We are searching for the senior minister of the Scarsdale Community Baptist Church (SCBC), in Scarsdale New York. We seek a pastor who will lead us individually and corporately to live out Jesus’ command to Love the Lord, care for our Neighbors, and to fulfill the Great Commission. We seek an individual who can join us on our journey to develop a closer relationship with God through Bible study, worship, fellowship, and service to the community, which is the SCBC Official Statement of Purpose.
We are looking for a senior minister who can build upon the strengths of the congregation and to help the church grow in commitment and in numbers. We are looking for an inspiring preacher who will lead worship, a pastor who will care for each of the sheep in the flock, a teacher who will teach from the scripture, and we are also looking for a leader. One who leads by example and can disciple others, bringing about a spiritual renewal that is not only transformative to the members and attenders of SCBC but manifests itself in serving others and sharing the Gospel outside our four walls and into the larger community.
SCBC is a unique church with many positive attributes. It is a strikingly beautiful church conveniently located near New York City (NYC) with a friendly and diverse congregation. The congregation is united in our love of Christ and desire to be the church that God has called us to be. We have strong lay leadership and staff support that are important resources for our future senior minister. In addition, due largely to the generosity of previous generations, the church has an endowment. However, there is a sense that we are not living up to our potential. The following information is essentially an assessment of the strengths, weaknesses and attributes of this church, including some demographics of the surrounding community and a little historical perspective so that you have a better understanding of SCBC.
In terms of theology, you will find that we are a Christ-centered Bible-based church. We observe the ordinances of The Lord’s Supper and Believers Baptism. We are welcoming and affirming to all and believe that marriage was intended to be between a man and a woman. We are main line Protestant in our beliefs and organized under American Baptist principles including priesthood of all believers and soul freedom without the imposition of clergy or creed.
In terms of self-governance, the lay membership is organized into three boards that direct the work of the Church. The Board of Deacons promotes the spiritual welfare of the church, works closely with the pastor with regards to worship and missions, and determines the responsibilities of the senior minister. The Board of Religious Education is responsible for the religious education program of the church. The Board of Trustees is custodian of all church property, raises and supervises the expenditure of funds and prepares and manages the annual budget. You will find that there are people who can organize and provide an administrative support network for you. You will not need to do everything yourself.
In terms of the congregation, we are a very warm and welcoming church. We strive to make everyone who walks through our doors feel that they could have a place here. One significant characteristic of our church is the diversity of its members. The members come from a wide variety of racial, economic, cultural and religious backgrounds. Pre-COVID, on an average Sunday we had from 80 to 120 people in the sanctuary. We have lost some attendance with COVID but we are now a hybrid model with perhaps 70 people on any given Sunday between Zoom, Facebook Live and in-person attendance. Although it is located in the village of Scarsdale, most of the congregation live in the surrounding Westchester county communities such as Eastchester, Bronxville, Ardsley and Yonkers. There are certainly many un-churched or under-churched families in close proximity who need to hear the Good News.
In terms of worship style, we have trended over the past 20 years towards a less formal style of worship but historically we were a high church style with a raised pulpit, lectern, robed pastor, and robed choir. A concerted effort has been made to make sure that we incorporate traditional and contemporary hymns and various styles of choral selections in our worship services. There is recognition that it is the Gospel Message that is timeless and not the style.
In terms of the physical Church and demographics, you can view our church at www.scbcny.org. It is a beautiful stone church founded in 1928 with an adjacent 12 room colonial house which serves as the minister’s residence. The sanctuary holds 300 people. Aside from the sanctuary there is a fully equipped kitchen, an education wing, and a large multi-purpose fellowship hall. The church is located in the heart of Scarsdale Village next to a park, a quick walk away from the train station and about 30 minutes from mid-town New York City. Scarsdale has a population of approximately 20,000 people and it is in the densely populated lower Westchester County area which has a population of over 800,000. The Scarsdale residents are largely affluent and secular. Scarsdale is well known for its highly regarded public school system, which attracts families with children since the schools are some of the best in the nation.
In terms of staff and support, there is a committed core of multi-talented members as well as a staff that includes a church office secretary, a part-time financial office secretary, a nursery school director, a sexton, organist, music director and a part-time director of family ministry.
So how are we currently doing against our Purpose Statement of developing a closer relationship with God through Bible study, worship, fellowship, and service to the community? The following is a quick report on where we are as it relates to the four major elements of our purpose statement.
Bible Study – We have strong education programs serving children, youth, and adults. We have several active bible studies in the church for adults at various times throughout the week, but we are finding that many of the same people are attending them and less than half of the church actively participates.
Worship – We actively worship and congregate regularly. Also, we have become more of a praying church in recent years with the addition of a Wednesday night Prayer Circle.
Fellowship – Although we may be a friendly church, we still aspire to be more like the early church described in the Book of Acts where close Christian friendships are developed and people do life together. We have social events such as talent shows and picnics or gather together in Men’s Fellowship meetings to facilitate interaction, but these have not really translated into small groups of sharing, caring vulnerability, and transparency. We also have an active Caring Committee of the Deacons which attempts to stay in contact with all the members and attenders on a regular basis.
Mission – We have several mission programs including supporting a missionary in Peru and financially supporting the ministries of the American Baptist Church (ABC), but we recognize the we could be doing more to spread the gospel and reach the poor and vulnerable in our larger community. Perhaps the short version of our report card results is that we are good at reading the scriptures and attending worship, but fall short in areas of discipleship, financial giving, quality of our fellowship, and our commitment to evangelical and social mission.
If you look at more quantifiable “performance” metrics, the number of members has grown over the past several years, the financial giving has improved the past several years. However, we continue to rely on 20% of the members to provide the bulk of financial support and 30% of the members to provide the bulk of time commitment.
Our church has been well led the past eight years by our beloved pastor who felt called to pursue his ministry elsewhere. Our prior minister who modeled servant leadership and had a genuine care for his flock was universally loved by the congregation. The next pastor is not walking into a house divided or into a church that has had a difficult or abrupt departure of pastor due to any moral breach, theological battle, or other internal strife. Since our recent senior pastor left, we have experienced an orderly transition and an interim minister is in place.
How To Apply
The ideal candidate would possess:
- Experience as a Senior Pastor or Associate Pastor serving a diverse, suburban/urban congregation
- An M.Div. seminary degree or equivalent
- Share our basic theological tenets and be comfortable with the church polity and ABC affiliation.
- Preacher: Expertise in preaching where sermons appeal to the head and the heart, and which serve to enlighten, convict, and motivate
- Pastor: Desire to provide pastoral care for all age groups
- Teacher: Ability to communicate the scripture and apply it in our daily walk
- Leader: Possessing a clear vision of what it means for SCBC to build the Kingdom of God, to Share the Gospel, to grow disciples, and to serve the poor and needy.
After prayerfully considering this position if you are interested in leading our journey and providing energy and vision in the service of Jesus Christ here at SCBC, please submit the following:
- Cover letter
- American Baptist Church ministerial profile, if available
- A link to three of your recent sermons, which we can view
Materials should be sent to [email protected]. If you have questions, please contact us at the provided email or call us at 914-723-1734 and ask for the Pulpit Search Committee.