Open Door Hiring Update (9.27.15)

Open Door Community's Hiring Team initiated a hiring process starting in June of this year to fill the position of Pastor of Worship and Formation. Over the course of several months, we received 17 applications and engaged in conversations with 9 candidates and narrowed it down to two finalists. Last month, we decided not to move forward with either candidate and are currently re-evaluating our hiring process and considering next steps. Both final candidates were strong and compelling but Steward Team and Hiring Team were unified in believing that neither was right for our community at this time.  

Throughout the process, the Hiring Team and Steward Team have felt a sense of peace and patience - the desire to wait for the right candidate who will become an integral leader in our community. We have experienced significant transition as a community over the summer and have realized the need to pause to listen to our family's voices and take time to let God help us re-imagine our hiring process, if needed. We will be hosting a "Living Room Session" on the evening of October 14th (location TBD) so that we can explore what God is doing in our community, allow space for reactions to the hiring decision and process and learn more about our needs for this new leader. We hope you'll make the time to attend, listen and share your perspective.

We know this news may be discouraging or disappointing; Steward Team and Hiring Team have certainly felt both of those emotions as we approached these decisions. However, we feel peace knowing God will call the right person to Open Door at the right time. We invite you to pray with us for God's continued guidance and join us on October 14th as we process together.

Please be in touch with any members of Steward Team if you have any questions!

April 19 Steward Team Update


Steward Team Update #3
April 19, 2015

Future Staffing

After discernment and prayer over Open Door’s upcoming season, Steward Team voted upon and approved a staff structure including Dave’s role and three new positions.  

  • Pastor of Mission and Directional Leader (Dave). In this position, Dave will champion and develop our formation through the ongoing expression of Circles, guide the staff and continue to develop and equip for our ongoing and expanding mission and identity.
  • Pastor of Worship and Formation (new hire). This full time pastoral position will champion and develop our formation through Gatherings with particular attention to worship through music and other avenues of formation.
  • Pastor of Kids and Family Formation (new hire). This part time pastoral position (15-20 hours/week) will champion and develop Open Door Kids with attention to the integration of families into the holistic cultivation of the Open Door family.
  • Admin (new hire). This part time role (5-10 hours/week) will support the infrastructure of Open Door as needed.

More information regarding job descriptions and the hiring processes will be available soon. If you have any questions, please contact a member of Steward Team or email Ben Johanson, Steward Team's chair at

Steward Team Transition

On April 19, the Steward Team transition process will begin with the intention of having two new members in place this June. Please consider setting aside Monday, April 27 for a day of praying, fasting, and discernment around Steward Team nominations.

In addition to Ben Johanson and Tony Collins completing their terms on Steward Team, Alison Knox will be finishing her role on Steward Team as well due to her impending move to Portland. Former Steward Team member Kerry O’Brien has been asked to complete the remainder of Alison’s term and has accepted. Due to the nature and timing of staffing transition, we have timed this year's transition to have overlap between the welcoming of new members and the transition of Ben, Tony, and Alison to provide additional guidance and leadership in this season.

Nominating (April 19-April 26) 
The Elder transition process will be introduced at Sunday's Gathering and the nomination process laid out. The community is invited to send nominations (name + 2-3 reasons this person is qualified) to Brooke Arnett ( by April 26. 

Discerning (April 27)
A cross section of Open Door leaders and guides will spend time in prayer and fasting before convening to consider, affirm and discern six candidates from the pool of nominees. The names of these candidates will be sent to Steward Team. On Monday, April 27, you are invited to fast and pray along with this discernment team.

Inviting (April 27-May 24)
Steward Team will meet, pray, and discern over the six candidates, ultimately interviewing and introducing two candidates to Open Door at our Gathering on May 24.

Reconciling (May 24-June 6)
As followers of Jesus, reconciliation is an essential practice. After the two candidates are introduced, the candidates and community alike are invited and encouraged to pursue any reconciling conversations needed to name and address any relational distance that may be present within the Open Door family.  

Commissioning (June 7)
Following the reconciling phase, the two candidates will be commissioned into their term on Steward Team at our Sunday Gathering. 

If you have any questions or comments, send them to Steward Team’s next meeting is on April 20. Stay tuned!

