Senior Pastor - Autumn Ridge Church

March 4, 2019




Autumn Ridge Church, located in Rochester, Minnesota, celebrated their 150th Anniversary in 2007. The congregation is committed to preaching God’s inerrant word and sharing the Gospel. They are a non-denominational church with a Baptist perspective on the sacraments. Each week Autumn Ridge welcomes about 1,650 attendees to three worship services on their picturesque 60-acre campus. Attendees to Autumn Ridge Church come from a variety of church backgrounds, participate across the political spectrum, and are increasingly ethnically diverse.


Over the last thirty years, their senior pastor, John Steer, led and transformed the congregation. Under his leadership, the church has grown from a congregation of several hundred to a congregation now approaching almost two thousand with a growing pastoral team.


All of their programs have seen great growth, including student and children's ministries, congregational care, and both domestic and international missions. The congregation is a generous one, and joyous giving is a hallmark of the Autumn Ridge congregation. 








Autumn Ridge is Rochester’s oldest church, founded in 1857 as First Baptist Church. From its humble beginnings along the Zumbro River (where baptisms occurred after cutting a hole in the ice in the winter) to the 6th and current site on the outskirts of Rochester, Autumn Ridge is a resource for the community.




The 100,000 square foot facility is as beautiful as it is pragmatic. The 1,100-seat sanctuary is used by worshipers for weekly services as well as seminars, concerts, and meeting the needs of large gatherings. The Timothy Chapel is a 150-seat venue for weddings, funerals, and prayer meetings.


The Rochester Chinese Congregation meets every week in The Timothy Chapel and has enjoyed a partnership with Autumn Ridge Church for more than 20 years. This has resulted in fruitful ministry opportunities in the Chinese community both locally and abroad.


Autumn Ridge has a reputation as a church deeply committed to outreach. Today they support 70 missionaries serving in the United States and around the world. The total missions commitment (direct support, short-term teams, staff, and auxiliary support) is close to $750,000 annually.


Autumn Ridge supports both international and domestic missions. They believe the harvest field is not defined by geography, but by vision. Every Christian is called to be a disciple of Jesus who makes more disciples. Locally, they partner with 12 ministries in southeastern Minnesota. These include ministries to young women who have been trafficked into the sex trade, men and women impacted by crime, and a crisis pregnancy center.






The Position


Through the leading and empowering of the Holy Spirit, the senior pastor will make and develop disciples of Jesus Christ who love God and serve people.


The senior pastor is expected to be a godly man who exemplifies what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. He is to be a dynamic and engaging preacher and teacher. He must be skilled at leading a growing church and able to develop and grow an effective leadership organization. Through his leadership and mentorship, the staff and congregation will be mobilized for strategic growth of the church. Seeking always to glorify God, he will effectively lead the church in impacting the community, region, and world for Jesus.






  • Preach at least 40 weekends a year, communicating with love, wisdom, and conviction the truth of the Gospel and illuminating the Word of God.

  • Craft a vision in conjunction with the elder board that is in touch with the Lord’s heart. Compellingly lead the church forward by equipping and engaging the pastors, staff, and congregation to execute this vision.  

  • Develop leaders whose hearts, minds, and lives reflect the character and priorities of Jesus by empowering others and shaping a culture of discipleship and growth.

  • Foster an environment and culture of making new disciples of Jesus Christ, leading the congregation to reach the unchurched outside the walls of Autumn Ridge wherever they live, work, and play.


The senior pastor of Autumn Ridge must possess either a Master of Divinity or equivalent study, a minimum 5 years pastoral experience, demonstrated proficiency in preaching, and agree to the Autumn Ridge Statement of Faith.







The Community



Rochester is located in southeastern Minnesota and serves as a medical, commercial, and agricultural hub for the region. Rochester has a population of 114,011, making it the third largest city in Minnesota after Minneapolis and St. Paul. Located in Olmsted County, Rochester composes 75% of the county’s overall population. Only 25% of Rochester’s population attends church on any given weekend. 


Rochester is best known as the home of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic which employs about 34,000 people in the Rochester area, and from its operations in Minnesota and elsewhere, receives almost $11 billion in annual revenue.


Within the last 5 years, the Mayo Clinic has formed Destination Medical Center (DMC; Over the next twenty years, it will catalyze an estimated $6 billion in economic growth, including investment in Mayo Clinic facilities and downtown infrastructure, to create an attractive destination for patients and visitors. The growth from DMC is expected to raise Rochester's population to almost 165,000 over the next 20 years and to double the number of patients and visitors to over 3.5 million. 


The community prizes innovation, technology, and excellence, together with traditional Midwestern values of integrity, honesty, and hospitality. Additionally, Rochester boasts a vibrant arts and cultural scene. A dynamic array of galleries, theaters, museums, and live music venues provide engaging and inspiring experiences for visitors. Opportunities to enjoy running, hiking, skating, biking or walking throughout Rochester are endless.  The city offers more than 100 parks, as well as 85 miles of paved trails with amazing city and country views and recently finished surfaces.  


Rochester provides easy and accessible ways for residents and visitors to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives.  Quarry Hill Nature Center and Silver Lake Park are some of the city’s most popular and scenic outdoor places.








to view the full opportunity profile for this role 


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AGORA Search Group is a Colorado Springs search firm providing executive search and selection services to churches, and faith-based non-profits throughout the world.


Rob Lauer, President of AGORA Search Group, is leading the Autumn Ridge Church search. Rob founded AGORA in 2000 and provides nearly 30 years of executive search, church consulting, and pastoral ministry experience for our clients. In addition, he has served as the CEO of a ministry serving pastors and has held numerous board leadership roles.


Rob has a passion to serve organizations with an emphasis on building relationships throughout the executive search process versus the typical transactional approach. He is adamant, believing not every great leader or pastor…is a great fit…for a great organization or church. As a result, he and his team invest significant time matching exceptional leaders with outstanding organizations.




For further details regarding this role, please contact:



Rob Lauer

President, AGORA Search Group





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