Central Church of Christ Lethbridge (CCCL) was founded in 1911 and services were held in one of the leader’s home or other rented locations until 1922 when the first land purchase took place. A building was finished the following year, and the congregation was there on 11 Street South until 1978 when it moved into its present location. Ten years later in 1932, the pastor at the time, C.H. Phillips, started the Alberta Bible College (ABC) in the church basement on 11 St. South, and in 1937 ABC moved toCalgary, where it is today. The loss of ABC from Lethbridge, which took numerous good leaders and workers with it, caused the church to struggle for a while. The war years, both first and second world wars, saw a difficult time to recruit a full time pastor. The year, 1914 saw a high of one hundred kids in Sunday school. Ministries over the years have seen women’s missionary and aid groups operating, along with outreach and church plants to Judson, Wrentham, and Taber.
In 1953, Jim Phillips was called as pastor, and during his ministry, a church was started in Taber where Mr. Phillips moved in 1957. That year, Jim Chapman became minister and continued the growth from Jim Phillips' ministry and led the congregation in purchasing the current facility, paying cash for it, then the addition in 1984. Mr. Chapman was instrumental in getting ABC on firm financial ground twice in the last fifty years by working in both Calgary and Lethbridge, and investing and planning financially for the long term. At 89 years young, Jim Chapman is still in ministry today running a monthly senior’s luncheon here.
The congregation had ups and downs during the ministries of two subsequent ABC graduate pastors after Mr. Chapman from highs of 180 to lows in the 30's. Twice during these ministries, full-time youth pastors were hired, and subsequently moved on. In 2000, Wes & Connie Midgett (the current Pastor) came to minister. Attendance was in the 30's and the church was contemplating closing down. Finances were such that a youth pastor could not be kept on. While weekly attendance records have not been kept, it has grown slowly to around 40-50 today.
In 2005, a visioning process was begun but it never seemed to get off the ground, so the congregation has maintained levels, but mostly with seniors moving in to attend, and some middle aged people moving out. By 2010 there were no elders filling the role. At present, we still do not have elders. Pastor Midgett meets regularly with the Board of Servants chairman, and whenever the Board meets, usually quarterly, or bi-monthly.
Most recently, this past summer and fall, we began a visioning process where we identified two teams, Outreach and Discipleship, to focus and get re-energized on the Great Commission. We recognized that in the last decade, we have largely ignored the neighbourhood immediately around our building, and that there is likely a need to reach out to our neighbours and invite them to join us.
A Fun Day is planned for the Family Day long weekend Saturday, February 15, 2014 to reach out to our neighbours in a four block radius around the building. Our goal is to share who we are, and have fun doing it.
CCCL is debt free. The building and properties are wholly owned byCentral Church of Christ. Donations and other income exceeded expenses in 2013.
Central Church of Christ is a Community of followers sharing the Good News of God’s love to bring people into a deeper relationship with Christ.
This is mandated by Jesus in the Great Commission from Matthew 28:19-20.
// VALUES AND BELIEFS
We use the Bible as our rule of faith and practice. Therefore, our membership requires belief and confession of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, acceptance of him as Lord and obedience to his teachings beginning with baptism by immersion in water and continuing on in the joy of following Him and sharing in the love and encouragement of other believers.
Communion should be taken by believers weekly.
(Mark 14:22-24, Acts 20:7)
We did things against God (sinned) and there was no way we could pay for what we did, so Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins. If we accept Him as the Lord of our lives and our Saviour and are baptized in His Name we are saved from the punishment for our sins. (Hebrews 9:11-14 & 10:10-13; 1 Peter 3:18,21; Galatians 3:13-14; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38, 22:16; Romans 6:1-7)
We believe in God, the all mighty, his son Jesus our Lord, the Holy Spirit and the teaching in the Bible.
The Bible in its entirety is God’s anointed Word to teach us about God, His love for us, and teach us to live in a relationship with Him and with those we live with and in doing so show God’s love to a suffering world. (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16)
One God exists eternally in three persons, described in the Bible as – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19; John 14:16-26 & 16:7-15)
God made everything. (Genesis 1:1-2:25)
Being saved from Hell when you die is a gift from God. This is called salvation, like being born twice. It is a new start. (1 John 1:8-10 & 3:9; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:8-9)
We want to get better at loving God and other people too. So God planted Himself in us to help us do this. (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Corinthians 14:20; Colossians 1:9-12 & 3:12-17)
The Holy Spirit is simply God living in you. He lives in Christians to help them live the best life they can. (John 14:26 & 16:8-15; Romans 8:9 & 8:26-27; John 14:23; Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 12:13)
Weekend Service: Currently, we have one weekly service on Sunday at 10:30 am until almost 12:00 pm that includes music, prayer time, communion, and a message by the pastor or other guest speaker. We use a ceiling mounted projector connected to a laptop computer at the back, where our sound table is to run PowerPoint with the hymns and choruses on for most services. As back up, we have an overhead projector. We have an acoustic piano as well as individuals who bring in guitars and other instruments.
