LEAD PASTOR TRANSITION
On Sunday, February 6, 2022 Pastor Bill announced his desire to transition from Lead Pastor of Rolling Hills Community Church to a new phase of ministry beginning January 1, 2025.
A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR BILL
For several years I have had a growing conviction that the Lord is leading us to start the process of finding our next Lead Pastor. I have been talking to the Elder Team for a while about what that would look like. Kathy and I love our faith family and want to do everything we can to do this process well for the long term health of Rolling Hills. It is important to complete the Lead Pastor Transition process while I am healthy, energized and enjoying ministry.
To that end, selected elders and myself have interviewed several different churches on the west coast who have recently gone through healthy and successful Lead Pastor transitions. Each of those churches also recommended the book Next: Pastoral Succession That Works, which we then read as an Elder Team last year. These interviews as well as the book have been very helpful in shaping the process we will use.
The staff and elder team feel like God has given us clear marching orders regarding our mission, vision, beliefs and culture. We are committed to finding a Lead Pastor who reflects our existing DNA. We know this process will not happen overnight. As the Elders and Lead Pastor Transition Team move through the process, our heart is to be transparent and let the church body know where we are every step of the way.
We ask that you would join us in praying for God’s wisdom and guidance for our team, the future Lead Pastor of Rolling Hills, and our faith family.
Bill & Kathy Towne
quarterly transition prayer
Sunday, May 7 | 10:15-10:55 | Gathering Room
During this season of leadership transition, it is our desire to gather each quarter to pray together as a church body as we seek God’s will for the next season of Rolling Hills. Join us as we lift up Pastor Bill, the elder team, and our entire faith family. Prayer outline and focus prompts will be provided.
LEAD PASTOR TRANSITION TIMELINE
Timeline can be downloaded below in the Documents section. There is also a detailed timeline available that includeds more information.
WE ARE HERE
UPDATED April 4, 2023
Check here to see the most recent updates and what actions are currently taking place.
- Our bylaws were updated and finalized after the elder team reviewed comments submitted by our members. New bylaws were approved by the elder team on March 21.
- A team of staff and lay leaders will finalize updates to our Employee Handbook by the end of April.
- A group of elders are working to distill our current vision document into a very concise statement that captures the core essence of what we’ve heard from God about our aspirational goals and long-term direction for Rolling Hills. This refined statement will be ready by the end of July.
- We are working with the Slingshot Group (our external recruiting partner) on a specific plan to form a panel of lay elders and lay leaders from within our faith family to serve as the initial interview team once the recruitment launches late in 2023.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the process for choosing a new Lead Pastor? How is the decision made?
Our process started with prayer, and prayer is a fundamental part of our entire process. We believe that God has already determined who should be the next Lead Pastor and we’re going to prayerfully seek God’s guidance to lead us to that man.
With God’s help, we’ve created a multi-step Lead Pastor Transition Plan. You can see our process plan on this website. We are updating it on a regular basis to keep the information and timeline as accurate as possible. The elder team is currently assessing the leadership needs of Rolling Hills for the next 5-20 years in preparation for this important recruitment. That assessment has involved (or will include) discussions with Rolling Hills staff and some lay members to gather additional perspectives. Subcommittees led by elders will include lay members or staff to provide additional expertise and spiritual gifting in some areas.
Based on the wisdom passed on to us from our conversations with other churches who have gone through a similar transition process, the elder team decided to partner with a Christian-based external recruiter to help ensure that our process is robust and we cast a wide net for potential candidates. We met with two excellent consultants from nationally-known external recruitment firms and then conducted reference interviews with church leaders who had recently partnered with these consultants. In July, the elder team selected Keith Twigg from the Slingshot Group to partner with us on detailed succession planning and the recruitment.
While plans are not yet finalized, we plan to have a hiring panel that includes gifted lay members with elders and staff. We will be sharing those details when they are finalized. The lay elders will be the group that will make the final hiring decision.
Updated August 2022
When does Pastor Bill plan to transition out of the Lead Pastor Role?
Pastor Bill is committed to transitioning out of the Lead Pastor role with excellence in a way that sets the next pastor and the congregation up for success. The goal is to have a 6 month transition between Bill and the incoming Pastor during 2024, with Bill’s official last day in the role being December 31, 2024.
Reviewed June 2022
What happens if we haven’t found a new Lead Pastor before Pastor Bill leaves?
Although we firmly believe the Lord will guide and bless this process in a timely fashion, there is always the possibility that the Lord’s ways and timing are different than ours. The way we are going about this process includes a 6 month time period where the new Lead Pastor will overlap with Pastor Bill. The hiring decision is currently scheduled to occur in the spring of 2024 and Bill isn’t scheduled to step down until the end of December, 2024. So, if the elder team gets to spring 2024 without finding the man we believe God intends to be our next Lead Pastor, we still have 9 months to pray and discuss our next steps. Pastor Bill is also not planning to leave the Rolling Hills family, and we have other gifted teachers and ministry leaders, so we will trust God in all of this.
