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A Hybrid Pastoral Transition Model

When starting a new pastoral position, your goal is to share your ministry ideas, without saying that they’re your ministry ideas.

In ministry, things typically take a long time.

  • If you accept this, then you must identify as early as possible who in your congregation has had similar ideas in their own mind.

There is no other time like a pastoral transition when you have momentum and “congregational capital” supporting you.

  • To only want to slip in, become accepted and established as a pastor, is a sure-fire recipe for the ministry going nowhere.

Let me explain further…

The Usual Way

Typically, the denomination (as well as centuries of pastoral practice) will tell you to establish leadership in five areas:

  • Sundays (like, worship, etc.)
  • Programs
  • People
  • Money (both regular and crises)
  • Meetings

If you do this, one (or a combo) of two things will happen:

  • Either people love you because you accept what they do and try to improve upon it, or…
  • People opposite of love you because you want to change everything and it throw poo-poo on their discipleship

Either way, the ministry context of the past remains and any new ideas of ministry cannot take hold.

  • Besides (and foundational to) these five areas are the ACTUALLY important components of ministry where your leadership must take hold.

The Core

Here they are:

  1. Myths – The stories that the congregation implicitly tells about itself that defines their identity.
  2. History – Their interpretation of where they have come from and the meaning of it today.
  3. Norms – Accepted and expected behavior as a congregation, in terms of decision-making, discipleship, and interaction with the greater community.
  4. Ideas – Their thoughts on the future and what could possibly be in store for them.
  5. Relationships – The social and political bonds of a congregation that usually become visible during public meetings.

Stay connected for an upcoming webinar on pastoral transitions for digital, diversity, and the dreams of the community.