Children’s Ministry: During the service, we have a children’s ministry running at the same time for age 10 and under. Our numbers currently sit around 7-9 children.
Prayer: Aside from encouraging prayer Sunday morning and on an individual basis, on Thursday evenings we have a group prayer meeting in our fireside room to pray for praise, guidance, health, illness, and other items. The Senior Pastor needs to be a leader and tone setter here.
Youth Ministry: Friday evening sees the youth (Middle School and High School) from the church as well as others from outside meet regularly for activities.
Senior’s Ministry: Once per month a community senior’s luncheon is held that includes worship, singing, and special music. Seniors from all over the community are invited and attendance is typically about 100. Seniors keep track of one another by phone and visits and so minister to each other quite well.
Missions: Missions has always been a part of the congregational life and fabric at Central
– starting Alberta Bible College, encouraging students to use our congregation for field training
– allowing the minister to do a lot of work to help the College stabilize
– women's groups supporting many missionaries in the past
– congregational support of missionaries and other churches in Canada
– starting churches and supporting the start of other congregations needing help
– supporting missions in Mexico, India, Jamaica, Thailand, most recently Ethiopia (Friends of South Omo)
– being active in children’s camps and conferences
We rent out parts of the facility to a women’s bible study from another church during the week and to another small church group on Saturday evening, as well as to an Al-Anon group weekly.
We currently have a casual atmosphere for worship on Sunday morning, but we still have people who dress up if they so choose. We encourage people to greet each other both before and after the service and get together to fellowship. We have three teams who regularly lead the music for service, and they are mostly different in what they provide. One is mostly traditional hymns and country style music with singers and guitars. Another is more choruses utilizing the PowerPoint projector with the words on screen and a blend of instruments including piano, guitar, and flute. The third is almost entirely piano with singing and the overhead projector. You might say, something for everyone. We recognize we need some help to move into the 21st century on some aspects.
The Sunday morning service is an important tool in building an experience for outsiders while at the same time providing a venue for people to hear Gospel-focused preaching emphasizing Truth + Grace. We feel we have built a foundation with the current service environment that a gifted preaching pastor can use to create a “catalytic event” every Sunday.
Lethbridge is a vibrant city of just over 90,000 but services a greater population of almost 150,000 in surrounding communities. It sits in the middle of agricultural farmland that produces everything from canola to corn, wheat, barley, sugar beets, and potatoes, as well as large cattle and hog production.
It is a mere 140 kilometres to the Rocky Mountains and National Parks and forests.
Picture a lawless 1869 whiskey trading fort patronized by shady characters of the Wild West. The Aboriginals had frequented the region for thousands of years, but it was the unruly trading post that spurred the Mounties to build a barracks nearby. The infamous origins o fLethbridge are now celebrated with an annual party.
Just over two hours southeast of Calgary, lies this vibrant city steeped in history, culture and green spaces. The Oldman River winds throughLethbridge, and along its banks is an immense network of urban parks. Spanning the river is the longest and tallest railway bridge in the world, an impressive 1909 engineering feat.
Spend an evening at the theatre, ball game or rockin’ out to the live music scene. Grab your clubs and swing into action on aLethbridge golf course. Join the locals for a barn dance, or get lost in a corn maze. Connect with Alberta’s Wild West, then and now.
Whoop it up
Lethbridge celebrates its Wild West heritage during Fort Whoop-Up Days, five days of rodeo, parades and rides. Wander around notorious Fort Whoop-Up and see what put the “wild” in west.
Bridges and bovines
Relive the history of Southern Alberta at the Galt Museum, with interactive displays, unusual artefacts, neat programs.
Visit the calm in the serenity of the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden.
If bison could fly
The Aboriginals drove herds of bison over the cliffs for nearly 6000 years at nearby Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hit the Southern Alberta Art Gallery by day and the theatre or the symphony by night.
