In a spirit of prayer and discernment, The Pastor Search Team entered into a contract with the Center for Healthy Churches to guide us in our search for a new pastor. The Center for Healthy Churches is a mission-driven consulting group dedicated to helping congregations find new life and energy in the 21st century.
By partnering with the CHC, we will receive guidance and resources to help us in our transition. The Director of the Center for Healthy Church, Dr. Matt Cook will serve as our Interim Pastor as well as our consultant in the process. Dr. Phil Christopher, a beloved former pastor NW will work along side Dr. Cook guiding our journey.
As we journey down this transition path, we will seek God’s Will for our church. We will strive to seek God’s will as Mary did in her prayer in Luke chapter 1 where she prayed “Let it be to me according to your will” and as Jesus prayed in the Garden in Luke 22 “Not my will but your will be done.” In short, we will be seeking a “spiritual discernment” process not a “hiring process.” We want God’s will for NW—nothing more—nothing else—and nothing less.
The Center for Healthy Churches has a process for us to follow. First, we will engage in a self-study. We will invite the congregation to engage in “storytelling”, helping us to see our church in three different lights. We will look at the values of the past, the energy of the present, and the trajectory of our future. By looking at the heart of our church, we will be able to build a Congregation Profile, which will help prospective pastors to get to know our church. Then we will build a Pastor Profile, giving us the traits we will look for in a new pastor. Then the search will begin. The CHC will aid us in seeking candidates and train us in interviewing and discerning candidates.
God has a pastor in mind for our church. It is in His plan. Pray for our process and pray for our Pastor Search Team.
Dr. Matt Cook serves as the Director of the Center for Healthy Churches. Dr. Cook joined the Center after serving local congregations for thirty years with twenty years as Senior Pastor in churches in Texas, Arkansas, and North Carolina.
Matt is a sought-after preacher, teacher, and workshop leader across the country and in various denominational settings. In addition to his work at the Center, he has served as Interim Pastor in multiple congregations across the country.
Matt holds a bachelor’s degree from Samford University and completed both his M.Div. and Ph.D. in Church History at Baylor University. He has also taught on the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral level at Belmont University, Baylor University’s Truett Seminary, and Central Baptist Theological Seminary.
When it comes to helping congregations, Matt combines research and scholarly insight with an emphasis on strategic focus and missional awareness. He has training and experience in strategic planning, staff reorganization and leadership development. Matt also has significant experience assisting congregations in the midst of pastoral transitions.
According to Matt, “we are in the midst of the most challenging but also most dynamic period of change that congregations in North America have ever seen. We can either drown in those waves of change or we can surf them. But when a congregation decides to do the work of gaining missional clarity and creatively engaging its community, amazing things can happen.”
Matt is married to Allyson, and they have two children, Nathaniel, and Caroline. He is an avid cyclist, a diehard fan of OU football, and connoisseur of any and all types of barbeque. He and his family reside in Dallas, TX.
The Pastor Search Team may be contacted at