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Resources for Pastoral Moves

Pastoral moves need to start well and end well for pastors, pastoral families, and congregations.

Below are a few resources to assist in this time of transition. 

Most of all, remember to pray!

The Right Start 2016

The Right Start PowerPoint Handout

The Right Start Miscellaneous Handout

Online Resources

"50 Ways to Improve Pastoral Transitions," Lewis Center for Church Leadership 

“50 Ways to Welcome your New Pastor or Associate Pastor,” Lewis Center for Church Leadership

George Olive, “A Beginning IS Change,” General Board of Discipleship website

Bruce Tomaso, “Welcoming a New Pastor,” Dallas Morning News (24 November 2007)

"Suggestions for Churches with a Young Pastor" Lewis Center for Church Leadership

"Suggestions for Churches with a Single Pastor" Lewis Center for Church Leadership

"Suggestions for Churches with a Clergywoman" Lewis Center for Church Leadership 

Worship Resources

“An Order for the Celebration of an Appointment,” The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992), 595, updated

“An Order of Farewell to a Pastor,” The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992), 598

“Holy Communion Service at the End of an Appointment,” General Board of Discipleship

"A Service of Celebration and Farewell (A)" Lewis Center for Church Leadership

"A Service of Celebration and Farewell (B)" Lewis Center for Church Leadership

"Ending and Beginning Rituals" Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Training Resources

Lewis Center for Church Leadership, The Right Start:  beginning ministry in a new setting, Wesley Theological Seminary.  This video-based resource addresses all aspects of pastoral transitions and moves.  Presenter is Dr. Lovett Weems, Jr.  Click to go to the website.

Recommended Reading

"Resource List" from Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Michael J. Coyner, Making a Good Move:  Opening the Door to a Successful Pastorate, Abingdon Press, 1999.

Lawrence W. Farris, Ten Commandments for Pastors New to a Congregation, Eerdmans, 2003. 

Lewis Center for Church Leadership, The Right Start:  Beginning Ministry in a New Setting, Wesley Theological Seminary and St. Paul School of Theology, 2002.  Click here to read the document.Includes results of a survey of UM District Superintendents in the United States, identifying best practices for concluding ministry in one setting and for beginning ministry in a new setting.

F. Belton Joyner, Jr., Life in the Fish Bowl:  Everyday Challenges of Pastors and Their Families, Abingdon Press, 2006.

Charles J. Scalise, Bridging the Gap:  Connecting What You Learned in Seminary with What You Find in the Congregation, Abingdon Press, 2003.

William Bridges, Transitions:Making Sense of Life's Change, 2004, or Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, 2009, Lifelong Books.