 With gratitude,

Ben, Brendan, Rebecca, Alison, Tony and Heidi

An Update from Elizabeth

On Sunday evening I made an announcement about my next steps and, if you missed it, here is the audio as well as the written transcript.  The audio also includes an update from Steward Team member, Alison Knox. [audio mp3=""][/audio] ehunnicuttsmTonight I want to bring you up to speed on some exciting new developments in my journey.  I’m really excited about what is ahead, but it is bittersweet as it means that I will be transitioning out of my staff role at Open Door.

For the last several years, the Lord has been stirring something new in me.  He has been awakening me in a fresh way to His Spirit and His heart for His people.  A few years ago, here at Open Door we were walking through the book of Acts in a series called Seismic.  During this series we took several weeks to look at the Holy Spirit.  This was a very transformational time for many of us, and God used that series and many people at Open Door to really rock my world.  We were all challenged to both look for the ways that God was speaking to us in a moment-by-moment by way, and then take a risk in responding to His voice and invitation.  This experience with Open Door sent me on a journey of wanting to step into all that God has for me, with a renewed faith that “with God all things are possible."

The Lord has been doing a great work in me personally and as a worship leader.  I have felt challenged to step out and take risks as a worship leader, relying not just on what I’ve prepared and my own skill, but responding to what God wants to do in the moment.  As the Lord has been stirring up all these new things, I have felt a desire for further training in some areas.  I have sensed the Lord inviting me into a time of receiving - of learning more about Him and being further equipped for ministry.  I have felt God leading me on this journey, and I have decided to move to Redding and attend the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry this Fall.  It is a 9 month program focused on both personal spiritual growth and ministry training, and I’m really excited to see what God has in store during my time there.

This program begins in September, but I will be wrapping up my time at Open Door on June 7th.  This will provide me both a window of time to transition, as well as time to step into an overseas ministry opportunity. I will be spending 6 weeks in Spain serving on staff for a discipleship program for U.S. college students.  This program is part discipleship, part immersion into the community, and part Arts component.  I will be serving alongside Cari Jenkins, a dear friend of Open Door.  I am really excited to be part of this unique opportunity and see all that God does during my time there.

I know this will naturally prompt some questions, so I want to clear the air and let you to know that I’m not leaving because Jer is leaving.  Yes, Jer has been a friend of 17 years, a dear dear ministry partner, and like a brother to me.  I have utmost respect for him.  But the bottom line is that God has been stirring a lot in me for the last couple years, and it feels like He’s giving me the green light now.  I don’t always understand God’s timing, but I know that God is so much bigger than what we can wrap our minds around.

I also want you to know that I think Dave is an incredible leader and I have absolutely loved working with him for the last 9 months.  He is a fantastic human being and pastor and I’m sad that I won’t be here to see all the amazing ways that God uses him stepping into the future.  I know that Open Door is in great hands.

This community has meant the world to me over the last 6 years.  I have been shaped, cared for, and loved by all of you in extravagant ways.  Open Door has been a place of healing, restoration, equipping, and now will be a place of sending.  I am forever grateful to each and every one of you.  I am excited for Open Door and this next season.  I believe that God is birthing something new and beautiful here. I believe that the East Bay will continue to be profoundly impacted by each of you as you step into His calling on your life. And I believe that more and more of you will be raised up and sent out to do Kingdom work in other parts of the world.   I am proud to be part of this community, and part of the ongoing story that God is unfolding around us and through us.  This is not goodbye. I have two and a half more months with all of you, and I look forward to continuing to walk alongside you all as we seek God together.

If you have any thoughts or further questions about this next chapter for me then I'd love to talk with you so don't hesitate to reach out to me (

- Elizabeth

March 22 Steward Team Update on Staff Transition

no_photoSteward Team Update #2 March 22, 2015

Staffing Update:

At our last meeting, Steward Team member Heidi Brandow presented staffing scenarios that she, Dave and Elizabeth have been working through during their past few meetings. They took into account our current staff’s strengths and the present holes now and in our future. The staffing scenarios considered combinations of the following:

  • Hiring a new Pastor of Missions (Jer’s current role)
  • Hiring a part time or full time pastor to oversee the development of our kids
  • Hiring a part time administrator
  • Shifting Dave’s role into the Pastor of Missions position and hiring a “creative” pastor to oversee gatherings

We developed a list of things that excited us about each scenario as well as any questions and concerns. Additionally, several questions for Dave arose regarding where he sees his strengths and where he hopes to use his giftedness in this next season of Open Door. Heidi will bring these lists back to Dave and Elizabeth to further refine the staffing scenarios.

