Archive for the ‘Search Committee’ Category

We have a new Lead Pastor! Welcome Geoff Heth!

Posted on: October 4th, 2018 by Graham Reimer

Dear Church Family,

We are pleased to share with you that Geoff Heth has accepted our invitation to serve as Lead Pastor of the Evangelical Free Church of Lethbridge!

On Monday evening, 98% of the membership voted “Yes!” Geoff spent the past couple of days listening for God’s voice and in final consultation with family, mentors, and praying friends before contacting the Board with his acceptance on Wednesday evening.

Geoff will join our staff on February 1, 2019, with opportunities for connection through the coming months. Thank you for your trust and faithful prayers as we have journeyed through this process. Please continue to pray for Geoff and Janel and their family as they finish their schooling, wrap up commitments in Calgary, and begin a transition to life in Lethbridge.

We are thrilled to welcome the Heths to our church family and are excited to see what God has in store for us and our community in the coming years!

With Gratitude and Praise,


The EFCL Board

Meet Geoff Heth! (plus candidating weekend info)

Posted on: September 15th, 2018 by Graham Reimer

Hey Church!

We wanted to make sure that you had a decent opportunity to “meet” Geoff Heth before the formal candidating weekend. Geoff is the Board’s preferred candidate to become our new Lead Pastor. To hear his heart, some of his passions, and some light hearted conversation as well with our Board Chairmain Rich Thiessen.



Getting to know Geoff:


Getting to know Geoff Part 2…the lighter side 🙂



We are pleased to introduce to you Geoff Heth, the Board’s preferred candidate for our new Lead Pastor. For the last 16 years, Geoff and his wife, Janel, have been part of a healthy church experience at RockPointe Church in Calgary, where his most recent position was Pastor of Community Engagement. Geoff has also served as the Site Pastor for their Bearspaw Extension and Adult Ministries Pastor. He has 25 years of pastoral experience and is presently in the final stage of completing his Doctor of Ministry with an emphasis in Leadership at Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary. A great day for him would be going to a retreat centre with his journal and a Bible. Geoff loves both playing and watching sports, he likes a good work out, reading, travelling with his family, and supporting his wife’s hobbies.

Janel has served as the Worship Pastor at the Bearspaw site for the past seven years. She is currently finishing her education degree and her dream is to teach music in the public school system. Janel loves to run, play sports, camp, hike, garden, craft, and beat Geoff in a game of tennis or squash.

Geoff and Janel and have been married for 25 years and have four children they are very proud of: Madellyn, 23 years old, is in the final year of her pharmacy degree; Zachariah, 21, is currently at Minot University in his second to last year of a psychology/social work degree; Halle, 18, is presently serving with YWAM in Australia and will return in February; Rylie is 16 years old and in grade 11 in Calgary.

One of the Heths’ greatest joys in ministry is getting to work with a team of people to expand the Kingdom of God. Ephesians 4:11–14 speaks about the goal of leadership and gives the process of how a team should work together. “So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”  Geoff has said that, “Working together to build up the body of Christ and seeing the transformation and growth that come to the body of Christ is so much fun to do together.”

Geoff and Janel look forward to learning more about EFCL, the community of Lethbridge and meeting many of you, saying, “We humbly seek God’s direction as we begin this journey together.”


Curious about the Candidating Weekend? Click here to find out all the details:


Candidating Weekend with Geoff Heth


Back to Search Committee Blog


Lead Pastor Name Announced – Conditional to Membership Vote

Posted on: August 31st, 2018 by Graham Reimer

Hello Efree Lethbridge!

Great news was announced last Sunday by Board of Directors Chairman, Rich Thiessen. We will summarize his announcement below, but you may also go back to the “media” section and find last weeks sermon (August 26th) where it was announced live after Josh Raine’s message.

In July, the Search Committee presented a preferred candidate for the position of Lead Pastor to the Board of Directors. The Board was pleased to interview Geoff Heth for the position on August 6. Geoff and his wife, Janel, also met with the staff and spent time with the Lead Team on August 7.

