Maybe you are reading this blog as a leader in your church, one with a pastoral vacancy. At this point in time, you and the other leaders of your congregation have been thinking about appointing a Pastor Search Team to lead a discernment process that you hope will result in a new pastor. You have begun to pray for a new pastor who will partner with your congregation so that, together, you may enjoy a new chapter of healthy and vibrant ministry.
All that is good but maybe something has you unsettled. You are asking questions like the following: Are there things we need to do before a new pastor arrives? How can we prepare the way for a new pastor? What initiatives might we take before a new pastor arrives? What can we do now so that the new pastor can dedicate his first year with us to building relationships with the congregation?
Those questions, and others like it, have led ChapterNext to encourage our clients to form Transition Teams that work with and alongside the Pastor Search Teams. The primary purpose of the Transition Team is to prepare for the way for a new pastor. With that in mind, its first task is to review the life and ministry of the congregation before selecting a handful of items for closer examination. Then, in the weeks and months to come, the team patiently and carefully examines those items and produces recommendations for the congregation’s leadership team.
There is no limit to the issues that could be addressed by a Transition Team. In our experience, the issues that often rise up and call for action include the future of a particular ministry, the shape of the ministry staff, priorities of the operating budget, the governance structure, web-site, technology and facility upgrades, and the housing arrangement for the new pastor. But in that your ministry is unique your issues will differ from those of another congregation. The purpose of each Transition Team, however, remains the same: prepare the way for the arrival of a new pastor.