Reviewed June 2022
Does Pastor Bill know what he will do after transitioning out of the Lead Pastor role?
Bill and Kathy are excited about what God is doing at Rolling Hills, and are committed to be a part of the Rolling Hills family and God’s work here. The elder team also strongly desires to see Bill and Kathy continue to be part of our faith family long after Bill’s role as Lead Pastor concludes. Bill will likely take a break from Rolling Hills in early 2025 to provide some time for the next Lead Pastor, our staff, and our faith family to serve alongside one another and deepen those relationships, but then Bill absolutely plans to be back as part of the faith family.
Bill has been praying and seeking God’s guidance and clarity on how God will use him after the transition. Bill wants to be a strong supporter and encourager for the next Lead Pastor, and there are many other things on Bill’s heart, but he is taking this time to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider his future role. The elder team is also partnering with Bill in this process.
Updated June 2022
Can I submit a recommendation for a new Lead Pastor? If so, how?
We anticipate opening the official recruitment for the Lead Pastor position in fall 2023. While we recommend waiting until the job qualifications are finalized, you can submit a recommendation at any time to the Lead Pastor Transition Team at this email address: LPTT@rollinghills.org
What are the minimum Lead Pastor qualifications?
We are purposefully taking our time to review and finalize the full qualifications for our next Lead Pastor. We will be working with an external recruiting partner beginning in the fall of 2022, and part of that work will include a detailed Lead Pastor Profile.
There are some things we already know must be included. The first are Biblical qualifications to be an elder from 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. The second is that we are seeking a leader who has a heart and passion for the vision and mission that God has called us to fulfill at Rolling Hills along with alignment to our core beliefs. (You can see those here.)
We will update this answer as we get closer to the recruitment launch (probably in the November/December 2023 time frame).
Updated June 2022
Will internal candidates be considered for the lead pastor role?
Yes. The recruitment will be open to internal and external candidates.
Reviewed June 2022
How can I be praying for the Lead Pastor Transition Team and Pastor Bill during this transition?
Although a lot of effort is going into this transition process, the elder team desires to be fully dependent on the Lord and His guidance and direction. This is easier said than done! So, here are some on-going prayer requests:
- Pray that the elders will seek the Lord in all the little details of this process. We want to be dependent on Him alone!
- Pray for Pastor Bill and Kathy also, as they seek to honor the Lord in graciously closing this season of their lives and starting a new season where they hope to continue to serve the Lord and the faith family of Rolling Hills in a different capacity.
- Pray for the Rolling Hills faith family that this transition will be smooth and well received by all, and that it may be the start of an exciting new season.
For the immediate future, you can also be praying for God to provide us with wisdom, clarity and unity in:
- our ability to hear clearly from God about what refinements or additional clarity are needed regarding the vision for Rolling Hills for the next 5-10 years.
- the refinement of the leadership qualifications and key attributes for the next Lead Pastor.
- our partnership with our external recruiter (Keith Twigg) regarding our specific recruitment process.
Updated April 2023
What can be expected in terms of communication efforts from the Lead Pastor Transition Team to the Church?
The goal of the Lead Pastor Transition Team is to communicate regularly with the congregation across a variety of platforms. Church members can expect to hear from the LPTT occasionally from the front during Sunday morning Gatherings, through social media videos, and email updates. In addition, this webpage will serve as a central location for transition updates. Video updates (which are posted on this page) are emailed periodically to the Rolling Hills family via RH News. You can view all of the videos produced so far by clicking on the down-arrow on the upper left corner of the Lead Pastor Transition video image on this page. Other elements on this page are reviewed at least monthly to make sure you have current information and timeline updates.
Updated June 2022
How can I submit a question to the Pastoral Transition Team?
Questions can be emailed to LPTT@rollinghills.org.
Reviewed June 2022
LEAD PASTOR TRANSITION
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
The elder team provides overall leadership, oversite, and authority in the Lead Pastor Transition process. A core team of elders will act as a steering committee (Lead Pastor Transition Team) to provide day-to-day leadership, guidance, project management, and consistency throughout the process.
To see all elders, click here.
LEAD PASTOR TRANSITION TEAM
Elder, Former Elder Chairman
READ MORE ABOUT CHUCK
I’ve been part of the Rolling Hills family since August 1998. My wife, Mary, and I have been married for 45 years and have four daughters and five grandchildren. Three of our daughters (Annette Gardiner, Melinda Bouley, and Christine Easterly) live in the local area and are also active members at Rolling Hills. You’ll find me most often assisting the Worship Arts and Production teams as a director for our Sunday Gatherings, serving as a community group leader, partnering with the staff in leadership development cohorts, and helping with administrative duties in the pickleball ministry in the lower level.
