Dear Members & Friends of Chisago Lakes Baptist Church,

This past Spring, after ten years of service and ministry at our church, Pastor Keck announced his resignation. This is an important time for our church as choosing the next pastor impacts the direction and future of our church. After a pastoral search process involving over thirty candidates along with much prayer and discussion, the deacons have unanimously voted to make a recommendation for a man to candidate to be our next pastor. This man and his family have served in our church for the past five years and we are confident the Lord has gifted him and prepared him to be our next senior pastor. He has served our church as assistant pastor, youth pastor, and interim pastor. We are grateful for how he has already ministered to all of us in various ways over the past five years. And, he is academically well qualified with his Masters of Divinity degree he received a couple years ago.

The Deacons of Chisago Lakes Baptist Church are pleased to recommend Pastor Ben Gunderson and have extended to him the invitation to candidate to be our next senior pastor.

During the pastoral search process, the deacons collected and reviewed over thirty-five names of possible candidates. Questionnaires were sent to seven of these men, followed by Zoom meetings and in-person interviews. Out of this list of seven candidates, references were contacted for our top 4 choices. After discussing and evaluating our top 4 candidates, we narrowed the list down to one, Pastor Ben, who we are recommending to the church today.

About two weeks ago the deacons arrived at this decision, but waited one more week to pray and think about it before making our decision official a week ago. Pastor Ben has a high level of theological training, he has shown us his heart for the Lord and his passion to minister to each of us, and he has expressed to the deacons his vision for the future of our church body. The deacons have seen real growth in him as he has worked to lead our church through not just this pastoral transition, but also through this COVID period. Therefore, the vote amongst the deacons was unanimous and is recommended to the church with confidence that this is the man God has for us.

Regarding next steps going forward, we are tentatively planning for the following dates. We anticipate to be meeting together again on Sunday, October 25.

Sunday, November 1, question & answer time

Sunday, November 8, official church vote

Thank you for your prayers for our church and the deacons as we have moved through this search process. Please keep our church & Pastor Ben in prayer as we look forward to the question and answer time and then the church vote. Look for further communications and reminders.

Sincerely,

The Deacons of Chisago Lakes Baptist Church