Lead Pastor Position

First Friends Church (FFC), located in Canton, Ohio is seeking a Lead Pastor, as our current Lead Pastor is retiring. We are looking for an enthusiastic, energetic candidate with strong, proven, personal character and professional qualities. The Lead Pastor will have an evident love for Jesus with passion and ability to share the Gospel. The Lead Pastor will have the ability to advance the First Friends’ mission through strategic thinking and vision casting with corresponding ability to collaboratively implement the vision. The Lead Pastor will have strong pastoral gifts and collaborative leadership skills, demonstrated by the ability to preach, inspire, motivate, challenge, care for, and minister to people of all ages, races, and walks of life. We are looking for a person who can build upon and strengthen our commitment to following the Holy Spirit, prayer, discipleship, and Gospel renewal.

About First Friends

First Friends is an inter-generational church—rooted in the Evangelical Friends tradition—with a contemporary atmosphere of worship and teaching. As a church, we are committed to making disciples, building quality relationships with Christ and others, and reaching our world through the Holy Spirit’s power.

Our Mission: Building mature followers of Jesus through the Church and home.

Our Vision: Transform the Heart…Transform the Home…Transform the World

Our Denomination: Evangelical Friends Eastern Region.  For more information about Evangelical Friends and Easter Region, click here to go to EFCER website

Our Weekly attendance: 1,000 on average

Our Location: Canton—Home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame—is located in North East Ohio. FFC sits in a beautiful residential area with lots of room to grow. We have a large property with an indoor gym, baseball fields, soccer fields, and playground to accommodate our large sports ministry—a vital ministry in our local community—and to create spaces that facilitate family and community fun. The Canton area is densely populated, and the surrounding area has more than 400,000 people. The cost of living in this area is low compared to other areas of the nation. There are great schools and colleges—public and private. In particular, FFC is located near Malone University, which is affiliated with the Evangelical Friends denomination.  Canton is located close to several major cities: a half-hour from Akron, one hour from Cleveland, two hours from Columbus and Pittsburgh, and four hours from Cincinnati. The area has great outdoor options for fun, such as hiking, canoeing, and kayaking.

Role of Lead Pastor

The Lead Pastor at FFC includes the following responsibilities:

  • pursue knowing, loving, and obeying Christ as a disciple and leads others to do the same
  • articulate personal devotion and relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit
  • devote himself to the study of the Word and oversee the preaching and teaching of the Word
  • be led by the Holy Spirit
  • devote himself to personal and corporate prayer and encourage and lead others to do the same
  • facilitate Holy Spirit led ministry and equip the saints to do the same
  • discern God’s vision for the church in conjunction with staff and elders
  • be responsible to steward and reinforce God’s mission, vision, and values of the local church
  • equip and empower people to live the mission, vision, and core values of the local church
  • collaborate with staff and elders and build effective teams
  • protect the unity of the local church
  • ensure and oversee that pastoral care is taking place among the church body
  • be recorded as a Friends pastor or be willing to go through the recording process
  • serve as an elder
  • be an ex-officio voting member of all groups within the organizational structure of the local church
  • be responsible for keeping the history, doctrine, mission, vision, and core values of EFC-ER before the local church

Job Qualifications

The Lead Pastor at FFC should possess the following qualifications:

Education: Master’s degree preferred but not required (Masters of Divinity, Theology, or Ministry preferable). Seminary strongly preferred.

Experience: The Lead Pastor will demonstrate ability and ministry competence by demonstrating experience in the following areas:

  • 10 years or more in ministry leadership
  • growth and success in different ministry environments
  • leadership of ministry teams and group facilitation
  • networking and participation in local community building efforts
  • preaching and pastoral gifting

Ministry skills:  The Lead Pastor will demonstrate ability and ministry competence in the following areas:

  • pastoral gifting and calling
  • emotional intelligence
  • interpersonal and group communication
  • collaboration with and development of ministry teams
  • collaboration with and development of ministry staff
  • interpreting the Scriptures
  • teaching and preaching
  • organizational skills
  • casting vision and overseeing the implementation of vision
  • equipping and releasing others in ministry
  • delegating appropriately
  • managing and overseeing staff, pastoral team, and other church related business
  • cultural sensitivity
  • relating to, honoring, and creating environments that honor diversity and articulate the hope of the Gospel for cultural divides
  • facilitating intergenerational ministry

Character: The Lead Pastor will demonstrate personal character through the following:

  • devotion to and relationship with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  • devotion to the Word and prayer
  • articulation of God’s personal and corporate calling and how that shapes ministry
  • expression of a strong core identity shaped by Christ
  • understanding of his own personal gift mix and how to create complimentary teams of gifted individuals
  • possession of a good reputation and relationships with family, church, and community
  • continued growth and development in personal and professional life through discipleship, accountability, connection to other leaders, and continuing education

Theological and Doctrinal Competence: The Lead Pastor will be able to articulate the following:

  • a clear understanding of theological perspectives (understands a variety of theological perspectives,
    including Evangelical Friends)
  • a clear understanding of the Person of the Holy Spirit and the functioning of the gifts of the Spirit
  • a well-developed understanding of the Gospel and its implications for renewal and community transformation
  • a clear theology of worship and presence based ministry
  • a clear theology of prayer and the roles of prayer in the church
  • an clear understanding of the biblical model of the five-fold ministry gifts within the church
  • a clear understanding of how the Gospel speaks to pertinent cultural issues and challenges of our time
  • an ability to address hard topics with grace, wisdom, and courage

Contact and Process

Interested candidates can submit a résumé packet that includes the following:

  • Cover letter
  • Résumé
  • References
  • Proof of education (academic transcripts)
  • Video links of preaching (more than one desired)
  • Video links of worship service where you minister
  • Personal statement of faith
  • Personal philosophy of ministry
  • Explanation of your understanding of calling and vocation
  • Your personality profile assessments (DISC, Myers Briggs)

All communication should be sent by e-mail to the pastoralsearch@firstfriends.org