The transitional period is a “time between,” a time between what was and what will be, between pastors in the congregation, between saying “goodbye” and saying “hello,” between one chapter in a congregation’s history and the next. It can be a time of uncertainty, a time of anticipation of the future, a time of preparation and fearfulness and hope, especially since the world and church have changed drastically since you last thought about calling a new pastor.
Transition is a time to assess vitality and sustainability, test and shape some new behaviors and enter into a time of deep listening and prayer.
Some of the tasks to be completed concern the ministry relationship that is coming to a close as your pastor leaves or retires. Here are some resources for completing the ministry relationship.
The Office of the Bishop will meet with leaders and assist you in securing transitional leadership. A Bishop's Associate will then lead the coordination of the work of Transitional Pastors. Your transitional pastor will be attentive to your situation and encourage you to move forward. A Bishop's Associate will ensure you examine sustainability and vitality issues so that you can make sound decisions as you plan for the future. If a congregation has the financial capacity for full-time compensation (generally a minimum of $80K to $90K in salary and benefits), the Transitional Manual for Councils will be your guide. If your congregations do not have the financial capacity for full-time compensation, the Office of the Bishop and your transitional pastoral leader will work with you to find cooperative partners in your area.