not directly involved in the process of searching for a new pastor as this would present a clear conflict. Because he desires for our church to be doing the will of God and also that he is doing the will of God, he has been in agreement since the beginning that we follow through with the Lead Pastor search process. Please do not forget that he is a current pastor, a fellow church member, and a friend to many people here and we are to be sensitive to the situation and to be praying for him and his family.
As a church family we share in victories as well as defeats, the easy and the difficult, and through it all, a spirit of unity must exist. Psalm 133:1 – How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Our Church’s process in searching for a new lead pastor is not meant to discourage or separate the family. Likewise, it is not intended to neglect or slow down our ministry opportunities. This process is designed to be open and transparent. The goal of this committee is to determine who God has as the next lead pastor for MacArthur Blvd while honoring the Lord, His church, and all candidates in the process.”
This is an exciting time in the life of our church. We have and still do surrender this process and position to God. After all, there is nothing too hard for Him! (Jeremiah 32:27) When the Lord makes it clear whoever this next man is, we should celebrate and give thanks in unity.
Tuesday, March 27
written by Tommy Riggins
Bridging the Gap: Why Prayer is Essential in the Lead Pastor Search
God has given each of us on the pastor search committee an easy task, yet a difficult job. What do I mean? It is easy because God already has a man set aside as our lead pastor. Even now He is working in his heart and beginning to stir him for another assignment.
In Jeremiah 1:5, God says to the prophet: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
When God called Josh to Prince Avenue, He did not abandon us. He knows who the next man is. The Lord had a plan and still has a plan for MacArthur Blvd; however, we as a committee also have a difficult job—finding out just who that man is.
So how do we “bridge the gap” between the two? Prayer. We must be in communion with God through prayer and in the study of His word. Only then will we be able to discern the Lord’s will. Sometimes in life and even in ministry we have a tendency to bypass prayer and just want to get the show on the road. We want to do the work, yet neglect the instructions on how to do it properly. In our first pastor search meeting the pastors and staff met with us for the purpose of prayer as we began the process. I will never forget one of the prayers over me that day: “Lord, Don’t let Satan trick us as a committee into thinking that just because we are doing a good work for God that we do not have to spend time with God.” Prayer is essential. Without it we will fail miserably in the task set before us.
Tuesday, February 27
written by DeAnn Pitts
There has been quite a bit of activity, all within this one month that we have been meeting:
- Schedules for the team have been cleared as we have coordinated prioritizing our meeting times for the next many months, as well as scheduling additional meetings.
- We spent a couple hours in a training session with Tony Wolfe as he outlined some procedures for us as part of the training by the SBTC on pastor search committees. (Who knew they actually had a training handbook?)
- We’ve already begun preliminary work in evaluating the job posting for the position. Time is being invested in evaluating the current description as well as receiving resources from other churches.
- The team met at Camp Copass one weekend for a prayer retreat that has been revealing itself to be foundational in connecting the team in thought and understanding.
One value I have seen surface through our many hours together so far has been that a defining of terms supports an alignment of heart. I confidently say that everyone selected for the committee came together with common commitments and hearts for what makes MBBC unique but, just like in any family, we may use the same vocabulary and yet have different application. I believe this past month of discussion and prayer has been significant in further aligning as well as clarifying our thoughts and expectations to ensure that we are of like mind in our search. Quite a bit of time has been invested in bringing back to the forefront of our thoughts what are our MBBC distinctives, so that they may be guarded in this process. As we search for our new pastor, it is not just about our future but it is also in recognition of our past. The time that has been invested in prayer has been truly beneficial in helping us to set aside ourselves and our own personal preferences to just become increasingly aware of the body that we represent and the distinctives that we are to uplift. It has been truly beautiful to be part of such a diverse group and yet to see how quickly the Lord is building a unity of heart and mind.
Camp Compass Prayer Retreat
Meeting together at the prayer retreat was another moment of the unexpected application of wisdom. We all know how important prayer is but it was such an incredible reminder that this whole process is not about seeking a candidate. The Lord has us in this season not to seek after a man but to seek after him. To have such a large portion of time dedicated to just simply seeking the Lord in the process will remain instrumental in continuing to align and realign our approach throughout this process. May this season become one of deeper seeking after God for both the committee members as well as the church body. God has already provided so many pastors who pour into us; they know him and seek after him, but it will never be the leadership that is truly guiding us or providing for us. It is God himself that we want.
One thought that I felt impressed on me was a reminder of a weakness of our current culture. Due to the abundance that we have available to us, we are often likely to delegate. There is strength in this as it can help us to prioritize and ensure that what matters most gets the bulk of our investment. But, if we aren’t careful, we can delegate responsibilities that we are intended to keep. It was during the prayer retreat that I had the reminder of the book of Nehemiah and in a time of building (or rebuilding in their case) that each group had a different section that they were to be working on. The application was that we are members of one body, different members of one body with different opportunities and different responsibilities. I believe that this is a season when we are to remain fully engaged, each one of us 100% fully pressing on and seeking the Lord for our next pastor. My prayer for each one of us is that this would be a season where we individually embrace the grace to press on with all that we have so that we may find God’s best for each of us in this season.
