Call Committee Update

Greetings friends.

The members of the Call MAT are pleased to provide you with an update and exciting news regarding the call process. As a reminder, the Call MAT members include Jennie Ganzer, Cheryl Gilg, Wendy Kropf, Rachel Onsrud, Scott Raecker (chair), Scott Strachan, and Jacque Thole. We are also joined by our Governing Board President, Craig Grundmeier, as an ex-officio member.

We started our work in early June to discern God’s will for our next Senior Pastor. We have spent hours in prayerful discernment, listening to sermons, reading material, researching, and seeking God’s guidance in our meetings. We discerned God’s will in narrowing the field of eight potential candidates to four pastors that we wanted to have a conversation with. One of those pastors voluntarily withdrew from the call process prior to the scheduled conversation.

Following the conversations with the pastors, the Call MAT members have discerned God’s will to move forward in the process with unanimous clarity on God’s will that God has identified to us to recommend to you, the congregation, that Pastor Ben Johnson be brought forward to you for a vote regarding our next Senior Pastor.

And as a reminder, the next step in the process will be a Voter’s Meeting that will be held at 1:00 pm on Sunday, December 3. At that time, the Call MAT will formally present our recommendation, answer your questions, and provide the opportunity for our members to vote on the call of Pastor Ben Johnson.

If the vote is affirmative, which requires a simple majority of those voting, the Call will be extended to Pastor Ben. Pastor Ben will then have the opportunity to prayerfully discern God’s will regarding the acceptance of the call. If the vote is not affirmative, or if the vote is affirmative and the call is not accepted, the Governing Board will identify a new Call MAT to start the process again.

This is a divine discernment process and not a job interview. Our Call MAT has taken this responsibility very seriously and we want you to know that the Holy Spirit has guided each of us in these last several months and that God’s presence has been with us and in our united recommendation. We look forward to presenting our recommendation to you on December 3rd for your consideration and vote.

Our process has also been guided by the Characteristics and Qualities desired in our next Senior Pastor that was developed by the Governing Board with input from our staff. Our conversations with each pastor were crafted around these Characteristics and Qualities that include:

  • Bible-based preacher with relevance today – both orating and teaching
  • Experience

o   Leads, empowers, and collaborates with multiple staff members

  • Coming from a medium-sized or larger church
  • Flexible with traditional and contemporary worship
  • Willing to share preaching responsibilities in Sanctuary/FLC
  • Accepts 
    • Close communion
    • Females in lay leadership roles and serving communion
  • Forward-thinking and open to new ideas to reach into the community
  • Embraces technology
  • Leading and walking humbly with God
  • Loves God and lives that love visibly
  • Personable, engaging, approachable, and willing to share life experiences
  • Mission-driven
  • Personable, engaging, approachable, and willing to share life experiences

The names of the pastors who were provided by nomination of the congregation and by Iowa District West President Turner included:

  • Pastor Brad Birtell, Madison, Nebraska
  • Pastor Stephen Demik, Houston, Texas
  • Pastor Eric Hauan, Wausau, Wisconsin
  • Pastor Leon Jamison, Muskego, Wisconsin
  • Pastor Ben Johnson, Clive, Iowa
  • Pastor James Rassmussen, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Pastor Jonathan Riggert, Cherokee, Iowa
  • Pastor Philip Robarge, Chicago, Illinois
  • Pastor Jeffrey Scheich, Lincoln, Nebraska (Pastor Scheich indicated he was not open to a call)

The Call MAT discerned God’s will to have us visit with four of the pastors that included:

  • Pastor Eric Hauan, Wausau, Wisconsin
  • Pastor Leon Jamison, Muskego, Wisconsin (withdrew from the call process prior to a conversation)
  • Pastor Ben Johnson, Clive, Iowa
  • Pastor Philip Robarge, Chicago, Illinois

As we move into the next step of the Voter’s Meeting, we would ask that you continue to pray fervently. Please pray for our congregation as we prepare to gather at the Voter’s Meeting. Pray that we may continue to grow and flourish in our individual faith journeys and our collective love and service to others. Pray for our staff in this time of transition. Pray for the Pastor Joe, Robin, and their family in this time of transition. Pray for Pastor Ben, Megan, and their family as they enter these next steps in the call process. 

We want to continue to be open, accessible, and transparent as we move forward. If you have any questions, you can reach out with an e-mail to

Blessings to you all.

Contact Us

Church Office at 515-276-1700 or
Pastor Joe Meyer:
Pastor Ben Johnson:
Pastor Tim Phillips: