The transition of pastors can be one of the riskiest, frightening times in a congregation's life. This is especially true if the transition is unexpected or unplanned. Fortunately, this process does not need to be this way. After walking with hundreds of congregations and pastors through the transition process, we have developed a guide for navigating everything from the exit of the existing pastor to the search process for a new pastor, hiring, and everything in between.
This process, when handled correctly and with the dependence on the Holy Spirit it requires, can be a strengthening time for a church, and can create momentum that will last for years.
If your church is considering a transition, please reach out to National Church Vitality Coordinator, Gary Diehl. He'll be able to connect you with your Regional Resource Coordinator, as well as local pastors and congregations in your region that have navigated these waters well. This connection will prove invaluable for your church's transition process.
We know that this period in your church's life can be confusing and frustrating. Depending on a number of factors, intentional intervention can often be very beneficial in walking towards a healthy, fruitful transition, even in the hardest of scenarios. Take a look at the intervention chart to the right, or download a copy for yourself (click on the link below). By using the chart, you can estimate your church's need for a specialist to walk alongside your church intentionally in this process.
Once your church is ready to begin the search phase, you may find this guide to be valuable in the process. While the document is currently being reviewed and updated by our team, much of the information, while slightly out of date, is still very helpful in helping churches and boards navigate the search process for a pastor successfully.