Sticks and bats
Spot tomorrow’s superstars at a WHL Lethbridge Hurricanes hockey game or a WMBL Lethbridge Bulls baseball game.
The eagle has landed
Get close to rescued hawks, falcons, eagles and owls at the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre just 16 km away.
Get outta town!
Swish the day away on Castle Mountain Resort’s 78 runs and terrain park. Ride a snow cat to untouched backcountry powder 90 minutes west of town. Tackle 366 m (1200 ft) of vertical day or night at Pass Powderkeg 140 km (87 mi) west of Lethbridge.
Immerse yourself in the authentic towns of Alberta’s southwest. North of Lethbridge is Coalhurst, and the towns of Taber and Milk River are southeast. Relive the drama of the Frank Slide and discover the ancient art at Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. Witness the collision of prairies and mountains in Waterton Lakes National Park. All just over an hour from Lethbridge!
It’s easy to see that southern Alberta gets its fair share of sunshine. On any given day, the wide blue sky dominates the landscape. Visitors from other parts of the world often comment about our big sky and wide, open spaces.
A steady westerly breeze keeps the air fresh and the sky clear. Any change in the wind direction is usually associated with a change in the weather. Lethbridge is not all dry prairie, we get just enough moisture to green the coulees (the Oldman River Valley) and allow for thick urban forests of poplar, elm and birch to grow.
- Average Annual Snowfall = 130.5 cm (51.4 inches)
- Average Annual Rainfall = 271.1 mm (10.7 inches)
- Average annual hours of bright sunshine = 2,506 (1971-2000 period)
Two advanced education facilities
The University of Lethbridge and the Lethbridge College both call the city home.
See the following websites for more information about Lethbridge and our community:
// THE POSITION
This opportunity is coming open as a result of our current Pastor deciding to retire to be closer to his grandchildren.
The Senior Pastor role at Central Church of Christ Lethbridge is responsible for the preaching and teaching ministry of the congregation. The Lead Pastor is the senior staff member (and currently the only paid staff member) of the church and, following the current governance model in place at CCCL, reports to the congregation through the Board of Servants.
The Senior Pastor will be a visionary who can both lead, and delegate to, the other leaders in the congregation in fulfilling CCCL’s mission. The Senior Pastor is a member of the Board of Servants team, and will work collaboratively with the Chairman of the Board, and the Board of Servants to further develop and support the shared vision and mission. The Senior Pastor needs to focus on his areas of strengths in preaching, teaching, and developing leaders, and to delegate operational tasks such as budgeting, program planning, and program implementation to other skilled lay people in the congregation, as they are available. As a member of the CCCL Board of Servants, the Senior Pastor will be a person who enjoys working collaboratively with other leaders as well as developing believers to fulfill the mission and calling God has given them. The Senior Pastor needs to enjoy developing leaders in the church without feeling threatened by their gifts, but wanting to use their gifts.
There are some key requirements from the Senior Pastor that are “must haves” in order to fulfill our vision for CCCL: a strong ability to preach God’s truth in love while at the same time emphasizing God’s grace, a passion for evangelism, and a developer of strong Christian leaders. The Word of God has tremendous power when the preacher applies it in a way that builds a bridge to the daily lives of the listeners. We desire preaching that is balanced between explaining the Biblical text, illustration of truth, and challenging application to life.
We believe evangelism must be the primary focus of our Senior Pastor and we require someone driven with the passion for reaching the lost. This passion for evangelism will be most effective when the members of the congregation are on fire for Christ and excited about growing spiritually. We believe authentic and contagious evangelism comes as a natural outpouring of believers’ excitement about what they’ve discovered in Jesus. Preaching that is based on the truth of God’s word and applicable to peoples’ lives will inspire believers in the congregation to become passionate about evangelism.
As the only Pastor at the moment, the Senior Pastor needs to be gifted in many areas, but the desire of the Board of Servants is to see the Senior Pastor focus on preaching, evangelism, developing leaders from both old and new people, and shepherding the flock (i.e. helping people build spiritual depth). This will take an ability to work with a wide range of ages in our congregation. We range in age from 1 to 89, with the majority currently sitting over 60 in age. We do, however, have recognition of need and desire to attract people of all ages, and need people of youth who have vigor to get engaged. Any candidates for this position must illustrate their giftedness in these areas.
Other leaders will be able to lead or assist in other areas of ministry required by the congregation as they are trained up to do, but we feel preaching and a passion for evangelism must come from the Lead Pastor in order for CCCL to fulfill the full potential God has for us in our community.
