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Southwest Church

Senior Pastor

Indian Wells, California

Everyone is welcome. Nobody is perfect. Anything is possible.

In 1973, a group of eight people started a small church called Desert Evangelical Church with their purpose being “to establish and maintain an evangelical Christian Church and to provide a place of public worship.” Several decades and a few church names later, that same pursuit ignites the people of Southwest Church. Today, Southwest offers dozens of ministries, with thousands of community residents in attendance each week, in the relentless pursuit of the vision that ‘every resident of the Valley will be a Jesus-follower.’

Southwest Church is ripe with potential. Everything is in place for spectacular growth and impact in the community. One of the leaders at Southwest, in telling the story of moving his family to the area a few years ago, said, “It felt kind of like buying a penny stock for Apple back in the day. There is that much pent-up potential in this church.” Southwest Church is uniquely located to have an impact way beyond the Palm Springs region. With so many seasonal visitors, there is a ripple effect on leaders and churches across North America.

Here is an overview of the church and the position, from Interim Senior Pastor Ray Johnston:

The Senior Pastor at Southwest Church will first and foremost be a highly gifted teacher. Communicating God’s Word in a compelling and relevant fashion, while maintaining integrity to the text is job number one. In doing so, he will strive to champion the mission of Southwest Church, while offering a strong foundation of leadership, strategic foresight, and a spiritual perspective to the future of the church. This individual will be skilled in leveraging the influence of the leadership, staff, and volunteer teams to further the mission so that every resident of the Valley will be a Jesus-follower.

The prospective candidate will have proven experience, either as a Senior Pastor or an executive level staff member in a large church. They will ideally have a history of leading healthy teams and growing churches. While gladly embracing the church’s connection to the Evangelical Free Church of America and lining up with the theology of the EFCA, the successful candidate for the position of Senior Pastor will carry a disposition of authenticity, which will be evidenced through their life, leadership, and teaching. A graduate degree will be required for this position.

Success in this role will be measured primarily by the spiritual and relational development of the church and its constituents in alignment with the overall vision, mission, and strategic initiatives of Southwest Church. 

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Southwest is located in the heart of the Coachella Valley, California, which is populated by nearly 600,000 people with another 2.5 million in annual tourists. It is a fast-growing region of Southern California that comprises nine cities. Sitting on 45 acres of one of the ten busiest intersections of the Valley, Southwest Church is easy to access and uniquely positioned.

Although located at the edge of Indian Wells, most of the church community lives in the adjacent towns of Palm Desert, Indio, and La Quinta. Palm Desert is the geographic center of Coachella Valley. The city has evolved into a vibrant community that today is the educational, retail, and cultural hub of the Valley. The oldest and largest city in Coachella Valley is Indio. The 5th fastest growing city of the state in 2013, Indio living includes a diverse array of families and a growing working class that call it home. Equipped with quality schools, a strong economy, and a high/affordable real estate value, Indio was recently ranked in the top 20 Best Cities for Young Families in California by Nerdwallet.com. Known as the “Gem of the Desert” among the cities of Coachella Valley, the city of La Quinta is a premier location for active living. Known for its pristine surroundings showcasing picture perfect views, the community inspires art and culture, health, wellness and serenity among its visitors and residents.

Interested in this position? Apply here.


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