Witnesses Initiative FAQs

A special thank to all who have participated in our Witnesses Initiative Life Group discussions, as well as those who have inquired in other ways.  Your participation is vital to this process, as we seek to be united as God’s witnesses in this community and where we are sent.


QUESTION: How does an Assistant Pastor differ from an Associate Pastor?
ANSWER: #1 – In our denomination, an Assistant Pastor is called by, and subject to, the Session, whereas an Associate Pastor is called by vote of the congregation. #2 – An Assistant Pastor can be released from his call by the Session in cooperation with the Presbytery, whereas an Associate Pastor can only be released from his call by vote of the congregation, followed by the Presbytery. #3 – An Assistant Pastor is a member of Presbytery, but not a member of the Session, whereas an Associate is a member of the Session.

QUESTION: To whom will the Assistant Pastor directly report?
ANSWER: The Assistant Pastor would directly report to the Senior Pastor in day-to-day functions of church life.

QUESTION: How does the Assistant Pastor work with the Senior Pastor?
ANSWER: The Assistant Pastor will complement the work of the Senior Pastor, focusing on discipleship structures and training that equips the saints for the work of ministry both inside and outside the church.  We are prayerfully seeking a man with the requisite character and competencies necessary for the role, while also considering his chemistry or fit with staff, Session, and the congregation.  

QUESTION: How does this impact the Senior Pastor’s responsibilities?
ANSWER:  They will collaborate on ministry initiatives and programs. The Senior Pastor will continue to focus primarily on Preaching/Teaching; Leading (Session/Staff/Leadership Development); Shepherding; and Connecting with those new to Calvary. Having a partner in vocational ministry should have a multiplying effect on ministry efforts.

QUESTION: With the current plan to have the AP preach between 6-12 times/year, how would this impact our relationship with Ministry Partners and others who fill the pulpit in the absence of our Senior Pastor?
ANSWER: We will continue to maintain a relationship with our Ministry Partners, including local campus pastors through RUF. This could include periodic pulpit supply, visits for Vision Moments or ministry presentations, and continued active participation through providing snacks or other gifts, as needed.  

QUESTION: Is the Assistant Pastor position considered permanent or temporary?
ANSWER: Our goal is that we would be able to sustain a multi-staff model for the foreseeable future, as the Lord provides.

QUESTION: What is the process for calling an Assistant Pastor?
ANSWER: Because an Assistant Pastor is ultimately called (hired) by the Session, Calvary’s Session will conduct the search process, including making the final decision of when and whom to call.

QUESTION: What is the role of the congregation in the search process?
ANSWER: There are several ways the congregation is asked to participate in the search process for an assistant Pastor. #1 – Pray. Pray for wisdom for the Session and finance team throughout the process. Pray for God’s work in preparing the man He has already chosen to be Assistant Pastor of Equipping at Calvary. #2 – Provide. We will ask you to provide names of any men that you believe fit the job description for AP, when finalized. #3 – Participate. Participate in the life of the church, through worship, Life Groups and mission in our community and beyond. #4 – Practice hospitality. As you practice hospitality in our community, prepare your hearts to practice hospitality toward any candidate whom we bring to Calvary during the search process. Opportunity will be provided to the congregation to meet select AP candidate(s) prior to the Session issuing a call. #5 – Prepare your hearts. Prepare your hearts for however the Lord leads in the coming weeks and months.  

QUESTION: What kind of person are we looking for to fill this role?
ANSWER: The AP position requires someone who is either ordained or ordainable in the PCA. We are looking for someone marked by a genuine love for Jesus, who lives in humble reliance on the Holy Spirit. He would be a man who faithfully lives out of his calling in marriage or singleness, whose life exhibits regular rhythms of personal worship and prayer. He must be willing to live in and love the city of Raleigh and be a teachable and curious learner. He must also be willing to work collaboratively and open to giving and receiving open communication and honest feedback. We desire the Assistant Pastor would be a man who has a genuine love and ability to work well with a wide variety of people. We are not limiting the position to a particular level of experience.


QUESTION: Is there room in our current budget for an Assistant Pastor?
ANSWER: Due to financial commitments, including but not limited to our mortgage, we would be unable to call an Assistant Pastor out of our current budget. The financial goals of the Witnesses Initiative are designed to enable us to fully fund an Assistant Pastor for the next two years, while simultaneously eliminating our mortgage debt, providing a model for a sustainable financial commitment to an Assistant Pastor in future years.

QUESTION: What if we do not reach our financial goals? What is the priority?
ANSWERWe will work with the finance team to determine a sustainable financial package for the Assistant Pastor role. Our goal is to provide enough that our Assistant Pastor would be free from raising external support. We will prayerfully consider options, including but not limited to a partial-support-raising position. Our first priority is filling the Assistant Pastor position, with the mortgage an important, but secondary, priority.

QUESTION: What is the estimated financial commitment for an Assistant Pastor?
ANSWER: Our goal is to commit to a financial package that frees the AP to focus on his calling. We are currently estimating a total financial package (salary+benefits) of ~$80,000- $90,000/year.

QUESTION: What is the current balance on the mortgage, and what would it be in April 2025 if no extra principal payments were made? 
ANSWER: As of March 2023, the mortgage balance was ~$145,000 and the anticipated balance with no extra principal payments would be $90,000 in April 2025, the date of required re-financing. The Session is allocating Calvary’s rental income toward the principal on the loan, leaving approximately $40,000 that would be allocated through what is raised in the Witnesses Initiative to eliminate our debt.


QUESTION:  How has the Lord led the Session to seek to call an Assistant Pastor?
  As shared, when we first presented the plan of bringing on a church planting apprentice in the spring of 2022, the Session had been praying about the right time to add staff for several years. We specifically picked up this conversation, immediately following Pastor Nate’s sabbatical in fall of 2021. After we learned of changed plans with our resident-candidate, we continued to pray together about how the Lord would lead us in our next steps. During our winter Session retreat in February of this year, we began prayerfully working toward plans to call an Assistant Pastor. As details were being worked out, we presented this plan in our congregational meal and Vision Presentation in April of this year.