Pastors move. Often. Every year, for instance, one out of ten Presbyterian ministers actively seeks a new call. Other studies suggest American pastors relocate, on average, every seven years. How a pastor can best handle moves-in all their phases, with all their tensions-is the subject of the latest volume in LEADERSHIP'S Mastering Ministry book series: Mastering Transitions, written by Robert Kemper, Edward Bratcher, and Doug Scott. In the following excerpt, Doug Scott discusses the readjustments that come several months after entering a new church.
My wife and I had been separated by 3,000 miles of ocean for five years before our wedding. Our fragile relationship had been sustained by letters, cassettes, and occasional transatlantic telephone calls. When I finally arrived at her home in England for two weeks of frantic wedding and honeymoon planning, we felt frightened and pressured.
Fragile relationship, frantic planning-not unlike a new pastorate. Like couples, congregations look forward ...1