Pastoral Leadership

New Hope East Orange is Seeking for a Senior Pastor

New Hope Baptist Church, located in a predominately African American neighborhood, is prayerfully seeking to fulfill the position of our beloved retiring Senior Pastor, after 23 years of dedicated service.  Our church has grown tremendously with three Sunday services, 7 associate ministers and numerous ministries to serve the needs of our 1500+ members and the surrounding community.  We are affiliated with the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey, a missional region serving Jesus throughout our state and beyond.  It is expected that our ideal, spirit-filled and visionary Senior Pastor will have the enthusiasm required to maintain and/or exceed our momentum in the church’s spiritual growth. The most basic expectation is that a pastor is a spiritual person with a strong commitment to Jesus Christ.  From which all ministry flows. 

Minimum requirements for all candidates

o   Must be an ordained and licensed minister with at least 5 years of Baptist Church ministerial experiences of serving a church of 1000 members or more.  The candidate must have documented supporting credentials.

o   The ideal candidate must have a Bachelor’s from an accredited college or university with documented study in a theological seminary at a minimum.  A theological level Master’s Degree or Higher is preferred.

Personal Spirituality

o   An intentional, daily devotional experience.

o   Demonstrate an intentional plan for spiritual growth.

o   Must be a humble, visionary leader who embraces change that supports the church’smission and goals

o   Be totally committed to uplifting humanity through the proclamation of the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Be above reproach in personal character and financial standards both inside and outside the church

Family Life

o   Recognize the influence of a supportive family as a significant impact in the success of ministry.


o   The proclamation of God’s Word, centered in Jesus Christ, should be the main focus.

o   Maintain doctrinal soundness in all sermons.

o   Prepare and preach biblically based inspirational sermons, provide biblically based teaching during mid-weekly bible study.

o   Deliver sermons in an interesting, creative and motivating manner.

o   Spend adequate study and preparation time each week to ensure an appropriate worship experience.

 Pastoral Services

o   Maintain a regular and systematic program of member visitation both by the pastor and through people who care and have skills to visit in homes.

o   Maintain scheduled and published office hours.

o   Provide spiritual counseling and/or referral for members’ crisis situations.

o   Be available for crisis situations as needed.

o   Develop a plan, in consultation with the church leadership, for reclaiming inactive members.

o   Process redemptive discipline following Church Manual guidelines.

o   Nurture youth involvement and assimilation in the church.

o   Maintain sensitivity to groups with special needs, e.g. elderly, disabled, single parents.

o   Develop, organize and equip members to make visitations and evangelize to the unsaved.

o   Must encourage stewardship, missions support and tithing.

Church Growth

A personal involvement in soul winning will model a passion for people, not because of being paid for a job, but out of love for Christ.

o   Provide leadership toward church growth.

o   Involve members in spiritual gifts identification, equipping, training, organizing, and discipline, including an on-going program of personal Bible studies.

o   Keep in touch with the congregation, watching the trends and understanding the reasons for significant changes.

o   Maintain a current, active interest list.

o   Work collaboratively with the deacons, trustees, deaconess, ministry chairs and congregation.  Plan, design and organize ongoing leadership training opportunities.

o   Must aspire to establish, foster and maintain a strong sense of community.

o   Oversee the development of new and maintenance of existing community outreach programs as prescribed in Matthew 25:35-36.


o   Lead the church in establishing short term and long-range objectives.

o   Plan a yearly calendar including boards, programs and other important events.

o   Work in harmony with the actions of the Joint board.

o   Must possess effective leadership, administrative, organizational and general/financial managerial skills.

·      Submission Requirements

Prospective, interested and qualified candidates must submit the following by May 1, 2017.

o   Updated detailed résumé that includes a summary of relevant ministry, professional and educational experiences with cover letter.

o   Completion of attached New Hope Baptist Church questionnaire.

o   DVD of service in which you have preached.

o   Affiliated with one of the following The North Jersey Missionary Baptist Association; General Baptist Association; The American Baptist Church, USA or a similar organization.

Upon receipt and review of the complete requested information, the Pastoral Search Committee will review submissions and notify candidates of the next steps.

Please submit require materials to:    

Sister Michelle Softley, Chairman, Pastoral Search Committee

P. O. Box 528, Bloomfield, NJ 07003

Senior Pastor Vacancy Questionnaire

All interested individuals MUST complete this questionnaire in order to be considered for the position of Senior Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church of East Orange.  The Questionnaire must be mailed with the résumé and other supporting documentation to the address provided by May 1, 2017.

