Harvest Bible Chapel

6 days
14 hrs
3 mins


One of the top priorities of the Harvest Bible Chapel Elders in 2021 is the prayerful search process for the next Lead Teaching Pastor. Please see the search overview on this page. See the most recent updates at the bottom of this page.



The Lead Teaching Pastor will originate and initiate the vision and mission of Harvest Bible Chapel, which will be approved by the Elders, and executed, communicated, and implemented in partnership with the Lead Ministry Pastor and Lead Operations Pastor. This position will provide leadership of the weekend preaching, high impact weekend services, and training and development of staff.

Goals and Expectations

Essential Roles and Responsibilities

  • Be the visionary leader and primary communicator to the entire staff and congregation of HBC.
  • Lead the weekend Preaching ministry of HBC, including oversight of annual preaching calendar and preachers to fill the pulpit throughout the year (guests and internal preachers).
  • Partner with the Lead Ministry Pastor and Lead Operations Pastor to implement the vision of HBC and achieve organizational goals and objectives.
  • Spend a significant amount of time each week in research and study in preparation for weekly preaching. The preaching style is to be expository preaching.
  • Be a visible presence across all campuses throughout the year through weekly campus events and strategic preaching planning on weekends.
  • Partner with Pastor of Worship and Production for the planning of high quality, high impact weekend services that align with the values and mission of HBC.
  • Be available and visible to the congregation as appropriate, including individual meetings and group settings.
  • Oversight and mentorship of all Campus Pastors and campus ministry.
  • Partner with the Lead Ministry Pastor and oversee the assimilation process, discipleship ministry, and evangelism/outreach ministry across all campuses.
  • Train and develop a team of 2-3 gifted preachers who can preach to our entire church at various times throughout the year as scheduled.
  • Train and develop the Campus Pastors in the area of preaching and build them into the preaching calendar each year.
  • Mentorship of APAC (All Pastors All Campuses) and MDP (Ministry Development Program) through the training of ministry skills, preaching, and theological teaching.
  • Serve as a member of the Elder board with various Elder duties and responsibilities.
  • Complete special ministry projects and ministry initiatives as needed or assigned.

The following describes many of the characteristics of the ideal candidate for the Lead Teaching Pastor.

Educational Requirements

    • Masters of Divinity preferred.

Work Experience Requirements

  • Minimum 10+ years in preaching ministry preferred.
  • 5+ years in mid-level or high-level ministry leadership (Campus Pastor, Director, Executive Pastor, etc).
  • 5+ years in leadership of a multi-site church preferred.
  • Team building and leadership development.

Other Skills and Qualifications

  • Model the biblical qualifications of an elder (1 Timothy 3: 1-7; Titus 1:6-9) and agree to the Harvest Bible Chapel statement of faith.
  • Vision leadership and implementation.
  • Catalytic leader.
  • Compelling communicator.
  • Strong interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills.
  • Be an active, engaged, and accountable member of a small group.
  • Leadership that demonstrates strong collaboration skills.



If the Lord is leading you to learn more about this role, please visit the Vanderbloemen webpage.

If you are a part of our church family and have any questions about the Lead Teaching Pastor search process, email [email protected]


May 2019

  • New Elder Board Instated

June–August 2019

  • Contract with Dave Stone to be Interim Lead Teacher through the end of 2019.
  • Explore and research other leadership models around the country, including shared leadership approaches.
  • Identify areas of growth in leadership structure and operations.
  • Confirm the mission and five foundational pillars of Harvest Bible Chapel.
  • Decide future leadership structure for both staff leadership and the Elder board.

    September 2019

  • Communicate new leadership structure to church with expanded Elder Board and three staff leaders: Lead Teaching Pastor, Lead Ministry Pastor, Lead Operations Director. See the update here.
  • Finalize interim plan for leadership during the search for Lead Operations Director and Lead Teaching Pastor.

October–December 2019

  • Began preaching schedule with Dave Stone and three staff pastors: Ed Ollie, Eddie Hoagland, and Tommy Creutz.
  • Partner with Slingshot Group to vet candidates for Lead Operations Director.
  • Select Roger McCoy as the Lead Operations Director.
  • Elders and staff leaders finalize job description for Lead Teaching Pastor.

January–February 2020

  • Roger McCoy begins onboarding as Lead Operations Director.
  • Church Leadership Team rolls off and Ministry Leadership Team and Operations Leadership Team instated.
  • Research recruiting firms to help with Lead Teaching Pastor search.
  • Extend contract with Dave Stone as Interim Lead Teach through June 2020.

