Having seen numerous posts on Facebook listing the five reasons a lay person shouldn’t leave their church, I thought it prudent to add that there are at least five reasons (probably more) why the pastor of a church shouldn’t leave. Yes, for those of you sitting in the pews on Sunday morning in Anywhere, USA, know that your pastor has at least entertained the thought several times this month. One of the reasons is simple: ministry is hard, which is why the dropout rate is so high. According to a survey by the Francis Shaeffer Institute, 89% of pastors have considered leaving the ministry at one time, while 57% would leave if they had a better place to go. The other reason, perhaps even more insidious, is the thought of leaving for greener pastures. In the United Methodist tribe, this means checking the list of appointment openings this time of year and then going to the Conference Journal to see if “moving up” will garner you more money, more prestige, and more people who you believe will absolutely adore you, unlike the people in your current church.
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Part II: The S/PPR Committee
In Part I of this mini-series we talked about preparing for the new pastor introduction from the pastor’s perspective. In this post we’ll look at how the church’ S/PPR (Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee) can get themselves ready to discern the gifts and skills of the new pastor as a fit for the church community. The introduction of the new pastor is a critical time for the committee and being prepared to ask the right questions is essential. Here are some considerations:
Part I: The Pastor’s Preparation
It’s appointment season in the United Methodist Church–you know, that time of year when every pastor who’s been in place more than three years starts to get jumpy every time the phone rings and church leaders start wondering whether or not their pastor will get the call and, if so, trying to figure out the next step. Well, if this is happening or about to happen to you in the next several weeks, don’t panic. The first connection between a new pastor and the congregation in the United Methodist system is the new pastor introduction and today’s post will give you some tips on how to get ready.
If you’re the pastor who is showing up for the introduction, there are a few key things you can do that will not only set the church’s Staff-Parish Relations Committee’s mind at ease but also help them to get a good picture of your gifts and abilities:
For all you pastors and church leaders who may be undergoing a clergy transition this year: I just scheduled a new set of clergy transitions workshops in the Denver area. Here’s the blurb and registration info:
The DS has just called, or the announcement has just been made to the church–the pastor is moving, and a new one is on the way. Whether you are the clergy making the move or the congregation receiving a new pastor, transition is a time full of both anticipation and anxiety.
Your Next Move is a workshop designed to help clergy and S/PPRC members develop intentional transition plans for those critical first months together, which can often make or break the new leader’s tenure. If you’re on the way to a new appointment or receiving a new pastor, this workshop could be the best thing you do to start well in a new season of ministry. Each participant will receive a binder with a wealth of information and an outline for developing a written transition plan that will help you start well together.