After prayerful consideration and discussion, the Board extended to Geoff a conditional offer of employment, subject to membership affirmation and confirmation of employment details, which he has accepted. There are conditions yet to be confirmed, including a candidating weekend (date TBA), where the congregation will have opportunity to meet the Heths and hear directly from Geoff. The candidating weekend would be quickly followed by a membership meeting, where members will be asked to vote on whether to call Geoff Heth to the position of Lead Pastor of EFCL. A vote of affirmation will require 75% in order to proceed. Geoff and Janel Heth, the Board, and the Search Committee request your prayers as we move into this next stage of the process.

Questions? Please contact the Board at

Please continue your prayers and fasting during this time as we pray for excitement, unity, timing, and above all God to draw us closer to Him and for us disciples to continue making disciples.

Thank you Church.


Numbers 6:24-26

24 ‘May the Lord bless you
    and protect you.
25 May the Lord smile on you
    and be gracious to you.
26 May the Lord show you his favour
    and give you his peace.’

Final Candidate

Posted on: August 19th, 2018 by Graham Reimer

Church, we have exciting news!

We have narrowed our search to one final candidate. What an amazing journey it has been to arrive to this current stage of the search process. God has been good and we have felt the Holy Spirit’s leading over the past 10 months, especially this last month which has brought us to where we are today. We have been brought to tears at times, deep prayer, and moments of laughter and joy. We firmly believe that God has provided us our new lead pastor to lead our local church into the days and years ahead. We also feel the need to report to everyone that will read this, that God is working through incredible leaders here in Canada. All of the candidates that had applied were excellent men of God and absolutely pursue Jesus in all they do. It has been an honour and joy to see the Canadian landscape have excellent men of God wanting to impact our world, our country, and specifically our city of Lethbridge.

What does a “Final Candidate” mean exactly?
– Reference checks have been completed for all the final lead pastor applicants we narrowed our search to.
– Once reference checks were completed, the Search Committee had a series of presentations and meetings with the board.
– Several meetings later and dialogue between the Search Committee and EFCL Board, we collectively  decided to pursue one applicant
– Series of interviews have been conducted with the final applicant

Now we patiently and prayerfully wait. We now are trusting the next phase of this process to God and our EFCL board. They will be spending the days ahead finalizing logistics, a formal offer, transition from no current lead pastor (since Feb 2018) to a lead pastor, and timing, etc. No formal hire has been made yet and this part of the “search” is between the EFCL Board and the final candidate. If this person chooses to accept the offer from the Board, he would then choose an appropriate weekend with the board to have a “Candidating Weekend”. This is a weekend where the final candidate speaks to the congregation on Sunday morning and is a time to meet us as a church.

We are so excited that we are at this stage of the search and know that board, staff, and us as an entire congregation are as well. God has great things planned our EFCL and our beautiful city. We are so excited to see the next phase of Lethbridge and how we can continue to make disciples in the name of Jesus Christ. Please continue to pray over leadership and staff at this time as we know that the enemy would much rather hurt and derail God’s plans for our church. Please pray for plenty of unity, peace, wisdom and joy in the days ahead.

Thank you so much for your continued love, prayer and support.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

We Thank You For Your Continued Prayer

Posted on: August 5th, 2018 by Graham Reimer

Dear Church,

Thank you again for your continued prayer and support for the Efree Board and Search Committee. As we journey together towards a final candidate we continue to ask for your prayers and fasting as the Holy Spirit leads. We are very excited to be in this stage of the search and continue to feel God guiding and leading us. Please add praying for the Board and Search Committee on your prayer journal, fridge, chalk board, etc or in your mind as your pray regularly. God hears all our prayers and we praise Him for this.

We are excited to give you more updates in the days and weeks ahead!

Thank you so much church. We love you dearly and thank you for walking along with us, the board, and our amazing staff. Please be praying for all of us.

I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.” – Ephesians 1:16-17

Search Update – July 12, 2018 – Short List

Posted on: July 13th, 2018 by Graham Reimer

Thank you everyone for your patience and respect during this “quiet phase”, where we process applications, and pray, pray, pray. As a search committee, we continue to feel God’s leading and presence at our meetings and in our personal lives and we attribute much of this to your continued prayers, support and encouragement. Thank you congregation, staff, board and fellow disciples for journeying with us.

