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 Towne

 

 

Bill & Kathy Towne

LEAD PASTOR TRANSITION TIMELINE

Timeline can be downloaded below in the Documents section.

WE ARE HERE

UPDATED MAY 3, 2022

Check here to see the most recent updates and what actions are currently taking place.

  • Gathering information from staff and some members of our faith family about key attributes and qualities they believe are critical for our next Lead Pastor.
  • Financial and budget review for next several years.
  • Reviewing and updating bylaws and human resources manual preparing for recruitment.
  • Interviewing external recruitment firms that specialize in high-level ministry recruitments and church succession planning.
  • Dialoging with other churches who have recently been through a succession experience to gather insights on the process.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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.

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.

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 continue to be a part of His work here. As Bill steps out of his Lead Pastor role, he may very well step into another pastoral role on staff. That has yet to be determined, but Bill looks forward to staying a part of Rolling Hills whether as a member or staff member.

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. The elder team is already at work assessing the leadership needs of Rolling Hills for the next 5-20 years in preparation for this important recruitment. That assessment includes discussions with some Rolling Hills staff and lay members to gather additional perspectives. Subcommittees led by elders will include lay members or staff to provide 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 has the intent to engage a Christian-based external recruiter to help ensure that our process is robust and we cast a wide net for potential candidates. The elders won’t finalize that part of the plan until sometime in mid-2022, but we’ll almost certainly 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.

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?

One step in our process is to review the qualifications we need in our next Lead Pastor. As soon as that information is finalized, we will include that in the job posting and we will update this answer.

Will internal candidates be considered for the lead pastor role?

Yes. The recruitment will be open to internal and external candidates.

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 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. Lastly, 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.

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.

How can I submit a question to the Pastoral Transition Team?

Questions can be emailed to LPTT@rollinghills.org.

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

CHUCK EASTERLY

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.

MATT NOLAN

Current 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

Elder, Former Elder Chairman

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.

BILL TOWNE

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.

CONTACT US

Submit your questions to the Lead Pastor Transition Team by emailing us at LPTT@rollinghills.org.

Subcommittees

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.