- Finding closure with departing minister. It is difficult for a church to embrace a new minister when there are unresolved matters with the previous minister.
- Connecting with the judicatory/denomination. The judicatory and/or denomination can offer resources and support to congregations in transition, but the judicatory and/or denomination first must know that a transition is occurring.
- Making a plan for leadership during the interim time. When a minister departs, others must claim ownership of the minister’s essential tasks so that the church can continue to live toward God’s purpose.
- Exploring the opportunity in the interim time. The interim period provides space for the congregation to understand itself, its context, and its call to ministry anew.
- What do we need to lay down and what do we need to pick up as leadership changes?
- What are our hopes and fears in this time of transition?
- How might we learn and grow as a congregation during this unique season?
- What must our congregation do to be ready for a new minister?
- Conducting an exit interview with the departing minister
- Covenanting with the departing minister around limits on contact with church members
- Celebrating the departing minister
- Working toward resolution of sticky situations
- Researching congregational and judicatory/denominational protocols for search processes
- Asking the judicatory for search resources and/or involvement as appropriate
- Acknowledging the lay and staff leadership that is in place
- Covenanting with a traditional or intentional interim minister
From the candidate's perspective
- Could be serving elsewhere with no thought of seeking a new position.
- Could be seeking a new call and keeping ears perked for opportunities. Might begin tracking your congregation’s progress through the transition time and looking for a position announcement.
Are we ready for the next stage?
- We have made peace with the departure of our minister.
- We have mulled whether an interim minister would help us make best use of the transition time, and if so, we have covenanted with one.
- We have named essential responsibilities and tasks that must be covered during the time between settled ministers, and staff and/or laity have taken ownership of those pieces.
- We understand what our denomination/judicatory/congregational by-laws require in a search process.
- We have checked into the helps available to congregations in transition from the denomination, judicatory, and/or other sources.
Go to next stage →