Search Committee Members


In James 1:1, James introduces himself by name, but that is all. Though he was the half-brother of Jesus and a leader in the church in Jerusalem, he claimed no such status. Instead, he said, “James a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” No special status. The people mentioned below have been asked to help in a task. No special status, no accolades. Like James, they are introduced here by name and, like all of you, they are nothing more than servants of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Together, they are a team of Christians working together for ONE purpose: That through this search process the name of God be glorified.
Although everyone has a specific title and task, all the members of the committee will be assisting each other in their tasks; as well as praying, listening, and providing input to each other as the process advances. The committee members agreed on a list of vital items that we call our “covenant” and we remind ourselves of these in detail before each and every meeting.
The committee was given a specific “charge” from the Mesa eldership before their work began. This “charge” included specifics on what we “will” and “will not” be looking for in a new minister. Each member agreed to the charge and to serving until the position was filled.
The members and their specific roles are as follows:

CR Gaines

Elder Liaison



This position in the committee is vital to keeping communication flowing to the “full” eldership. The elder liaison can also be a sounding board for the committee as they embark on different tasks. If the solution requires agreement from the full eldership, the liaison can take these issues immediately to his peers and get quick answers to keep the process moving. The liaison can also ensure that the initial “charge” to the committee is being conducted properly.


Photo of Jon Bouley

Jon Bouley

Committee Chair

For a Search Committee to function smoothly, efficiently, and effectively, leadership is required. While leadership of the Search Committee cannot be heavy-handed or imperious, it needs to be firm and consistent. Jon has all the skills and right spirit to conduct the responsibilities as Committee Chair.

  • There is a need for Jon’s leadership before meetings: scheduling, setting an agenda, determining the number and priority of discussion items, rounding up the information/people that will allow for good decision-making, clarifying and planning for good process.
  • There is a need for his leadership during the meeting: working through the agenda in a disciplined way, limiting discussion, keeping the conversation focused, quashing detours, encouraging participation by all, discouraging over-participation by the few, ensuring that discussion draws to a timely and decisive conclusion.
  • And there is a need for Jon’s leadership after meetings: follow up, holding people accountable for assigned tasks, communicating with elders and the church, protecting the integrity of the process as the Committee proceeds with its work.

Mike Corder

Tech Chair



We live in a technologically rich world. The IMP process builds on this advantage to use some state-of-the-art technology tools to support the churches they work with and keep everything organized.

The Search Committee needs a “tech savvy” individual in order to set up and manage the technology needs of the Committee. Mike knows his way around computers, software, and the intricacies of training people who are less-technologically-inclined. Think video-conferencing … project management… desktop publishing … digital calendars. In addition, your elders will need technological help and support.

Tenna Murphy


Tenna is responsible for collecting, organizing, posting, and managing the wide variety of documents, communications, calendars, and tasks that are involved in a search process. This overall management is vital to the efficient and effective functioning of the Committee as a whole. In part, this involves a proficiency in working with the software tools (e.g., Trello) that the Committee will be using. In part, however, Tena’s role involves basic people and management skills: communication, an eye for detail, and an organizational frame of mind.

Dave Verret

Prayer Chair


As the Search Committee seeks the man God is calling to our congregation, the entire process needs to be bathed in prayer. The success of our search depends far less on the competence of our committee than on the grace and wisdom of God. Therefore, it is vital that we—intentionally, frequently—invoke his aid and blessing on this endeavor. Towards that end, Dave will lead our efforts in prayer and be designated the “Prayer Chair.” He will be attending every meeting with the question in mind: “What are we talking about today that the Committee and the Church should be in prayer about?”

Brad Kerley

Communications / PR Chair

The person in charge of PR/Communication on behalf of the Search Committee should be at every meeting with one question at the forefront of his thinking: What are we doing today as a committee that the congregation needs to know? Brad is responsible for the messages we send as a committee, the timing and frequency of those messages, the variety of media employed, and the quality of both the message and the medium. Done well, communications will help a congregation feel fully-informed, make the search process more transparent, and build “buy in” by the congregation into the results of the Committee’s work.



