Ministry Transition

How do you move your church from point 'a' to point 'b'? Change is difficult; and transitioning a ministry is one difficult job? So, how do you do it? How have others done it? What's hold you back? Here, maybe you'll find some answers... some things that will help you on your journey. In addition, you can ask specific questions of others here in our Ministry Transition forum.

imageShould Your Church Merge?
Craig Groeschel has started a really interesting conversation over at the Swerve blog about merging two churches. As senior pastor at LifeChurch.tv, Craig has been involved over the years in mergers with five different churches.

I believe as Craig does that we will see more and more church mergers in the future. Let's face it -- many churches are dying, seeing lower and lower numbers of attendees every week. These same churches are also "facility blessed." They have facilities that are kingdom owned (bought and paid for) that should be put back into circulation. I think many of these dying churches will, in one way or another, partner with healthy churches in their areas to bring viability and life to their dying facilities.

In other cases, like-minded churches will merge, not out of desperation or certain death, but because of common goals and mission. These churches will find that they can multiply their impact by working together. Working together, they will reach many more people than they are currently able to reach individually.

Craig gives some great insight into church mergers. With apologies to Craig, here are some of his thoughts:

imageWillow:  We Got it All Wrong

Willow has recently asked the question, "Is what we are doing as a church helping people achieve intimacy with Christ?" Their answer... in many cases, was no. You may have heard of the Willow "Reveal Study". Now you can watch Willow XP Greg Hawkins talk about what Willow thinks they've learned through the study. Where did they go wrong? What did they have right?

More On Ministry Transition
imageWhen a Pastor Resigns, Then Sticks Around…

Great article by Bob Campbell over at the Baptist Standard website. He writes from the perspective of a pastor who has resigned his church, yet stayed on as an attender. Bob writes, "Two years ago, I retired from a large church in Houston after almost 15 years of pastoral service. The day I retired, I gave up my role as “pastor” of the church. I have elected to stay in the church with the many friends I made over the past 15 years. However, all of my friends will testify that I do not allow them to “talk” church business with me. I always refer them to the current leadership. Any member of the church will tell you that I have not said or done anything that could be construed as “pastoral” ministry in the church. I visit prospects as any member might. I never identify myself as the “former” pastor. No pastor can stay with a congregation he has pastored if he does not recognize that he no longer holds the office of pastor. I told my congregation I wanted to stay under the following self-imposed conditions: imageMax Lucado:  Stepping Down was “The Hardest Decision of My Life”

The Winston-Salem Journal recently ran an interview with Max Lucado. Lucado, 52, talked about the challenges he's facing and the well-known Bible verse, which reads: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Following are excerpts: imageHave You Ever Wanted to Become a Church Consultant?

Have you ever considered a future as a church consultant? My friend Tom Harper has recently written this piece to help those who may be considering entering the consultation area of ministry... imageDon’t Make These 10 Church Transition Errors…

My friend Tommy Mitchell has a great post going over at his Rurban Church Blog. He's talking about the mistakes many make when transitioning their churches. Here's his top ten list...


Your Last 5% - “Prioritizing Your Energy in Ministry”

Do you ever feel like you're spinning your wheels in ministry? Are you putting in a massive amount of hours, yet seemingly not getting much accomplished? Do you find yourself tired, lacking motivation and energy for the things you feel are important. You can read Wayne’s entire post here They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” (Acts 16:6-10).

people leaving church

Six Reasons People Leave Your Church

John D. Duncan has an interesting article at Lifeway.com that deals with the top six reasons he thinks people leave your church. Here’s a partial list of the top six.  John writes…

Ministry Transition Resources imagePastors In Transition: Why Clergy Leave Local Church Ministry

Why do pastors leave the ministry? Several common issues emerge from the research of Dean Hoge and Jacqueline Wenger: preference for another form of ministry, the need to care for children or family, conflict in the congregation, conflict with denominational leaders, burnout or discouragement, sexual misconduct, and divorce or marital problems. Of these factors, which form the basis for the central chapters of Pastors in Transition, two are especially important: conflict and a preference for specialized ministry. A close third is the experience of burnout, discouragement, stress and overwork. As the authors explore these factors, they provide significant insights into what can be done to help people stay in ministry. imageEat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading

The bestselling author of "The Message" challenges believers to read the Scriptures on their own terms, as God's revelation, and to live them as they read them. imagePracticing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders

Based on his extensive experience as coach and mentor to many thousands of Christian leaders across a broad spectrum of ministry settings, Reggie McNeal helps spiritual leaders understand that they will self-select into or out of greatness. imageThe Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World (by Alan Roxburgh)

This book gives church and denominational leaders, pastors, and clergy a clear model for leading the change necessary to create and foster a missional church focused outward to spread the message of the Gospel into the surrounding community.