This weekend is the transition team retreat, when we will continue building relationships, plan the September 29 congregational conversation, and set tentative dates for future discussions. Please keep the team in your prayers as we gather. Randy and I will have a brief update on the team’s progress for you in worship on Sunday.
Here is my last weekly offering about the transition facilitation process (though you will still be regularly informed about goings-on):
In the final focus point of transition facilitation, the congregation looks toward life after the end of the interim period. Based on all of the conversations to this point, what pastoral leadership traits and experience does this church need in this coming season? Getting everyone on the same page about pastoral expectations will allow the search team to do its work well, focusing on discernment and hope and setting aside confusion, unnecessary hesitation, and unhealthy conflict.
In addition to answering the primary question about what a great-fit pastor looks like – after which the transition team gives the green light for formation of a search team – this focus point can also be a catch-all for whatever needs to be done to allow the minister who is called to have the smoothest possible start. That might include finding ways to thank the interim minister for journeying alongside the congregation during the challenges and opportunities of the in-between time. It could involve taking care of any issues that would cut short the new pastor’s acclimation period. It might mean stoking the excitement of the congregation about the incoming clergyperson. It could incorporate acts of hospitality that let the minister-to-be (and family, if applicable) know that they are already loved and valued. Though the future is coming into view, it is also important that the church celebrate the work it has already done during the transition time. Executed faithfully, the interim period sets the table for a compelling next chapter of the congregation’s life.
Reflection question/prayer prompt: Who are we becoming as a congregation? What is yet possible?