We have been overwhelmed by the strength of the applicants that were received before the deadline of June 30th. We are so very blessed as a church to be in a position to receiving applications from phenomenal and godly men pursuing Jesus in all that they do. What an incredible journey we have had as a search committee watching God work and move in the hearts of these applicants to see who God has chosen for our local church. We have full confidence that the Lord knows exactly who we need and we humbly wait for this confirmation from Him.

We have been tasked by the board to review all applicants to a “short list”, and then present this short and formal list to them. During this time we will begin to contact references that were provided by the applicants and follow our search committee manual that has been well laid out by the E-Free national conference. This guide continues to be an incredible asset and allows to walk in faith and also act professional as a local church body. The reviewing and finalizing of the short list and contacting all references is labour intensive and emotionally demanding. Please pray for energy as the volunteer hours will be comparable to a full time job in the weeks ahead, but we are finding ourselves thriving as a team and experiencing pure joy during this phase.

We meet with the board next week to present this final short list and then will move in partnership with the board towards the end goal of interviews. References obviously will play a significant factor in who is interviewed and if multiple will be, or just one applicant. This where the communication, partnership and leadership will be critical between board and search committee. Please be praying for us.

At this time we do not feel it will be appropriate to indicate the number of applications received by the deadline of June 30th, nor do we feel it would be to proper to disclose how many applicants have made the shortlist. We truly want to honour everyone in the process and ensure they are protected, confidential and respected at every stage. We do feel comfortable saying we are blessed as a congregation to receive the applications that we have to date and are humbled by their desires to serve God. It is a beautiful thing when an applicant desires employment to lead our church and openly states in their resume that they want the best for our church whether it is them chosen or not. Incredible! This type of applicant and resume is not what you see every day. 🙂 The leaders that God has created in our wonderful country is astounding and He is doing good things here in Canada and beyond.

Lastly, we do not wish to deliver hard and fast dates on when the new lead pastor (whoever that is) will start. This will be a conversation that will be had with the board and the applicant(s) in the days to come. We have faith that it will come together in God’s perfect timing and that brings us great peace as we also wonder about a start date.

Thank you everyone for journeying with us. We love you and your prayers.

“Teach me knowledge and good judgement, for I trust your commands.” Pslam 119:66.

Job Description Complete!

Posted on: May 5th, 2018 by Graham Reimer

Search Committee Update – May 5 2018

We made it!

We made it across the job description finish line!

The final version of the job description has been carefully crafted, reviewed, edited and prayed over many times. We as a church have officially launched our lead pastor position into the public eye after months of prayer, anticipation and excitement. As a search committee we thank you as a congregation and fellow disciples for your patience and support as we journeyed towards this phase. We are very excited to see who the Lord has prepared for us!

Lead Pastor Job Description

We truly believe the Holy Spirit has sculpted the job description as we came humbly before Him in prayer. With that as the foundation, the board, search committee, our former lead pastor Ian Lawson, district superintendent, staff (all were interviewed), and the congregational survey helped get us to this final draft. We are very thankful for the teamwork, collaboration, love and support that surrounded us as we did this work. What a joy it is to serve here at E-Free Lethbridge!

What happens now?

We have just sent out the job description to key contacts, leaders and influencers as of late this week, as well as posting it at Christian colleges and universities across Canada. The job description will also be posted to our website for public viewing and will be searchable worldwide as of May 6, 2018. It is prudent for us to share that this new phase we are now entering will be confidential, as we protect all applicants sending in resumes in the days and weeks ahead. Thank you for understanding and honouring this.

We want to encourage you all as a congregation to continue to use this “gap period” wisely, prayerfully, and productively. Believe it or not, it has only been 3 months since Ian’s last Sunday message to us! Thank you for your continued prayers, serving and volunteering, tithes and offering, and your commitment to the ministries that take place here from week to week. It is a joy watching us all continue to serve God and each other during this “gap period”. There are so many amazing things that continue to happen every week in and outside of the walls of E-Free Lethbridge. Please continue to pray for board, the staff and us as the search committee, as we still need your prayers. Thank you!

Many thank you’s to pass on:

  • Thank you to the staff and board for persevering and leading well during this time. They have all done exceptionally well and have served with great amounts of joy and excitement. We have a great team that leads us and we are proud to call this church home!
  • Thank you to the staff that helped us as a search committee in different areas of research, document preparation and editing, survey creation and completion, marketing, communication, and the list goes on and on. This is an additional task that was placed in front of you on top of regular day-to-day duties and you all helped willingly.
  • Thank you, Congregation, for your love, support, and prayers. They were felt continuously and were more encouraging than you realize. Your prayers gave us strength and confidence that was not our own and we needed that! Thank you everyone!