The effective Lead Pastor will achieve the following goals during the first 24-months of work:
- Provide spiritual leadership for the entire church, future staff, leadership, and ministry teams.
- Deliver biblically accurate and culturally relevant messages in weekend services.
- Renew the passion for reaching those who do not know Christ, leading to an increasing number of people crossing the line of faith to follow Jesus at CCCL.
- Develop a clear spiritual path for moving believers to maturity in Christ with emphasis on:
- Evaluating the current spiritual vitality of the congregation
- Recommending Bible study material for individuals and groups relevant to their place of spiritual giftedness
- Leading the 1-to-3 mentorship model for discipling others
- Cultivate a desire in members for stewardship of resources (financial, time, and talent) resulting in increased giving and volunteerism. This person must set the example in all three of these areas.
- Develop a healthy and productive working relationship with the Board of Servants of CCCL.
- Develop people with leadership gifts from all demographic segments of the congregation. Work towards having Elders again in our congregation.
- Lead, and involve others to lead, Christian Basics education classes. We need new members of the congregation to have the basic understandings outside of what is learned during the weekly sermon.
- Connect relationally and strategically with other churches in the community, as well as civic leaders and organizations. Get active in the Lethbridge Evangelical Ministers Association. See http://lethbridgeema.blogspot.ca/ for more information on LEMA.
- Connect relationally and strategically with other independent Christian churches in the City of Lethbridge, Churches of Christ in southern Alberta, as well as Alberta Bible College faculty and staff in Calgary. See http://www.abccampus.ca/ for more on ABC.
The Lead Pastor should have the following characteristics:
- Passionate about evangelism and reaching the un-churched.
- The ability to preach and teach spiritual truths with ease to both un-churched people and to committed Christians in a way that will inspire life-changing commitment to Jesus, and that speaks “Truth + Grace”.
- Committed to Restoration principles.
- Ability to reach a target demographic of 25-55 year olds in our neighborhood. However, must relate to all ages, particularly the elderly.
- Sensitive to different cultures, and the rich culture and history of our congregation
- Pursuing an authentic and growing relationship with Jesus Christ, committed to spiritual disciplines.
- A transparency of spirit with the church about personal growth and struggles.
- Commitment to his marriage and family, and with a spouse who is supportive of the ministry.
- A gifted and engaging communicator that reaches a broad spectrum of people.
- Involved in pastoring the local community by participating in not only what CCCL is doing, but also what the other churches in the area are doing.
- Have “street smarts” as well as “book smarts” in urban ministry.
- Be able to challenge members of the congregation to take action to grow into more fully committed disciples of Jesus.
- A team builder and team player committed to working with other leaders, and leaders in waiting.
- Exhibit the qualities of a spiritual leader as outlined in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
- Superior leadership skills, yet a humble and teachable spirit.
- Relational and approachable, with a genuine shepherd’s heart, providing pastoral care and counsel.
- A high level of energy and a bias for action.
- Collaborative heart that empowers others to lead.
- An ability to recruit and develop future leaders.
- A willingness and ability to delegate.
- Visionary who is strategically driven.
- A life-long learner.
Ability to qualify and get registered as a member of the clergy permitted to perform weddings and funerals in the Province of Alberta.
Must pass criminal record and vulnerable sector checks by a recognized police service prior to being offered a position, and must pass the same by the RCMP or Lethbridge Regional Police Service (if not the one previously mentioned) within 30 days of being offered a position. See: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ab/cr-ci-eng.htm
Must be comfortable with modern information technology and associated computers and software. A description of what technology you are comfortable with would be important.
Good time management skills and the ability to prioritize will be important.
A degree from a recognized Bible college that teaches principles and theology that does not conflict with the restoration movement is required. Having further education in areas such as Theology and/or the social sciences, would be a definite asset.
A minimum of five (5) years as a teaching Pastor or equivalent experience in a role with similar characteristics is required. A balance of education and experience will be considered. Candidates will be asked to provide an audio or video sample of their preaching.
Prior to being offered the role, the selected candidate will be asked to provide at least three professional references (one of which could also be personal) who can be interviewed confidentially regarding the candidate’s capabilities.
$45,000 – 65,000 CDN starting wage, but the salary for this position will be negotiated with the Search Committee and will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.
// TO APPLY
Please send resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply for this job opening, please first post your resume.
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