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Little Falls Presbyterian Church - Senior Pastor

Vanderbloemen Search Group
Arlington, Virginia, United States

Date Posted: 01/10/2018
Categories: Senior Pastor
Denominations: Not Applicable
Church Size: Not Applicable
Job Type: Full-Time

Job Description:



About the Organization:

Little Falls Presbyterian Church is a Bible-based, grace-driven, neighborhood church in Arlington County, Virginia. An open, friendly, “come as you are” congregation, we strive to bring God’s message of hope and grace to our neighborhood community. Our multi-generational congregation, which numbers 270, includes those who love Jesus and those who are still searching. Similarly, church members represent a wide spectrum of political/philosophical ideologies and Little Falls is purposeful in respecting and accepting these differences among church members and visitors. 

We joyfully serve and proclaim the Gospel in our neighborhood and our world. In our neighborhood, we are a vibrant and helpful part of the community, responding to the special call from God to reach the de-churched. In the broader community of Arlington and beyond, we are strategic in focusing our mission work to make sure mission dollars bring the most impact possible from helping the homeless to fighting slavery beyond our borders. Our new pastor will have the support of a strong staff, fantastic music ministry, and active congregation.

The Senior Pastor is the Head of Staff and responsible for the performance of the paid staff, in consultation with the Elders and ministry teams.  The staff consists of a Director of Worship, Ministry Associate for Children & Adult Discipleship, Director of Youth Ministry, Office Manager and Sexton.  Other part-time positions include Nursery staff and Youth Intern.

Little Falls has three elected boards, each consisting of nine members.  The Board of Elders or Session is responsible for the mission and spiritual oversight of the church.  Each Elder is also responsible for one of the following ministry areas -- Administration & Finance, Adult Discipleship, Community Service, Evangelism, Family Ministry, Fellowship, National & World Missions, Prayer and Worship.  The Board of Deacons ministers to those in need, to the sick, to the friendless and to any who may be in distress.  The Deacons also extend care and Christian concern to the entire fellowship.  The Board of Trustees is responsible for the purchase, receipt, sale, transfer, mortgage, encumber and management of the church property.

Little Falls Church is part of the National Capitol Presbytery of the PC(USA).


Size: 167

Denomination: The National Capitol Presbytery of the PC(USA)

Location: Arlington, VA


About the Position:

The Senior Pastor at Little Falls Presbyterian Church will be primarily a preacher and teacher with much responsibility in leadership and visionary roles.  A shepherding heart and pastoral attitude is necessary, effectively reaching out into the community through words and leadership in the church.  Some administrative and managerial oversight is also needed.

The ideal candidate is intentionally relational, a great communicator and lives with a passion for evangelism.  A vital part of the role will be leading people to reach lost people.


What We Are Searching For / Qualifications:

The following describes many of the characteristics of the ideal candidate for the Senior Pastor:



An undergraduate degree and seminary graduate degree – an M.Div. or equivalent – is required. A Doctorate of Ministry would be a plus but is not required.


The successful candidate will have at least five years or more of ministry work experience. Experience as a Senior Pastor is not needed, but experience being mentored toward such a role is highly recommended.


Personal Characteristics

  • An excellent and charismatic orator of God’s word with a heart for Jesus, who will help the Little Falls congregation take their Sunday faith into their Monday world. (preaching/worship)
  • A mature believer who loves the Word and can teach, lead, learn, and grow a community of believers. (spiritual maturity)
  • A leader who provides a persuasive message of hope in a changing world through joyful worship. (hopeful)
  • A comfortable public communicator who represents and models the values and beliefs of the community within and outside the church. (public communicator)
  • A conscious listener and lifelong learner who shapes church direction/efforts based on the changing environment and needs of the congregation and the community. (organizational agility)
  • A “big picture” leader who brings a strong vision and engages/aligns staff to develop strategies to achieve the desired future for little falls. (strategy and vision)
  • A thoughtful, yet confident decision maker who acts in the best interest of the church, congregation, and staff. (decision making)
  • A friendly leader who strives to connect to each member of the congregation, young and old alike; altering/adapting communication styles to lead difficult conversations when necessary. (interpersonal engagement)
  • A deliberate bridge builder who fosters church cohesion amongst a generationally and culturally diverse body of believers. (bridge builder)
  • A subtle, yet powerful motivator who drives personal and organizational action through a variety of avenues supporting the church. (motivator)
  • A dynamic catalyst who energizes individual evangelism within the congregation to promote outreach and spread the word to “dechurched” and “unchurched” people.