Please continue to check the blog and bulletin for future announcements as we journey in the days ahead. We are excited to give you updates when possible!


Thank you,

Search Committee


Lead Pastor Job Description

Congregational Survey Summary

Posted on: March 23rd, 2018 by Christy Jansma

In January and February 2018, our congregation was invited to participate in a survey  to help the Search Committee understand what our church looks like now, what our vision is for the future, to find the right Lead Pastor, and to provide useful information for the new Lead Pastor when he begins his ministry with us. Our deepest thanks to the 500 people who shared their feedback and comments with such thoughtful consideration. We are encouraged by your responses and comments, which will be used alongside other resources as we collaborate with the board to craft a job description. Thank you for praying with us as we continue to seek God’s guidance in the search for our new Lead Pastor.

Note: The following is a summary of the survey results and do not include analysis of the “Comments” section of the survey.


Overview of Survey Respondents


• 60% female and 40% male
• Country of Origin: Canada = 89%, with respondents also from:  Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe
• 62% members and 38% non-members
• 83% felt membership was important
• 73% of respondents volunteered in church
• 47% of respondents volunteer in the community


Top Reasons Respondents Attend E-Free


• 74% feel that our church strengthens their faith
• 56% feel that our church strengthens their family, 35% felt it does to some extent
• 51% said they are being discipled in their walk with Christ, 42% say they are to some extent


Top things Our Congregation Feels Characterize Our Church


These are the top ten results.  Respondents were asked to choose their top 5, so percentages reflect a summary of their five choices.

Additional results:
• 66% feel they are learning and growing as a result of the Biblical teaching, 30% say they are to some extent
• 74% feel confident in the staff led team, 21% say they are to some extent
• 66% are aware of opportunities to use their gifts in the church, 27% say they are to some extent
• 40% say they use their gifts at E-Free, 41% say they do to some extent
• 42% say E-Free is meeting needs in the community, 53% say we are to some extent
• 46% say they feel the name of our church reflects who we are, 41% say it does to some extent


Top Attributes Desired in the New Lead Pastor


• 36% feel the age of our new lead pastor doesn’t matter, 25% prefer age 30-45, 34% prefer age 46-55
• 55% feel the marital status of the new Lead Pastor does not matter, 44% prefer married with children

Have questions or comments? Feel free to contact Sid Bergsma, Search Committee Chairperson, or any member of the committee.

To view more survey results, click here. 

Feeling Encouraged – March 15 2018

Posted on: March 15th, 2018 by Graham Reimer

We as a Search Committee feel encouraged more and more every week. Thank you!

I think we all as congregants go through phases where we wonder “how healthy is the culture here at Efree? Do we actually love each other? What is like to walk in to the doors of this building and be part of our community?” With our role as the Search Committee we get to hear more stories of encouragement and joy than we ever thought possible. Never once did we assume that our little committee would have the privilege of emails, texts, meetings and phone calls encouraging us and the journey we are on with the Board. The one thing that continues to astound us, is the beauty of our culture and how real each individual is once we connect on a relational level. We cannot escape the daily encouragements that come our way and the non-stop prayers…nor would we ever want to escape that!! 🙂 We love you fellow brothers and sisters. Thank you for journeying with us as we volunteer in this way.

The answer to those questions we just listed in the above paragraph are…We do love each other and we are feeling that, and we also hear so many stories of genuine love for one another that is happening outside from our committee. Life groups adding new families, new singles, couples and families attending services for the first time. New leaders rising up in volunteer positions and also the staff learning to lead together without Ian and doing so with excellence and joy. New friendships being developed through our ministries. All this done with grace, love and passion! God is good.

We also wanted to update everyone that we are in the stage of creating a job description. We have been reading books, blogs, sermons and summarizing the data gathered from our staff interviews and the congregational survey. (Thank you to everyone that completed a survey). We have had one meeting with the Board and have another meeting coming up March 24th. We will be discussing this research, data gathered and working towards a job description. We are excited to be at this stage and look forward to seeing how the Holy Spirit guides and directs us from here. We humbly submit our results and efforts to the Board for their final review and leadership. Please continue to pray for us and the Board as we work together on this specific spot in our Lead Pastor search.