How can the Church be supporting the Pastor Search Committee?
The biggest request that we could possibly ask for is prayer. To say we need the Lord is truly an understatement. There is not one of us who knows what tomorrow will bring, yet we do have thoughts and possibly even expectations that need to be sorted through. We need the Lord to guide us and to truly help us to see the next steps. It will only be the Holy Spirit that can help us to recognize his will in the process.
It is also important to be praying even more for the pastors that we have already been given. We are not in a season where we lack for leadership and our commitment to love them back well seems to matter even more as they carry additional responsibilities. The next season of our church will be much more about the ministry team that the Lord has given us than just about the one man that is placed in a specific position.
Thank you so much for praying for us! Know that we are also praying with you and for you.
Wednesday, February 21
Written by Mike Gibbons
As a team, we thank you for your confidence in us. We look forward to serving MacArthur Blvd in this capacity and humbly ask for your prayers as we move forward. We are seeking God in this process and the man He has for us.
We will update our progress on this webpage. These updates will be brief but we hope that you find them useful. Please submit any questions or comments you have in the form found on this page. Please also feel free to contact any member of our committee at any time to discuss our progress and any questions you have.
Our team was affirmed by the church on January 21st of this year. We will be meeting in “formal” session each Sunday evening. The primary focus of our initial meetings has been prayer. We believe that as we begin this process we need to bathe our team and this process in prayer. To that end, we had an overnight Prayer Retreat, as a team, at Camp Copass on February 9th and 10th. We want to seek God together as a foundation to our work in finding a Lead Pastor. We have also spent time in scheduling, making assignments, and other administrative tasks. Our next few meetings include training from the SBTC and training from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on evaluating a text-driven sermon. It is important that we are unified on what constitutes a text-driven sermon which is an important distinctive of MacArthur Blvd. We will also begin the process of compiling and updating a Lead Pastor Profile which will include a profile on our church as well as our surrounding community.
Please look to this page for future updates and please join us at “The River” on March 21st for current updates.
These FAQ’s may be updated so please check back regularly.
How is the Pastor Search Committee going to communicate with the church family?
You can find regular updates on this page in the future. Our communication plan also includes:
- Updates and prayer in The River on a monthly basis
- Midweek e-mail updates
- Updates in Community Group’s on a regular basis from Pastor Search Committee members
- Monthly updates to Deacon’s and staff
How can the church family communicate with the Pastor Search Committee?
We would love to dialogue with you about this process. Please do not hesitate to speak with any of the Pastor Search Committee members when you see them. You can also submit any questions and feedback you have on this web page. As noted above in the communication plan question, we will be visiting each of the Community Groups on a regular basis. If time allows in those meetings we hope to be able to answer questions and dialogue with you.
What is the committee going to be doing immediately?
The majority of our first meeting on January 28th was spent in prayer within our team and with the Pastors and Ministers of MacArthur Blvd. Our next meeting as a team was off-site in a prayer retreat where we spent focused time in prayer and fasting. Our focus for the next few meetings will also be prayer. We believe prayer is important in bringing our requests to God and discerning his Spirit.
We will be spending some time organizing the team administratively as well as drafting a pastor/church/community profile.
In addition, we have training scheduled with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and with preaching faculty from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
How long is this process going to take?
In speaking with others familiar with replacing a Lead Pastor, the process can typically last anywhere from 6 to 18 months. The Search Committee that brought J. Josh Smith, our previous Lead Pastor, to MacArthur Blvd, from first meeting to his first sermon, took a total of eighteen months. With that being said, the Pastor Search Committee will be working on a tentative “ideal” timeline with timing goals for the whole process and for specific benchmarks within the process.
The ultimate answer to this question is – we don’t know. The Spirit must lead and we wait for his timing and direction. The Pastor Search Committee is working and praying diligently to bring a new Lead Pastor to MacArthur Blvd. We don’t want to unduly rush the process in our human concern for getting someone on board but we do want to remain diligent and faithful to do all we can to not delay the process.
What steps are you taking to assure that we maintain our stated mission, vision, and values as a church (e.g. multi-ethnic church; committed to text-driven preaching; passionate about leading people to trust and follow Christ)?
The Pastor Search Committee will be spending time reviewing our mission, vision, values, and doctrinal distinctives as we begin this process, and will be re-visiting them on a regular basis. As an example, one of the distinctive values of MacArthur Blvd is text-driven preaching. As a committee, we want to look for candidates who hold that same value. To that end, we have training scheduled with one of the preaching faculty at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, on how to recognize a text-driven sermon.
It is also important to remember that this process, according to our Bylaws, calls for a candidate chosen by the Pastor Search Committee to meet with the Directional Pastor’s for their affirmation before coming to the congregation for confirmation. This helps to ensure a focus on the mission and vision of MacArthur Blvd.