Prior to my retirement in April 2020, I was the division leader for a safety and health consulting team of more than 70 people at a large insurance company. I’ve worked in many different management roles throughout my career while also serving in leadership roles at my previous church in Southern California. I’ve also served as an elder at Rolling Hills for 10 of the last 12 years and was the chairman of our elder team in 2016. Rolling Hills is my faith family and I am deeply committed to doing my part to help us successfully accomplish all that God intends for us to do.
As part of the elder team, I took part in earnestly seeking God’s guidance to craft our mission and vision, and I am very grateful for the amazing ways God has used Pastor Bill to help us move that forward. Even though I love Bill and Kathy and I greatly enjoy listening to God speak truth through Bill’s teaching on Sunday mornings, I totally support his decision to create a transition to a new lead pastor and I trust that God has another man already waiting for us who shares that same heart, passion, and vision.
Elder, Former Elder Chairman
READ MORE ABOUT MATT
I started attending Rolling Hills in 1978 and it has been my church home ever since. My wife Kristi and I have been married for 30 years now. Our two children (Ryan and Madeline) grew up at Rolling Hills and were both actively involved and have served in the youth programs. Madeline and her husband Justin Harrel now live in Boise and Ryan and will be getting married on March 12th to Bri Borror and they plan to live in Wilsonville.
It is hard to believe that Rolling Hills has been my church home for 44 years. I have been blessed to have many amazing people here pour into my life. In addition to serving as the current chairman of the elder team I volunteer with the middle school ministries and Kristi and I lead a community group. Rolling Hills is my home.
Professionally I have been with Eaton for 22 years where I am responsible for global product strategy for electric vehicles. I look forward to bringing the skills I use at work with developing strategies, defining the future customer requirements, dealing with unknowns, trying to identify future needs and charting a course forward.
Bill and Kathy have played a huge part in my life, Bill discipled me as a high school student and Kathy welcomed me and a group of awkward boys into her home with love and encouragement. I’m excited to see what God has in store for them next, but like many of you I will miss having Bill as my pastor. It is reassuring to know that God loves His Church and has charted His path for Rolling Hills. He knows who the next lead pastor will be and it is up to us to listen, trust and depend upon Him through this transition.
DICK DE ROOVER
READ MORE ABOUT DICK
I have been at Rolling Hills for 8 years. I served (and currently am serving) as a lay elder and have been chairman of the elder board in 2019 and 2020. I also serve on the worship and prayer team. I have been married to my wife, Santine, for 28 years and we have 5 children, 2 already married, 1 finishing college, and the last 2 boys about to leave the nest.
As chairman of the board in 2020, I was involved in the initial discussions regarding Bill’s desire to start the pastor transition process, and in 2021, I continued to be involved in the preparations to start this multi-year process. I am a member of the board of directors at my company and provide analytical skills and leadership to the teams I participate on. I firmly believe that this transition process is guided by the Holy Spirit, and I am excited to see where and how God will lead Rolling Hills in the years to come.
Current Lead Pastor
READ MORE ABOUT BILL
It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been on staff at Rolling Hills for 39 years. I was hired as a part time Student Ministries Pastor while attending Western Seminary in Portland. I served our students and their families for 10 years before stepping into the newly created Executive Pastor position. In this position I oversaw the Pastors and ministries of Rolling Hills and did this for the next 15+ years. Since 2009, I’ve served as the Lead Pastor. My wife Kathy, my three daughters and their husbands, and now seven grandchildren all call Rolling Hills their faith family. I feel very blessed to have served this community and church for most of my adult life. Kathy and I look forward to many more years of seeing God work in us and His faith family at Rolling Hills as we look to the next season of ministry after stepping away from the Lead Pastor role.
Senior Associate, Slingshot Group
Keith began his vocational ministry in Southern California after which he served for many years in pioneering roles across the northwest including Campus Pastor, Multi-site Director and Lead Pastor. Keith has a BA in Business Administration from San Diego State University as well as an MA in Christian Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary.
When we spoke to other church leaders about Keith’s work with them, every leader was exceptionally affirming about the role that Keith played in making their recruitment process very successful. Here’s what one leader had to say about Keith:
“Slingshot, to us, came across with an attitude of ‘This is a spiritual work, and we need the Lord to be right in the middle of it.’ Keith was asking about my personal life, my family, praying for me and our church and for the search process. They were a ministry partner and spiritual partner. They projected an attitude of, ‘We’re going to walk through this process with you and the Lord together.” We didn’t get that from anyone else.’
–Randy Singley, Elder Chair, Morgan Hill Bible Church (near San Jose, CA)
In addition to elder-only subcommittees to complete some elements of the transition plan, additional subcommittees will be formed as needed to complete various aspects of the transition plan. These committees will include at least one lay elder plus additional staff and/or lay members from our faith family to provide the necessary gifting, diversity, and expertise to complete the objectives with excellence and in a way that is honoring to God. The elder team will determine the specific subcommittee membership.
Submit your questions to the Lead Pastor Transition Team by emailing us at LPTT@rollinghills.org.