Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers about our Senior Pastor Search

  1. What criteria are you using in selecting our next Senior Pastor?
  2. Who is interviewing the applicants?
  3. Who is on our Senior Pastor Search committee?
  4. Have you considered hiring an Interim Pastor?
  5. When will Brent retire?
  6. When will our new Senior Pastor assume office?
  7. Do I have the option to submit a “proxy vote”?
  8. How do I know if I am an eligible voting member?


Do you have questions?

We want to hear all of your questions about the Senior Pastor Search. Please use the form below to send your questions directly to the search committee.

Questions you asked us

Q: What criteria are you using in selecting our next Senior Pastor?

A: We have your input from the congregational survey, and we have had many individual and group conversations to help us shape the description of an ideal candidate. You want a great preacher and teacher, an inspirational leader and someone who fights for social justice issues that are important to us. We will embrace our core values in our search – spirituality, advocacy and diversity. We will not be limited based on gender, orientation, nationality, denomination or cultural background. We are a vibrant, inclusive and progressive Christian church community and we will live these values in our discernment.

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Q: Who is interviewing the applicants for our next Senior Pastor?

A: The search committee will be narrowing the choices to a short list, gathering further input from senior staff, clergy and the Board, in order to ultimately recommend one candidate for the Board’s approval and presentation to the congregation. Our interview process will include reviews of each candidate’s sermons by MCC Toronto clergy, rounds of interviews with candidates, video conference and consultations with senior staff.

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Q: Who is on the Senior Pastor Search committee?

A: We are fortunate to have such a qualified and experienced volunteer team serving on our Senior Pastor Search committee. These individuals were chosen because of their extensive knowledge of executive recruitment in a wide range of professional capacities. Our search committee includes:

Additionally, John Vespa and Reverend Don Eastman acted in an advisory capacity when the Search Committee was being formed.

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Q: Have you thought about hiring an Interim Pastor?

A: An Interim Pastor is part of the more traditional two-stage transition model. A single stage model of transition is preferable when:

  • The departing pastor is long-tenured and well-loved.
  • The departing pastor has a large network of relationships to pass along to the successor.
  • The departing pastor is ion a position to actively signal the passing of his personal power and prestige to a successor.
  • The departing pastor is emotionally open and aware of his strengths and weaknesses.
  • The departing pastor is capable of allowing the congregation to engage its future developmental work.
  • The anxiety level in the congregation going into the transition is at fairly normal levels and will allow for good decision making.
  • The staff team and governing board are functional decision making bodies, in healthy relationship with one another and the congregation.
  • The congregation already has a developed sense of its mission identity and strategy.

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Q: When will Brent retire?

A: Brent has yet to announce a fixed date for his final service at MCC Toronto. We’ve asked him to hold off on doing so until we’re clear about the date when our new Senior Pastor will be with us. We think a retirement date of late this year or early next year is realistic at this point. We are planning a retirement party for Brent on October 19, 2017.

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Q: When will our new Senior Pastor assume office?

A: Upon confirmation of our new Senior Pastor, we will begin a transition period of 4-6 months where Brent will remain as the Senior Pastor working with the new Senior Pastor Elect for a successful transition. This will conclude with a service of recognition and thanks to Brent which will be his official retirement date, and the following Sunday will be the installation of the new Senior Pastor.

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Q: I cannot attend the vote in person. Do I have the option to submit a “proxy vote”?

A: Eligible voting members of MCC Toronto must be physically present to vote at our Annual Church Business Meeting and the same criteria will apply for the Senior Pastor vote. A “proxy” vote is when one member delegates to another member who actually attends the meeting, the right to cast a ballot on their behalf. Proxies can either be given specific direction on how to vote ( mandated vote ) or they can use their own discretion in deciding how to vote ( discretionary vote).

We have explored the viability of allowing this process but our bylaws currently do not allow for it. Making such a change has many implications and would require a comprehensive review process that would take time to implement properly. But more importantly, we feel that as a church, it is critical for individuals to be present and actively involved in any discussion preceding the vote that may influence the selection.

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Q: How do I know if I am an eligible voting member?

A: As we have reviewed our Membership List, we have identified gaps in our data. In some cases, entire membership classes have not been entered or were accidentally deleted. We therefore ask that if you have not already been confirmed* as an “Eligible Voting Member” that you send us an email to confirm your status at

* by visiting our Membership Table in the Social Hall (as of May 14) or receiving a confirmation email from our Membership team.

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