Couple quick updates:

  • Sunday, March 25th we will be giving a quick update from the stage. We are aiming to do this at all our services.
  • We will be sharing some of the highlights/results from the congregational survey that was recently completed.
  • Sunday, March 25th we will be having intentional times of prayer in the morning and afternoon at Efree. There will be more information coming out regarding this soon. Yvonne Groenenboom has been giving leadership to this and we are very thankful for her efforts!

Thank you once again for your support, patience and prayers during this time. Please continue to love one another and encourage our amazing staff whenever possible. They are doing excellent work and care so deeply for all of us and those who do not know Him in our city. We are blessed!!


Psalm 27:4. One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

Jan 28 2018 Update (It’s a long one!!!)

Posted on: January 28th, 2018 by Graham Reimer

Hey everyone!

What a fun month for us as a search committee! The hours were heavy, but the joy received makes all the effort worth it. God has provided us lots of strength, peace and patience over the last 3 months and we continue to covet your prayers. Thank you so much for journeying with us.

Since our January 4th update we had:

-Two more meetings as a committee since Jan 4th (This month we met Jan 4th, Jan 18 and 25th)

-3 full days of staff interviews in the middle of January. These meetings were a blast for us as a search committee as we got to hear from the hearts and minds of our amazing staff. These interviews along with the congregational online survey, are key pieces to the research we are doing as we develop the Job Description for our new lead pastor. (These are all confidential interviews and not released to any staff member. Only Board and committee).

–  Creation and completion of the Congregational Survey which you all should now have.  Please provide your insight, opinion and brilliance on these surveys. We are very excited to have the data gathered by Feb 11th and start to wrestle through the results. Thank you for making time for this. (These are all confidential surveys and not released to any staff member. Only Board and committee). UPDATE: The Survey is now closed.

Today is a very special and yet strange day for all of us. It is the final message that Ian will be giving as lead pastor at Efree Lethbridge. Special because we celebrate 20 years of leadership and shepherding us as a congregation. Yet strange because as we celebrate, there is a mourning as we say goodbye to our lead pastor and friend. We love you Ian!

We thought it would be appropriate to answer a couple key questions that may start to pop up in the days and weeks ahead. We hope these are helpful and please feel free to share with those that do not follow the blog or have had time to read it. This keeps us all on the same page and journeying as one tightly knit family:

-“Gap”. There will be a gap in time between Ian’s departure and our next lead pastors arrival. We have read books and blogs and interviews from across North America on how to journey well in this next phase as a church. It is a healthy time for us as a church and Efree staff to have a gap time between one pastor and the next. How long? We don’t know. Only God knows. We will be carrying forward with our mandate from the Efree Board to search for our next lead pastor (internally and externally), but ultimately will not rush this process. We will operate in God’s timing and continue our process as we have done so far pursuing the finish line.

-Who’s leading then? Great question! It honestly is. Our staff is well equipped, wise, Godly, strong, and ready to operate well in the days ahead. They are prepared for this “gap” period and will do amazing.

– How many resumes do you have already? None! Big ol’ donut and that is by design. We do not have a formal job description created yet. That work has just been started this month of January as the surveys and research is finishing up. We will not be writing out the job description for the Board’s approval until the congregational survey is done and we have summarized all the staff interviews we did. We will then compile all this data and submit this to the board for final approval.

– The Board. The previous point leads perfectly to this one. This is the board’s hire to make. We as a search committee have been selected and tasked with the job to research, create a job description, and then find excellent candidates for that position. The board will then do final interviews with the candidate(s) and make the final decision. Please continue to pray for us and the board in the months ahead.

– Serving as a body. Now is such a critical and yet beautiful time for us as a congregation to be the body of Christ and live out John 13:31-38. Let us love each other well and seek out ways to love personally, practically and productively. Let’s encourage our staff, let’s encourage our board, let’s encourage each other and show the rest of the world how love for one another can look. This excites us!

Thank you once again for journeying and praying with us.

Until next time, Godspeed.

Search Committee.