Steward Team Nomination Update:

Usually, our rotation of Steward Team members takes place in September where two members of the team rotate off and two new members rotate on. Due to Jer’s transition, we decided to move the process up in the calendar year so that Jer can take part in it this year. We plan to launch the nominating process in mid-April with the two new members starting in June. Ben Johanson and Tony Collins will rotate off at the usual time (August) leaving us with a larger Steward Team for 3 months. The increase in members, we hope, will fill any gaps that may arise during the transition.

Any questions or comments can be sent to Steward Team's next meeting is on April 2.

Stay tuned!

March 8 Steward Team Update on Staff Transition

no_photoSteward Team Update on Staff TransitionMarch 8, 2015

Out of our living room conversation on February 26 regarding Jer’s transition came a few questions and comments that we would like to address. This blog will be the first of many in the months to come to update you on the transition and upcoming hiring. Our goal is to be transparent and communicate all that we can in a timely fashion. In this first post, we would like to highlight four specific questions that arose at and after the Living Room Session:

During this transition, what will communication from Steward Team to the community look like?

  • An update from Steward Team will be posted on our blog within a week following each Steward Team meeting (twice a month). This update will focus on our current process and key information our community should know. A link to the post will be found in the Pulse.
  • Monthly up-front updates will take place in our Gathering. The audio will be captured and posted to the blog.
  • Questions or comments about our staff transition can be sent to Ben Johanson ( We will set aside time each meeting to discuss these, and any other, questions/comments that have been brought to our attention.

How did the decision to call Dave as Directional Leader come to pass?

  • Steward Team & Hiring Team knew Jer was considering a transition in the coming years and thus both teams considered each candidate for the Pastor of Community Formation with this in mind. During Dave’s hiring process, Jer’s eventual transition was communicated and he accepted his position with this knowledge.
  • When the timeline of Jer’s transition became clear, a discernment process for Dave and Krissy, Steward Team and staff began in which we prayed and discussed Open Door’s next directional leader. Dave’s skills, passions, embodiment of family and previous experience led to a shared conclusion that Dave’s leadership is what we are seeking in the next season of Open Door.
  • In light of this decision, Steward Team wrote a letter inviting Dave to become our next Directional Leader. The letter affirmed Dave’s call to Open Door and spoke of his leadership up until this point as well as what we see in his future.
  • A transition timeline has been discussed with Dave assuming more of the responsibilities of the Directional Leader over the coming months and a formal commissioning on June 21. Jer will be sent by the community the following week (June 28).

What are your next steps toward hiring?

  • Heidi Brandow is in conversation with Dave and Elizabeth to develop staffing options. The next steps are as follows:
    • Heidi met with Dave and Elizabeth this past week (week of March 2) to develop two or three staffing recommendations, taking into consideration our current staff’s strengths and the present and growing needs of Open Door.
    • During Steward Team’s meeting on March 16, Heidi will present the recommendations.
    • After our meeting, Heidi, Dave, and Elizabeth will meet again to discuss and refine the recommendations.

Where are we at financially?

  • Because of the community’s faithfulness we are able to have these transition conversations unconstrained by our financial situation as we have been operating in the black for the fiscal year.
  • We will be putting new avenues of communication into place to provide financial updates to the community. Our intention is for the information to be accessible both on our website and in our Gathering.

Any questions or comments can be sent to Steward Team’s next meeting is on March 16. Stay tuned!

With gratitude,

Ben, Brendan, Rebecca, Alison, Tony and Heidi

Jer, Open Door, and a New Season Dawning

Open Door family, If you didn't receive a letter in the mail and weren't present for this Sunday's Gathering, please read the letters attached below from Jer and Steward Team.

2015 Transition Letters (from Jer and Steward Team)

The audio from Sunday's family meeting is available as well:

[audio mp3=""][/audio] Please join us for the upcoming Living Room Session (February 26, 7-8:30pm at the O'Briens - 41 Mayo Lane in Walnut Creek) or be in touch with Steward Team or staff if you have any questions!