Jeff Green

Congregational Assessment Leader

The work of the Committee begins (in Phase One) with listening. Everybody wants to jump right in and start soliciting and reviewing candidate resumes. But exercising the discipline to first pause, listen, learn, and define will pay off handsomely in the long-term. Some of the most important listening the Committee does involve the congregation itself. Who are we? Who has God gathered into this church at this time? How spiritually healthy are we as individuals and as a church? What are our perceptions of our congregation? What kind of minister do we think we should be looking for? What are the principal roles that minister should provide?

Jeff is responsible to:

  • devise a survey that lets us listen to the church
  • conduct the survey
  • analyze the survey results
  • report the results of the survey to church leaders and the congregation

Photo of Mark

Marc Engle

Kingdom Assessment Leader

God is at work in our community. His fingers are in a number of different pies. He is working through all manner of people and groups to make an eternal difference in the lives of people. Marc’s goal as the “Kingdom Assessment” leader is to identify a few of the ways God is at work around us, how He is changing and impacting lives, and who He is partnering with in doing so.

In particular, Marc is charged with identifying three or four churches in our area that are making a significant contribution to the kingdom and the community. For example:

  • A church that is experiencing rapid and evangelistic growth
  • A church deeply involved in ministry that is widely recognized and highly appreciated (e.g., outreach to the homeless, marriage ministry, campus work, etc.)
  • A church focused on a “missional” perspective.
The Kingdom Assessment leader is tasked to recognize where God is working to accomplish His purposes in our city. Most of this listening will be done not in a formal, quantitative way (e.g., a survey or assessment) but through more qualitative means like interviews and conversations with area ministers.


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Maria Leos

Community Assessment Leader


It is especially when churches and church leaders are under stress (as during a transition period) that we tend to have ears only for ourselves. The urgency of needs, the uncertainties of the season, and worries about the future persuade us to focus primarily on insiders: the church and its members. However, periods of transition are great times to pause, adjust our antennae, and take the opportunity to listen beyond ourselves—that is, if we want to move forward into the future thoughtfully and effectively. The church (after all) exists not for itself but for those beyond its walls. We have a mission to accomplish, and that mission is closely connected to the needs and hurts of the community around us. Why did God put us where we are? (This location, neighborhood, city, region of the country.) Who are the people around us? Where are their needs? What problems are commanding the attentions and concerns of the people in our community? Maria will be leading an evaluation of these topics with local community and school leaders to ensure that the next minister at Mesa has favor with these ministry areas.

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Gwen McNeil

Church History Leader

Gwen will be gathering information needed to write a history of the church and our local community.
The goal of this history is:
  • To capture essential parts of the congregation’s story in a few pages.
  • To put this history into the hands of church members and use it to celebrate the good things God has done through us for His kingdom.
  • To have a story to include in a “Candidate Package”—a brief historical overview to help candidates understand a little about our church and its past.

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Pete Petersen

Recommender Leader

This phase of the Committee’s work involves identifying the “Recommenders” who will help us find high-quality, pre-vetted candidates; developing a clearer picture of our “ideal candidate”; and putting together a package of material to share with candidates about our church. Each of these tasks contribute to the Committee’s success in identifying and calling the right candidate to become the next pulpit minister for our church.
The right “Recommenders” can bless our committee (and our church) by matching the church’s ministerial needs with their network of quality, charactered ministers. As we will see, this allows the Committee to focus its efforts on a few prime candidates that come with a “stamp of approval” from people we know and trust. Every candidate we will talk to is a known to have a proven track-record. Using these Recommenders allows us to “sight fish” rather than cast a net: we are not throwing out a ministry position to see what we might catch … we are “sighting” candidates we’d like to catch!

Dallas Kingsbury

Ideal Candidate Leader

Mesa is looking for a minister, but not just any minister. Someone with a particular skill set, particular experiences and leadership skills, particular strengths. The more specific we can be about who we are looking for, the more confidence we’ll have when we find him … and the more likely it will be that you recognize candidates who–though fine people–don’t really fit the needs of our church at this time.


Dallas will be working with the elders and committee assessment leaders to create and write the “ideal candidate description”. This process is critical to define what experience, characteristics and traits Mesa is looking for. The information will then be shared with the “recommenders’ leader” so the ideal candidate description can be distributed to find as many potential candidates that fit that bill. The ideal candidate leader will also play a big part in the interview and recommendation process.