March 2020

  • Contract with Vanderbloemen for Lead Teaching Pastor search.
  • Begin completing search questionnaires regarding position details (ie: church information, theological beliefs, lifestyle, personal traits, leadership qualities, job duties, etc.).

April 2020

  • Search questionnaires completed.
  • Search firm meets with Elders and staff in formulating the Lead Teaching Pastor profile.
  • Search Committee established: Lay Elders, Roger McCoy, Dr. Mike Vanlaningham, Greg Bradshaw, Beth Freeman, Todd Rukes, Jenn Abbatacola.
  • Lead Teaching Pastor search video completed.

May 2020

  • Lead Teaching Pastor search goes public and Vanderbloemen begins search (internally and externally).

June 2020

  • Mid-search update meeting with Vanderbloeman and the Search Committee to discuss the search progress. There has been good progress so far and a steady flow of candidates.

July 2020

  • Vanderbloemen to present candidates to the Search Committee. Search Committee to begin the internal interview process.

August 2020

  • The Search Committee has completed interviews with the top candidates and has narrowed this search to a smaller group of candidates with more interviews scheduled in the near future.

October 2020

  • The Elders have decided to ask Vanderbloemen to conduct a second search to present a new slate of candidates. We are prayerful that in the next couple of months there will be a second slate of candidates presented, and the Search Committee will continue the work of interviewing and vetting these men.

January 2021

    • The updated Lead Teaching Pastor Search Team includes the following people:
      1. Brian Laird (Elder Board Chairman, Elgin Campus)
      2. Rob Hamann (Elder, Rolling Meadows Campus)
      3. George Michaelides (Elder, North Shore Campus)
      4. Kent Jaeger (Elder, Crystal Lake Campus)
      5. Dr. Mike Vanlaningham (Staff member, Pastor of Biblical Research)
      6. Pastor Dave Learned (Staff member, Co-Campus Pastor, Rolling Meadows Campus)
      7. Pastor Roger McCoy (Staff member, Elder, Lead Operations Pastor, and Interim Lead Ministry Pastor)
      8. Diane Birkenstock (Staff member, Director of Human Resources)

On Tuesday, January 12, this team will be presented with an overview of the new candidates from Vanderbloemen, the firm we enlisted to assist with our search. Over the next several days the Search Team will then begin initial interviews with these candidates.

January 2021

  • The LTP Search Team is interviewing their way through what started as six and has expanded to eight candidates for the position. Those interviews took place via Zoom. The process with each candidate took about three hours. We thank God for these men who desire to teach God’s Word and lead the work of ministry at Harvest. And we’re grateful for the investment that the members of the Search Team are making for the future of this church.
  • The final interview of this round took place on Wednesday, January 28. The Search Team will now meet to discuss the candidates, narrow the field, and move to the next step in the process.

February 2021

  • Very thankful for the partnership with Vanderbloemen who brought us six candidates for consideration in this second round. We asked all of you to pray for the interview that the Search Team began two weeks ago. So grateful for your prayers. As the process started, two additional candidates from another source surfaced. The Search Team updated us this week that following the interviews, they narrowed the six that became eight candidates down to three.
  • The next step is for the Search Team (see above) to engage with a follow-up round of questions to get to know each of the three candidates better and for them to get to know Harvest. We invite you to continue to pray that the Lord will give each one of these men and the Search Team wisdom, discernment, and direction in this process.

March 2021

  • Grateful for the thorough work by the search team, we narrowed the field to two candidates for Lead Teaching Pastor and continue the interview process. We are praying and invite you to join us that God would give us discernment and unity to see who He would have to lead this church. And that the Lord would also make it clear to the candidate and his family. Both of the current two candidates face a major move in coming to Chicago.

April 2021

  • Continuing to interview the two final candidates for Lead Teaching Pastor, we ask for you to join us in prayer for wisdom, discernment, and unity to see who He would have to lead this church.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5

We also ask that the Lord would also make it clear to the candidate and his family. Both of the current two candidates face a major move in coming to Chicago.  We want the man God wants to lead this church. We’re inviting the Lord through His Spirit to make that abundantly clear.

April 25, 2021

Following an extensive search, the Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel announced the new Lead Teaching Pastor today, Dr. Jeff Bucknam. Watch now.

We thank God for His provision for our church. We invite you to be praying for the Bucknam family in this time of transition.

Here are some frequently asked questions you may want to know about our new pastor.

Let’s join together in prayer for the Bucknam family in this season of transition. Here are some specific ways to pray.

You can watch recent sermons from Pastor Jeff Bucknam at his current church here.