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Calling a New Pastor

Call Process in the Northeastern Iowa Synod: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


To many it feels like an uncertain time. To others it is a source of anxiety. Fear not! The snyod staff is walking with you.

Here is what you can expect in this transition:

  • The synod staff will work with church council to find an interim pastor and/or supply pastors to serve your ministry needs. An interim pastor may help with some aspects of the call process.

  • A call committee will be established according to the guidelines of your constitution.

  • The call committee will compile a Ministry Site Profile with the help of the congregation and submit it through the ELCA system.

  • The call committee will meet with a member of the synod staff and receive coaching on how to conduct an effective interview.

  • The call committee will receive the names of pastors interested in your call from synod staff.

  • The call committee will chose who to interview, will check references, and try to view sermons and worship services of candidates.

  • After the call committee has voted to recommend a candidate to the congregation council, it will meet with the council to share information about the recommended pastor.

  • The executive committee or full council will meet and speak with the candidate and will discuss compensation and benefits with the nominee.

  • If the council votes to recommend the candidate to the congregation, the council will call a congregational meeting for the purpose of issuing a call.

  • The congregation council will formally recommend that the congregation call the candidate to be your pastor.

  • Members of the congregation will be given the opportunity to meet the nominee.

  • A congregational call vote takes place according to your constitution. Two secret ballot votes are held: one to approve the call of the pastor, and one to approve the compensation package.

  • If the congregation approved the call and compensation package by the necessary margins, a Letter of Call and Compensation Sheet are signed by the council president and secretary and forwarded to the bishop for signature. These forms are then sent on the pastor.

  • The candidate for call has 30 days to accept or decline the call.

  • If the nominee accepts the call, an installation date is set. if the candidate declines the call, the call committee goes back to work with the synod staff to receive additional candidates.

  • The call process officially ends after the pastor is installed.

Through the whole process, your prayers are essential.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you, your call committee, your council, and your synod in discerning who God is calling to serve as your next pastor.

Northeastern Iowa Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

201 20th Street, PO Box 804

Waverly, IA 50677-0804

(319) 352-1414

(Revised 03-04-2022)

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