Search and Call

Regional Minister Search Committee Update:

of Christopher Morton
To Christian Church of Nebraska
Board of Directors
February 3, 2018

 Hello!  We are– (introduce ourselves)

Eileen: Thank you for being here.  As you know we’ve been in a year-long journey.  We held listening sessions in all geographical areas of our region to learn what people desire in our called regional minister.  Based on what we heard, we developed a candidate profile and posted our search in various places.  The Search Committee members independently studied each application and then met together to discuss and evaluate each application.  Our committee unanimously chose one top candidate.  Bill Spangler- Dunning then revealed the rankings the independent evaluator from California gave to each applicant.  We were delighted to discover she  ranked our selected candidate as one of the top two candidates.  We are excited to officially introduce to you the Rev. Christopher Morton of Lakewood, Washington as our chosen candidate for the position of Called Regional Minister of the Christian Church (DOC) in Nebraska.

Gayle:  The background check that is required by the General Church has been completed. Chris passed with flying colors.

Jay:  Reference forms for Chris were completed by four people.  These references included the following persons:

  • Chris’ current regional minister
  • The president of a board where Chris was the Executive Director
  • Michael Kinnamon, past Dean of Lexington Theological Seminary and Chris’ Professor of Theology.  He is also Chris’ friend.
  • A congregational member.

Our search committee carefully read the reference forms.  We also contacted by phone all four people.  All verbally reinforced their written recommendations of Chris.

Daryl:  Our search committee studied Chris’ profile and other paper work.  We, via “Zoom”, participated in two interviews with Chris.  We met with him again yesterday for the final interview and unanimously agreed to bring his name forward as the Called Regional Minister Candidate for our       Nebraska Region.

Gayle:  Based on the information we gathered and on our interaction with Chris, we feel God has led us to the person who has the potential to be an outstanding regional minister for our region.  Here are some of reasons we feel he is the person for Nebraska!

Eileen:  At his core, he is Disciple (DOC) having graduated with a Master of Divinity Degree from Lexington, a Disciple seminary, having been ordained in the Midwest Region of the Christian Church, and having served four Disciple churches.

Gayle:   He is also passionate about ecumenical and interfaith ministries.  He has been a director of such non-profits as the Hazelden Foundation and the Minnesota Council of Churches.

Jay:  According to Chris and his references, Chris is highly skilled in—

  • Daryl: Assessing the financial and organizational health of an organization.
  • Eileen: Developing and implementing budgets and raising funds.
  • Gayle: Delegating and meeting commitments.
  • Jay: Writing and receiving grants.
  • Daryl: Leading collaboratively in visioning and strategic planning.
  • Eileen: Setting and meeting goals.
  • Gayle: Developing and sustaining authentic, open, and effective communications with ministers, with congregations, and with regional staff, board, and committees.
  • Jay: Facilitating dialogue that transforms into sustained action.
  • Daryl: Moving congregations to serve outside their walls.

Eileen:  Do you want to hear more?  He is skilled in—

  • Gayle: Teaching how life and the gospel intersect.
  • Jay: Preaching!
  • Daryl: Providing pastoral care.
  • Eileen: Listening and seeking consensus.
  • Gayle: Connecting with others in one-on-one settings, in small-groups, and in large groups.
  • Jay: Helping navigate conflicts and reconciliation.
  • Daryl: Advocating for justice.
  • Eileen: Communicating through various modes including technology.
  • Gayle: Recognizing and not crossing boundaries.
  • Jay: Helping others discern their call to ministry.
  • Daryl: Coaching/mentoring clergy, lay leaders, and youth.

Eileen:  Here are four more insights into who Chris is.

  • Gayle: Chris feels the church has much to offer in a fragmented world.
  • Jay: He passionately desires helping others to realize it’s time to move from the “Sage on the Stage” approach.  He desires for all to realize wisdom comes from the room of people not just from the “sage”.
  • Daryl: He feels current ways of doing education are tired and worn.  He seeks innovative ways of teaching.
  • Eileen: He believes it is through mutual edification we can explore ways of enabling all people to feel accepted in their beliefs concerning God’s, Christ’s, and the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.

Gayle:  We hope this gives you an idea of why we are excited and delighted to bring Christopher Morton to you today.  Thank you for the opportunity you have given us to serve the Region as the Regional Minister Search Committee.

Christian Church in Nebraska Regional Minister Search Committee:

Gayle Gengenbach and Eileen Kunz-co-chairs

Phyllis Dunlop, Daryl Lauber, Jay Mitchell, and Anne Pope-members