Ten Commandments for Pastors New to a Congregation

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Lawrence W. Farris has written Ten Commandments for Pastors New to a Congregation, a guide for clergy in their early months and years in a new parish.


Making transitions is one of the key challenges for all leaders, including church leaders. An inability to make transitions well is a key factor in “derailment” in secular positions. We also know that much of a pastor’s effectiveness in a particular church assignment is shaped in the early days and months of ministry in that setting.

Lawrence W. Farris has written a straightforward and wise guide for clergy in their early months and years in a new parish. His ten commandments (actually eleven) reflect the best that we know about what contributes to effective leadership when clergy are beginning ministry in a new setting.

Farris writes out of his twenty-five years of experience in his own parish ministry, as well as his experience in mentoring many other clergy. An added benefit of the book is that it is brief enough to be read by a pastor in the hectic days of transition!

ten commandments new congregationWho will find this book most helpful? Clergy who have just begun ministry in a new congregation, clergy who anticipate moving to a new congregation in the near future, clergy mentors, and judicatory supervisors.


Ten Commandments for Pastors New to a Congregation by Lawrence W. Farris (Eerdmans, 2003), is available from Cokesbury and Amazon.

His book Ten Commandments for Pastors Leaving a Congregation is also reviewed in Leading Ideas.


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