About the Location:

Little Falls is a mid-sized neighborhood church that reflects our community. We are a four-generation church. Some of our senior members have belonged for decades, as have some middle age couples without children at home now. Increasingly in recent years as homes of long-time residents came up for sale, younger couples with preschool or elementary age children have been moving into the neighborhood and joining the church.

Many of our older members who are physically able are highly engaged in the church’s work both inside and outside the congregation. Among members of working age, almost all work full-time, most in professional jobs including in government, business, law, health care, media and the military. These jobs commonly require long working hours, and in many cases, travel. 

Children tend to be busy as well. Schools and other organizations offer numerous activities, and many children are involved in several at the same time.  In addition, middle school and high school commonly take several courses at advanced levels. There are relatively few single people in the church, particularly younger ones – a reflection of the demographics of the immediate community. Also, there is a certain degree of turnover because of the rotational policies of the military and government, and following elections.

Arlington is a small county without component towns.  With a population of about 230,000, it would be the fourth largest city in Virginia if it were incorporated as such. Our northern part of Arlington was developed as a bedroom community starting after World War II--the church was founded in 1951--and apart from clusters of restaurants, grocery stores and low-rise service businesses, the immediate area is still almost exclusively residential and has something of a small-town feel.

Nearly all of our members and visitors come from within a several-mile radius. North Arlington and the sections of Falls Church and McLean in that radius have mostly moderate-sized single-family homes, although with an increasing number of larger ones as smaller homes are torn down and replaced when sold. There is an elementary school literally across the street from the church, and within a mile there are two others—including a newly built school to accommodate the area’s growth in the number of young children—as well as a middle school, a public high school and a Catholic high school. The schools are rated as excellent. Marymount University is also nearby, as are continuing education program facilities of a number of other universities, plus a half-dozen major university campuses within about a 20-mile radius.

In recent years other parts of the county became urbanized, with multi-story office, condo and apartment buildings built on the Metro subway corridor running east-west through the middle of the county, several miles south of the church. That area has become a magnet for young people, who as they marry and have children look to move to neighborhoods like that of Little Falls.  The area also is considered attractive due to its proximity to the city in one direction—we are “inside the Beltway”—and to business and shopping districts in the others, with easy access to major highways, airports, public transportation, museums, parks, libraries and other amenities. We strive to be a resource for our neighborhood, making our space available for community groups, Boy Scouts, AA and others.

We are focused on reaching out to those around us who are not currently, or never have been, active in a church. We pursue a policy of “invest and invite” and have found particular success from hosting family-oriented events such as vacation Bible camp, movie nights, teen dances, and music and story time for preschoolers. We try to reach people wherever they are in their faith journey and help them advance a next step, whatever that step is. And although we are located in a highly political area, we are a non-political church.

Also in our midst there are many people with physical and spiritual needs, and not far away there are neighborhoods, many of them with large numbers of immigrants, with serious issues. Both financially and with volunteer hours we support programs such as Meals on Wheels, a food bank, a homeless shelter and a shelter for abused women and their children. In recent years we have concentrated our efforts on a few such programs to maximize the impact. The same is true of our outreach to the worldwide community, which focuses on combatting sex slavery in the Dominican Republic and supporting a member of the church performing missionary work in Asia.