The transitional time when one pastor is leaving a church and another is picking up the mantel of their leadership is a critical chapter in the life of any congregation. It is also a key juncture in the ministry of any pastoral leader. Both outgoing and incoming pastors and the congregations they serve can make these transitions smoother if they recognize the opportunities and pitfalls that can accompany this transition. In this fifth Special 20th Anniversary Edition of Leading Ideas we share material from our extensive archives to help congregations welcome new pastors and help new pastors get off to a good start.
Lovett H. Weems Jr. says incoming pastors tend to see everything through the lens of their own experience, vision, and interests, rather than learning how things got to be the way they are. Good leadership is always about the group, not the leader, says Weems. So it’s important for new pastors to take time to understand the pulse of a new congregation. Read more now.
Robert Harris suggests 11 proven questions to open meaningful dialogue so a new pastors can get to know their congregation. Read more now.
Barry Howard outlines ways a congregation can prepare spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally for the arrival of a new pastor to make the most of a new beginning. Read more now.
Church consultant Susan Beaumont shares four leadership practices that can help a congregation prepare when their pastor is getting ready to leave. Approaching the situation honestly and communicating openly can help a church understand that times of loss, experienced openly and fully, lead into times of promise. Read more now.
Leading Ideas is made possible by contributions to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership from readers like you. Thank you. Donate now.
If a new pastor is in your congregation’s future, be sure to check out 50 Ways to Welcome a New Pastor. This free resource shares tips and strategies for saying goodbye to your current pastor in a healthy way and best practices for welcoming your new pastor. Read now, share, and download free.
If you’re a pastor preparing to begin ministry in a new setting, “The Right Start” Video Tool Kit leads you in ending your current ministry well, developing a personal transition plan, and making the most of your first days, weeks, and months in your new congregation. Available in Pastor’s and Group Training Versions. Learn more and watch a video preview.