Pastoral Transition

What is Pastoral Transition?


Pastoral Transition is an intentional process between the departure of a Senior Pastor and the arrival of a new one.


Studies confirm that pastoral transitions are a common experience (Smith, 2010). These transitions present an exciting and challenging time in the life of a church. One of the best ways for a church to have a successful pastoral transition is by hiring an Intentional Interim Pastor to lead the process.



Smith, Sheila Strobel, "Complexities of Pastoral Change and Transition in the Megachurches of the Baptist General Conference, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Presbyterian Church (USA)" (2010). Doctor of Philosophy Theses. 10. 
https://digitalcommons.luthersem.edu/phd_theses/10

INtentional Interim Pastor

What is an Intentional Interim Pastor? 

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THe Process

Just what does the Pastoral Transition process look like? What does it entail? 


We’ve consulted with the Chicago Metropolitan Synod for a clear explanation, or "road map" of this process. The links below include a "Brief Overview of the Four Phases" of pastoral transition, an in-depth look at "Phase 2: Self Study & Visioning," "The Five Focus Points," and the "Two Most Common Mistakes" many churches make in rushing this process.


Messiah faces an additional challenge to this entire process: we have moved from a two-pastor church to a one-pastor church. This means we must look at all of the current duties and oversights that were previously assigned to two pastors (and there are MANY!) and determine what is reasonable for a single pastor.


We are currently in Phase 2 of this process at Messiah - Self Study & Visioning Process, Congregational Profile. The Chicago Metropolitan Synod confirmed that Phase 2 takes up to 18 months, on average, in order for a congregation to thoroughly discern and develop their identity and vision.