Lead Pastor Search

Check in here for the latest news regarding our search for a new Lead Pastor

Update: SMVC Lead Pastor Update – Posted 8.12.22 at 9:00 AM

Dear SMVC Family Member,

As we communicated last week, the Council and Staff gathered this Monday, August 8th to discuss the way forward following Greg’s decision to transition out of his role as Lead Pastor. La Viña Pastors and Vineyard Area Leaders, Miguel and Rocio Aviles, were also at the table. As our sister church, La Viña has invested in us as we have invested in them, and we share a connected future. After thoughtful conversation, we reached a general consensus.

We believe that revitalization is what’s next for our church, and the best way to do that is to bring on a new Lead Pastor, either an individual or married couple, with a clear calling, energy, and commitment to the Kingdom of God. We believe this needs to be done in a timely fashion and have already begun the process of creating a job posting for this role.

As we step into this season, we will be prioritizing transparency through frequent communications, by creating a page on our website with updates (look for this in the next several days), and by having leaders available to talk to after Sunday services. If you have any questions, leads, prophetic words, or anything you’d like to discern together, we encourage you to talk to a staff member or email the team at council@smvineyard.org.

Along with welcoming your questions and participation, we are also calling on our church family to fast and pray weekly. We invite you to fast together on Thursdays – and if Thursdays don’t work for you, feel free to pick a day that does! As we fast, take the time to pray for our church, our surrounding community, and our future.

It’s important to recognize that revitalization doesn’t start with a new Lead Pastor… It starts with every one of us – right now! Our church has a legacy, a God-given purpose, vision, and mission. We are a church that is becoming like Jesus and being Jesus to the world – a community loving all people into a growing relationship with Jesus. We are a place where everyone is welcome, everyone is needed, and everyone is changed. And God isn’t done moving here! We are excited to continue to lean into the real, tangible, and never-ending hope of Jesus together in the coming months.

With Love,
The Council and Staff

Greg Perkinson
Julie Berglund
David Entler
Vallie McCullough
Del and Katie Lafky
Karen Vonderharr
Sandi Knutson

Kuan Gant
Kellen and Nikki Bloom
Jack Kohaut


Update: SMVC Lead Pastor Transition – Posted 8.4.22 at 1:00 PM


Dear SMVC Family, 

With much emotion and gratitude, I inform you that I will be transitioning out of the Lead Pastor role after 15 years. I have no timeline on this; I just believe it’s time. I no longer have the mental or emotional capacity to do what this job requires. I have been open about my struggles with my mental health and the healing process. I have worked hard these past two years to heal and gain new tools to navigate things. The question from the beginning of my healing journey in 2020 was: would I be able to recover while still doing ministry? Unfortunately, I’ve found the answer to that question is “no,” I am not able to. Twenty-four years of ministry as an occupation has taken a mental and emotional toll on me. It is time for me to find a job outside of ministry and continue to heal. We need another person or couple who is healthy with the energy to lead us forward and revitalize our church again.

I know every transition brings uncertainty, mixed feelings, a sense of loss, and questions about the future of our church. I want you to know that these feelings are normal and okay. As we go through this, we must trust in our God, who does not change, who sees the big picture and knows where we are going. Here is a verse God has given me over the years that pertains to us all: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4

In 2007, our church was contemplating whether it should continue being a church after going on its fourth lead pastor in four years. All I knew then was that God led Sara and me here, and I wanted to help. I wanted to make a difference. I didn’t have any aspirations of becoming a Lead Pastor, or an Area Leader for that matter; it simply was what God was doing. So, that’s what I did. I have been confident from the first day until this one that God has a purpose and plan for this church. I believe the community God has placed us in would greatly miss our presence if our church wasn’t here. And I believe we have a God-given purpose and mission for the future.

Seeing all that God has done here over the years has been amazing. A church planted in 1974 that continues today is incredible. We were one of the first Vineyard churches in MN and have played a big role as a launching point for many others. So many of you have invested years and even decades of your life here in this church family; you’ve poured your heart and soul into it and given so much of your time, energy, and resources. That has not gone unnoticed. I am so grateful for you! We need you and hope you will continue this journey with this family as we move forward.

What will things look like in the coming months?

We don’t know yet. Our leadership team and council will meet for the first time since this decision on Monday, August 8th. Miguel Aviles, our La Viña Pastor and Vineyard Area Leader, will join us. Vineyard USA leaders have been notified and have ensured that they will be available to help support us in any way they can. I will be a part of the transition as needed and as long as it makes sense. I do know that we will continue to be the Church and extend God’s Kingdom in hopes of advancing it.

Through centuries, a merciful God has been steering history and people to Jesus; He will not stop doing so now, and neither will we. This has never been about one person, but all of us collectively as a Church doing the stuff of the Kingdom.

What do we need from you?

As mentioned above, we need you:

1. We need you to be praying! Pray for the Council and Ministry Leaders as we meet to discuss the transition process, the timeline, and the search for the next Lead Pastor. Pray for the staff as they continue to pour themselves into their respective areas of ministry.

2. We need you to keep giving! We have been barely breaking even with our budget this year. If we are going to become healthy financially, we need to keep tithing and make more significant decisions to get there.

3. We need you to serve! Find an area of ministry that fits you and your gifts and get involved. As we move forward, all these things will be crucial to the health and life of our church family.

In closing, no words can express what our hearts feel after doing 19 years of life together. I want you to know how much Sara and I love and appreciate each of you. In many ways, we grew up here. We were married here, we had four kids along the way and raised them here, and we matured and grew in our faith here. We have been through so much together and have so many fond memories. Thank you for everything you have done for our family.

We have great hope for the future of SMVC, for what we have all hoped and worked so hard for to be realized. We trust in the God who will always prove Himself to be God in every situation and every circumstance.

Peace to you,

Greg Perkinson

Please let us know if you have any questions regarding the search

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