Lead Pastor - Saratoga Federated Church

November 15, 2018




Saratoga Federated Church is seeking a Lead Pastor.


Saratoga Federated Church (SFC) is a diverse and growing community of believers with a rich history and energetic commitment to the future. They seek a pastor with the calling to preach and teach the Word of God in a way that is relevant, thoughtful, applicable, and which inspires spiritual growth in the congregation both individually and collectively. SFC desires a pastor who personifies servant leadership: one who is equal parts visionary leader who inspires congregational and staff engagement, and collaborator who fosters a team environment and partnership with the staff and congregation.


To thrive at SFC a candidate will need to develop an understanding of the culture in Silicon Valley and the challenges and opportunities it provides. A strong track record of leadership and personal integrity, a passion for scripture, a commitment to invest deeply in the local church, and demonstrated excellence in Christian teaching are all necessary elements for this role.










In the early 1900’s, multiple Protestant churches in the small town of Saratoga combined—hence the name “Saratoga Federated Church.”   They built a beautiful chapel and over the years the congregation prospered to become the community’s church. The facilities expanded along with the congregation, including the addition of a sanctuary that seats over 500 people.


The SFC leadership has been stable, with only four lead pastors in the past 40 years. SFC is truly an interdenominational church, with an open door to believers from all Christian denominations.  SFC is often a re-entry church,  providing a safe haven for people to rediscover the joys of a faith community.  SFC is a church that celebrates the diversity of its members.


SFC is positioned strategically in the heart of the Silicon Valley 

where the vast majority of the population, though spiritually hungry for deeper meaning and values, remains unchurched. They desire to offer the people of this valley a place to belong, 

to grow in Christ, and to serve Him.







Saratoga Federated Church’s guiding vision is for every member to experience Life in God, Life with Others, and Life for Others. By this they mean that every member will pursue a transformative relationship with the Holy Spirit, enjoy deep mutual-care friendships with other members, and practice authentic love for God’s other children (their local and global neighbors).


SFC’s worshipers come from a broad section of the southern San Francisco Bay area. They are a Bible-based, theologically-evangelical church with diverse denominational and religious backgrounds. 


They believe in the need to balance the biblical truth that instructs and guides them with the biblical grace that compels them to accept, and not judge, those whose faith journey is different. 


The church values the personal involvement of the congregation through lay leadership in all areas of church life. They strive to develop authentic interpersonal relationships that encourage accountability and transparency, with a high percentage of the congregation participating in small groups.  Three Sundays a year, their “Serve Sunday” worship expression is to gather for a brief message and then share the love of God by taking action together in the community.








The Position


The desire of Saratoga Federated Church is to hire a pastor who will provide leadership to grow the congregation collectively, individually, and in relevance in the community over the next 10-20 years. Defining this vision and making constructive changes will require a mature, collaborative leader in light of SFC’s long-standing traditions, congregational governance, and the entrepreneurial spirit of their many active participants. 


They seek a pastor who excels in delivering expository, Bible-based sermons that inspire a life of applied, active faith and intergenerational engagement, and who excels in creative discipleship and evangelism.






  • Experience as a Lead Pastor or executive level leader in a multi-staff church, with a dynamic and personable preaching style and experience crafting excellent, profound, and Bible-based sermons

  • Proven track record of leading collaborative visioning

  • Experience providing effective, mature leadership, both with direct reports and with groups where you have no direct authority (such as Elders, congregation, and community)

  • A humble servant of high integrity, who nurtures the congregation with genuine affection

  • Full affirmation of the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed

  • Articulate, gifted, and Spirit-led teacher who is poised to prepare SFC’s members to be an expanding and reproducing church body

  • Advocate for the multiple Christian traditions and expressions of faith represented within the SFC community

  • A cultural fit with California, the Bay Area, and the Silicon Valley

  • Master of Divinity, Master of Theology, or equivalent



In order to lead the congregation in a new season of mission and discipleship the Lead Pastor will need to build consensus amongst a diverse group of passionate and entrepreneurial believers. The people of SFC seek a dynamic and strategic leader who can patiently build consensus and implement fruitful change. 






  • Serve as the primary teacher of the church, crafting biblical sermons that are relevant to a diverse congregation and lead to spiritual growth

  • Lead collaborative visioning for the church and its ministries to grow SFC over the next 10-20 years

  • Manage the senior staff, fostering positive morale and unity behind the SFC vision

  • Shepherd the flock by connecting with, being accessible to and developing relationships with those in the congregation and the surrounding community

  • Understand the Silicon Valley and SFC culture, and impact it with a deeply biblical perspective

  • Manage transitions as some associate pastors retire in the coming years

  • Extend SFC’s recent growth in attendance by young adults and families with school-aged children

  • Participate in the secular community and credibly communicate the love of Christ through off-campus teaching venues



To view the full opportunity profile for this position


click here










AGORA Search Group is a faith-based Colorado Springs search firm providing executive search and selection services to clients locally, nationally, and internationally.


Founded in April 2000, AGORA offers a record of 100% success in placing pastors, executives, and senior-level leaders in churches and non-profit organizations. AGORA has a high retention rate for pastors and mission leaders staying over 5 years. We want to serve as a catalyst for discernment in your search process: connecting the heartbeat of a mission with the heartbeat of a leader. 


Rob Lauer, President of AGORA Search Group, is leading this search. Rob brings over 20 years of executive search and consulting experience, a unique 4 phase process, and a broad variety of professional backgrounds into his role as President of AGORA. He founded AGORA in 2000 out of his personal desire to bring a more relational approach to the executive search process, rather than a transactional approach that continued to frustrate him, his clients, and his candidates.



For further details regarding this role, please contact:



Rob Lauer

President, AGORA Search Group





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