As you know, at ENCOUNTER we are in a season of transition. While change can be challenging, we are confident that God is directing our steps as we search for a new Lead Pastor.

We are committed to communicating as much as possible throughout the process. We will frequently provide updates to this page throughout this transition, so please check here for our search progress.


Questions or feedback? We want to hear from you.


— We have received a tremendous response to the search.  The ENCOUNTER search page has had over 1,250 unique views so far, greater than any other search the consultant has performed this year.

— We’ve reviewed the candidates and are advancing nine wonderful pastors for significantly deeper assessment.

— As we continue to review and pray over the candidates, ENCOUNTER staff has made plans for a Membership Week, when membership classes will be held in person and through zoom. Please note, to vote on the final pastoral candidate, you must be a member. Find more information on Membership Week near the bottom of this page.


As an Elder Board, we celebrate and support Daniel’s direction for his international ministry and transition to full-time leadership of Catalyst Intl. We clearly see the Lord’s hand at work. We also acknowledge how Daniel has led ENCOUNTER, focusing on teaching and guiding the growth of our body.  With this transition in senior leadership, we are focusing on God’s plan for ENCOUNTER. We are making good progress in the search for a new Lead Pastor who will be God’s choice to guide ENCOUNTER into the future with zeal and effectiveness. We want to grow as a people in our love for the Lord and each other as we seek to bring the gospel message to a growing number in this community and around the world.

Who will search for the next Lead Pastor?

The Elder Board is required by the church bylaws to be the Search Team to find the new Lead Pastor.  The members of the Elder Board are Rob Westberg (chair), Don Chambers, David Araujo, Christopher Fortunati, Phil Graves, Patrick McCaslin, and Jack Monroe.

What are Daniel’s plans for the future?

Daniel plans to continue in his current role for the time being and will wait for God’s timing for when his final date as our Lead Pastor will be. His desire is to have ENCOUNTER continue to be his church home even after leaving his position as Lead Pastor.

What is the search process and general timetable to have a new Lead Pastor here?

1. The search process began in March 2020.

2. We are forming some teams to facilitate this transition. An Elder leads each team. These teams are:

Search team (Elder Board) — Rob Westberg
Search support team — Don Chambers
Theology team — Jack Monroe
Transition team — Dave Araujo
Communication team — Christopher Fortunati
Budget team — Phil Graves

3. Prayer is the most important priority. We have committed ourselves as Elders to focus on Mondays as a day of prayer during this search. Prayer gatherings have been occurring through zoom on Monday nights (Digital Prayer Movement). They are open to all.

4. Input will be gathered from various leaders of the church.

5. Progress will be shared regularly on the website.

6. Board review of candidates will continue until someone is selected. The Board is committed to seeking God’s direction in this process, which could take an extensive period of time, potentially more than a year.

7. The final candidate will be presented to the church in formal and informal settings.

8. Finally, the members of the church will vote on a designated weekend before and after services. The bylaws require a 2/3 majority of members voting to call a new Lead Pastor.

Who can vote for the new Lead Pastor?

Only current registered members of the church can vote. If you are not an official member, you are encouraged to attend a membership class. We will be hosting membership classes both in person and through zoom during our Membership Week on November 4 – 8.

Are any of the current pastors on staff candidates?

Any who desire to apply may do so as the Lord leads and will be considered along will all other candidates.

Who will speak during services while we search?

Our current teaching team—Daniel, Bill Heydorn, and Brian Rayburn—will continue speaking as scheduled until Daniel completes his time as our Lead Pastor.

How can we support Daniel?

First and foremost, he appreciates your prayers. He will share more details about the ministry of Catalyst Intl as we move through this time of transition.

What is happening with Lori, Daniel’s wife?

Lori will continue to lead in her current role, in global outreach ministries, as well as helping connect new women to the church.

Who do we contact with questions or comments?

Comments and questions can be emailed to

Can our church members suggest possible candidates for consideration?

Yes, the process for giving suggestions will be announced at a future date.

How do we keep informed about the search progress?

Progress reports will be put on our website. And updates will also be shared periodically in the weekend services.

How will the search for Lead Pastor impact the search for a Worship Leader?

The Worship Leader search has been put on hold for the time being.  Once a Lead Pastor has been selected, the search for a Worship Leader will resume.  It is important that the new Lead Pastor be part of the Worship Leader selection process. We will continue to be led by guest Worship Leaders in the weekend services during this time of transition.

Will there be any changes to current staff roles during the search process?

The day-to-day leadership of the church will continue to be the responsibility of the Lead Team. They will make sure that the church continues to pursue its mission to Encounter God, Encourage each other and Engage the world.

The Lead Team includes:
Daniel Hahn, Lead Pastor (Until he completes his time with us)
Jack Monroe, Executive Pastor
Gloria Needham, Director of ENCOUNTER Kids
Bill Heydorn, Community Life Pastor
Brian Rayburn, Pastor of Student Ministries
Gerald Innes, Director of Operations & Facilities
Lori Hahn, Director of Global Outreach
Kelly Hanighen-Lynch, Director of Communications
Lindsey Lopez, Care Coordinator

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:19


ENCOUNTER is stepping into an exciting year, and the only way to fully participate in helping direct the church’s next steps is to become a member.

What does it mean to be a member of ENCOUNTER?

Members participate in the church by sacrificing their time, talents, and finances; committing to the care and community of each other; and submitting to the authority God has established to lead our church family. We care for each other, pray for each other, and serve together. When we vote on church matters like confirming the next Lead Pastor, members are asked to participate in those decisions.

How do I become a member of ENCOUNTER?

To become a member, you must attend a membership class. We will be hosting membership classes both in person and through zoom during our Membership Week on November 4 – 8. At the class, you will learn about ENCOUNTER’s three essentials, statement of faith, and expression of beliefs. You will also be encouraged to share a little bit about your journey with Christ and experience at ENCOUNTER.

How do I find out if I’m already a member of ENCOUNTER?

To verify if you are a member of ENCOUNTER, contact Katy Jiroch.

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