Call Committee Update

Members of the Mount Olivet Senior Pastor Call Committee (L-R): Nate Slinde, Debra Page, Doris Buerkle, Deb Kind, John Kapanke, Gary Wert. Not Pictured Dave Kroog

The call committee met for the first time on February 22, the day after they were selected by the congregation council. At that first meeting, they discussed the current state of the congregation and focused on the call process. “We recognize Mount Olivet’s legacy of great leaders and are committed to finding the best candidate to lead Mount Olivet long into the future,” said John Kapanke, chair of the call committee and vice president of the congregation.

The call committee contains seven members and their task is to identify a candidate for the congregation to call as its next senior pastor. All of the current call committee members were part of the call committee that called Pastor John Hogenson. “The fact that we’ve recently worked together has been a great benefit,” said Kapanke. “There’s an efficiency to having done this before; we understand the process, the commitment it takes, and what’s needed in a nationwide search to identify the right candidate for Mount Olivet.”

Kapanke mentioned relational ministry and preaching to be  among the key elements the committee is looking for in a candidate.  “We recognize the way Pastor John Hogenson was able to integrate quickly into the Mount Olivet congregation as an asset to his leadership.” The committee created a senior pastor profile as part of its first task.  The profile assists in identifying key attributes the committee will look at throughout the discernment process. Many of the attributes Kapanke mentioned were heard in our congregational Fireside Chats last year as core values of Mount Olivet and its ministry. In addition to excellent preaching and relational ministry, compassion, humility, Gospel-focused, and servant leader are among the core values that were identified by more than 1000 members at Fireside Chats in 2015.

The committee meets regularly and is currently in the first stage of the process, which is cultivating a list of potential candidates. “We have reached out to a nationwide network of people to assist with gathering our list,” said Kapanke. It’s too early to predict when a candidate will be brought forward for a congregational vote, but Kapanke did say he was pleased with the committee’s progress to date.

The committee begins each meeting with prayer and concludes with the Lord’s Prayer. “This is a very humbling and sobering experience,” added Kapanke. “We take comfort in the knowledge that the Holy Spirit is an active part of this process and know that whatever we do, whomever we call, God will lead us, God is with us.”


Call Committee updates can be found at or through our weekly email blasts – This Week @ Mount Olivet. Members wishing to submit potential candidate selections, can email John Kapanke at For more information on Mount Olivet’s mission, the organizational health, or Pastor John Hogenson’s decision to recommend a call process commence, please refer to the 2015 annual report, which is available in the church office.