Innovative Ministry
It's Time For A Church Transition: Should The Pastor Leave? Hand Off? Or Reboot?
No church should be so reliant on one person that it’s at risk of collapse when that person leaves. Even if that person is the pastor.

It’s Jesus’ church, after all. Not ours.

Reboot Your Ministry If…

…your time there is not done and you’re willing and able to make an internal transition.

This is almost always the most desirable outcome.

Just as pastoral transition is dangerous for churches, one of the highest predictors for a healthy church is a long-term pastorate.

One of the highest predictors for a healthy church is a long-term pastorate.

And it’s good for the pastor, too.

We should never stop growing in our faith, learning how to lead, and leaning on Jesus. And there are few things that will stretch us to do that like leading a church through a reboot – especially when we’re being renewed as we do it with them.

But isn’t it possible for a pastor to stay too long? I want to say ‘yes’, but I have to say ‘no’.

The reason I want to say ‘yes’ is because we’ve all seen the sad spectacle of a pastor who clings on for years after they’ve stopped leading the church well. In that case, a one-day pastorate is too long.

But if the pastor is still learning, growing and leading (and in good health), there’s no such thing as a too-long pastorate.

For a little more information about this, read my previous post about Transition Without Relocation.

If you can stay and guide the church through the necessary steps of transition, do so. Leaving for somewhere new may be easier in the short run, but in the long run staying and rebooting will bless the church, reinvigorate the pastor and give us greater opportunities to honor Jesus together.

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June 10, 2017 at 2:54 AM

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