Your detailed and concise responses will introduce you to the Pastoral Search Committee. Clarity is extremely important. 

1.     Explain when and how you were called to the ministry.

2.     Describe your style and philosophy of preaching.

3.     Why are you considering a call to a new church?

4.     How will you enhance the church membership, finances and Christian Education?

How will you enhance the community as Senior Pastor of New Hope?

What You See, And What You Don't


The Pastor as Vision Caster

Is vision cast, or is it first received? If it is first “received” then one must admit that it comes from a source outside of one’s self. What does it mean for a pastor to be reminded of the words of Elihu to Job, when he told him that the God of the Bible whom we serve speaks “in a dream, in a vision of the night…(33:15)"; or reveals the divine self to Isaiah in unspeakable glory “high and lifted up”, whose voice “shakes the foundations of the thresholds? (Is. 6)."  Is that vision ours? How do we know it’s ours – and when it’s not?

We are entering the post-Pentecost season in our Christian calender called "Ordinary Time", from the Latin, "ordinal", which means "counted weeks." But far from being ordinary, it is traditionally the season devoted to the reflection on the nature and mission of the church.  A perennial problem, however, is that this period in our liturgical calendar is swallowed up in the vacation mode of summer. Many theologians have made the observation that Pentecost is the most neglected season of the Christian liturgical calendar - and rightly so.

So, as a preemptive strike on the coming "summer doldrums", I would like to share some thoughts on a very important topic on pastoral leadership. It is adapted from a lecture that I presented this past January to the annual gathering of the Convention Baptist Ministers Association at Central Philippines University in Iloilo City, Philippines. Just click on the link below. I am interested in your thoughts as well. If you want to engage in a sincere and earnest dialogue with me, use the form below to send me an email.

The Pastor as Vision Caster

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Pastors Leading Change - The Nehemiah Leadership Network


The Nehemiah Leadership Network (NLN) is a pastoral leadership training program and ministry of ten American Baptist regions, including the ABCNJ, with support from the Center for Career Development and Ministry, the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board (MMBB), and the American Baptist Foundation (ABF).

It provides specialized training, guidance and support for persons who have high potential for leading renewal and transformation in their congregations. Participants are nominated by region staff. After acceptance, each pastor submits a proposal for an individualized learning plan that will address spiritual growth, emotional maturity, skills and conceptual models of systems and change.

It is expected that each pastor in the program will participate for three years, working with a group of four other pastors and a mentor with whom the group will meet four times a year, and during annual conference. Pastors and their congregations will be asked to provide a modest amount of financial support, but all major costs will be covered by the Network.

ABCNJ has recently graduated its first NLN class - (l-r) the Reverends Jay R. Thatcher III, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Westmont;  Mia Chang, pastor of NextGen Church of West Windsor; and Rodger J. Harris, Jr., pastor of Mt. Hermon Baptist Church, Irvington.  Next to them is Rev. Dr. Frank Reeder, an NLN mentor and pastor of Seaview Baptist Church.

Rev. Mia Chang reflects on her Nehemiah Leadership Network experience,

"The three year journey of Nehemiah Leadership Network has been a wonderfully enriching experience.  As a novice pastor, I was grateful to have received the collegial support and mentorship. Nehemiah's yearly retreat served as a refreshing time of learning and connecting with fellow colaborers of Christ.

Rev. Rodger Harris, Jr was also deeply impacted by his journey with Nehemiah,

My participation in the Nehemiah Leadership Network gave me balance in my ministry. I was chosen to attend in my first year of my first pastorate and through this experience I have been  able find my personal voice in ministry. The Nehemiah Network provides invaluable workshops through the retreats and mentor groups. Nehemiah retreats are wonderfully crafted to help us tap into ourselves and critically engage our call and commitment to be effective in the context in which we serve.  The instruction on family systems theory and various readings have aided in my transformation as an effective pastor and servant of Christ. The past three years I have made new friends and become a healthier disciple of Christ. I thank God for the vision of all my American Baptist family that recommended and supported me through this whole process of growth. I'm a better man and pastor for this experience.

If you are an ABCNJ pastor, and are interested in participating in this outstanding resource to equip you in your ministry, please contact Rev. Drs. Lee B. Spitzer or Elmo Familiaran at the region office.