On the weekend of May 1, we invited Jon Ritner, a candidate for Ecclesia’s next lead pastor, to meet with the interview team, the staff of Ecclesia, our board of elders, several volunteer leaders and others who were able to chat with him and his wife Kristyn after both of the worship services on Sunday, May 3.
It was an intense and exciting weekend. Because the Ritners flew all the way from Brussels to meet with us, we crammed a lot of activity into the time we had! As an interview team we are praying and working toward offering a recommendation to the board of elders, one way or another regarding Jon’s candidacy, by the end of this month. To that end, we are seeking feedback from those who’ve met with Jon and Kristyn, and asking for feedback from those who didn’t have the opportunity to meet Jon. Attached below are Jon’s bio, and links to a sampling of his sermons and blogs.
The search process garnered a huge amount of interest from potential candidates. Out of the hundreds of submissions received, our search consultant, William Vanderbloemen and his team narrowed the field down to 150 candidates who were examined at length. In late February, five potential pastors were presented by Mr. Vanderbloemen to the interview team. Of these five, the team selected three to interview via Skype. One of the three self-selected out, and of the remaining two candidates, the team decided to continue the conversation with Jon Ritner in person. The on-site meetings were the next step in the process of discernment regarding the next lead pastor of Ecclesia.
Here’s what you can do now: Firstly, please continue to hold this process in prayer. Pray and process with us in the midst of this exciting time. Pray for God’s will for both Ecclesia and for Jon & Kristyn and their family. Secondly, we invite you into conversation. As you pray, listen to Jon’s sermons and read his blogs attached below. If you have feedback for the team, please email Pat Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lead Pastor Interview Team
Staci Armao, Sarah Duff, Jason Ellis, Wes Halula, Sophia Lin, Pat Mills, Kerry Morrison and Lara Regus
Ecclesia Lead Pastor Candidate
Jon Ritner earned a B.S. in Education and Kinesiology from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is currently a Pastor and Elder Board member at The Well in Brussels, Belgium, a single church existing in 5 neighborhoods that seeks to equip young Europeans to live their faith in Post Christian Europe. His primary duties at The Well include serving as lead teacher in weekly and monthly citywide worship services, directing a five-member pastoral leadership team, training local leaders and mentoring other teachers, and managing the church’s transition from centralized services to a multi-site model. He also leads neighborhood transformation projects and develops evangelistic relationships in the local community.
Prior to being called to Belgium, Jon served for ten years at Williamsburg Community Chapel, first as the Minister of Discipleship, and then as Associate Pastor. As Associate Pastor, he managed a 9-member Executive Minister Team and performed pastoral duties to an inter-generational congregation of 2,500. Selected accomplishments include designing and implementing a church-wide spiritual life survey that led to the formation of new strategic discipleship pathways, launching regular leadership training for 200 volunteers and monthly training for 60 staff, creating a serve the city day that mobilized over 900 volunteers, and authoring a small group study book, Our Community. He is also experienced as a keynote speaker. As the Minister of Discipleship, Jon tripled the number of small groups and small group leaders, led mission trips, gave 20-25 messages each year, and chaired the Men’s Ministry Leadership Team, overseeing 1000 men, including an annual retreat, weekly Bible breakfasts, monthly fellowship events, and small groups.
Jon seeks out professional development opportunities and has participated in Forge International European Leaders’ Conference, Collaboration of Neighborhood Transformation, Strengthsfinder, Christ in the City Conference with Ray Bakke, and Christian Associates Church Planting Matrix.
Jon has been married to his wife, Kristyn, for 13 years and they have two children, Addison (9) and Jackson (6). He enjoys coaching and playing a variety of sports, reading and blogging on the intersection of church and culture, cooking, travel, Bob Dylan, and post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction.
Links to Jon’s sermons:
Christmas Eve message from Williamsburg, VA
Message from Brussels
Announcement of intention to go to Brussels
Blessing the Black Sheep – March, 2015
It’s Time to Tell a New Story – January, 2015
Tags: lead, pastor, search