How can the church family come alongside this committee and support this process through prayer?
We have listed some specific prayer points on this web page. We would also encourage all church members to commit to fast and pray privately as well as corporately. Once a month, on the same Wednesday, we call upon all members to pray and fast as one body. On this day during The River service, we will receive updates from and pray for this search process. Those days are February 21st, March 21st, April 25th and May 23rd.
Find prayer and fasting resources and note your participation here.
If I know of a possible candidate for the job, how do I make his name known?
If you know of a candidate you would like to have considered, please make their names known to a member of the search committee or have them submit their resumes on this webpage.
If they prefer they can send their resume regular mail to:
MacArthur Blvd Baptist Church
ATTN: Pastor Search Committee
8001 Mustang Drive
Irving, TX 75063
Is the Pastor Search Committee going to consider internal candidates?
Our team will be considering both internal and external candidates. We are committed to praying and evaluating any candidate that expresses an interest in leading our church. For the benefit of all candidates, and the church, we are engaging in a full search process as outlined in our by-laws. All applications will be considered on the same timetable and with the same criteria.
Explanation of a Pastor Search Committee
A Pastor Search Committee is a group of church members, affirmed by the congregation, who serve on behalf of the congregation to recommend a pastor. The Directional Pastors nominate a Pastor Search Committee, led by one of the non-staff Directional Pastors. The Pastor Search Committee locates, investigates, and recommends a candidate to the Directional Pastors. Once unanimously approved by the Directional Pastors, the candidate will be presented to the Church body for a vote of approval.
Mike Gibbons – CHAIR
Mike has been married to Laura for 28 years and they have two daughters, Caroline (23) and Sarah (21). Mike and Laura joined MacArthur Blvd Baptist Church in 2010. Currently, Mike serves as one of the Directional Pastors. He also serves as a Community Group Shepherd for Students, with the First Contact group, the Guest Engagement ministry and as a marriage mentor. He is also privileged to lead a discipleship group of high school students.
Arden has been married to Bob for 50 years. They have three sons and daughters-in-law and nine grandchildren. Bob and Arden came to MacArthur Blvd in 1971, where they were both saved under Ron Dunn’s preaching. Currently, Arden is serving as a Community Group Shepherd for Preschool (40+ years), sings in the choir, leads a D-Group, and is a marriage mentor.
Chris is married to Joy and has three daughters, Carlie (14), Holly (13), and Audrey (11). Chris and Joy joined MacArthur Blvd in 2004. He is employed by the Institute for Creation Research as the Director of Sales and Distribution. Currently, he serves as a Community Group Shepherd for Students (Jr. High boys), Worship Care volunteer, Baptistry Ministry volunteer, and leads a discipleship group of students.
Jimmie joined MacArthur Blvd in 2013. She serves as a Community Group Shepherd for Women. She has two children, Shino and Tish.
Stalin is married to Lilly and they have a son Shalom (14). Stalin and Lilly have attended MacArthur Blvd since 2010 and have been members since 2012. Stalin is serving in the Children’s Ministry and leading the Indians in Irving outreach program. Stalin served as a Mentor at Barbara Bush Middle School for two years and as a parking greeter.
DeAnn is mother to Madi (15) and a middle school science teacher. She joined MacArthur Blvd in 2011 and currently serves as a Community Group Shepherd Leader for the Young Women’s class. DeAnn also serves with her daughter as part of the Hospitality team and in the Children’s Ministry.
Andrew is married to Julie Ann and they joined MacArthur Blvd in 2016. Currently, Andrew co-leads a community group for 20’s and 30’s. He has his Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Dallas Baptist University where he currently works as an Assistant Track and Cross-Country Coach. Andrew enjoys being led by Clif Clifton in a discipleship group here at MacArthur Blvd and pouring out to the college students on his track team.
Amanda and her husband, Jordan, joined MacArthur Blvd in 2008. They recently celebrated their 10th anniversary and have two children, Jack (5) and Kathryn (3). Amanda taught in a public middle school for 8 years before transitioning home and now teaches at Mother’s Day Out. She currently serves as a Shepherd Leader for her Community Group, is involved in the Women’s Ministry, The Swap and Mommy Matters.
Tommy and his wife Ella joined MacArthur in 2002. He serves as a deacon and usher/greeter as well as Community Group Shepherd Leader for senior adults. At the end of February 2018, Tommy is retiring from United Airlines after almost forty years and is looking forward to ministering more effectively in his passion for the older generation. He and Ella have two children, Tommy (39) and Jennifer (36), as well as six grandchildren.
We welcome you to explore our website and read the Job Description and Church Profile below to learn more about MacArthur Blvd Baptist Church.
If you have questions about the process or would like more information about our church you may use the same form to submit your questions.
Submit Your Resume or Ask a Question
To submit your resume, ask questions, or request specific information please complete the form below.