Pastoral Transitions

May 2, 2017

Each summer brings a number of transitions in the Great Plains UMC. Clergy are appointed to new congregations and, likewise, congregations receive new pastors. Moving brings forth many goodbyes for the pastors themselves, their families, and the churches they’ve served. But it also creates opportunities for each to start again. Isaiah 43:19 (CEB) speaks words to all those in transition: “Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it?”
The transitioning process isn’t just up to the pastor. Leaders in churches also contribute to making a smooth transition process for the church and prepare the way for the newly appointed pastor to begin well. All transitions ought to be experienced with much prayer by all involved. They truly can be periods of time where seeds of new life are planted. The first several months of a new appointment often set the whole trajectory of one’s ministry in a new congregation.

The Great Plains UMC has compiled a list of some of the best resources found on pastoral transitions, for both clergy and for congregations, for saying goodbye and saying hello.

The importance of starting well cannot be overstated: the first three months of a pastor’s appointment to a new congregation often set the tone for that pastor’s whole ministry in that church. A crucial aspect of this transition is the relationship between the pastor and the lay leaders of the church.
The Right Start
Items to Leave for Arriving Pastor
First 100 Days Plan
Leadership Development