Clergy--Relocation

Making a move: exploring factors that contribute to a successful pastoral transition

Author
Michael P Kennison
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how experienced pastors approach their first year of transition to an established church to be the senior pastor. This study utilized a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with seven pastors who had experienced transition within the past five years, entering churches that varied in size and cultural character while being in the same denomination. The study concluded that while a fair amount is being written in each of these areas, little is presently impacting the transition practices of pastors.

Should I stay or should I go? A reflection on the practice of Christian discernment for United Methodist clergy

Author
Angela M Harris
Abstract
This project explores how the practice of discernment in the Christian tradition can be beneficial in making faithful and fruitful decisions. It reflects on the theology of discernment in the Christian tradition with particular emphasis on Ignatius of Loyola and the Quaker tradition, as well as in-depth interviews with United Methodist clergy on the practices of discernment that have been helpful to them over the course of their career with an emphasis on how to transition from positive placement settings. It concludes with a guide to assist clergy in matters of spiritual discernment.

The first five years: critical factors to the successful intentional translation from a long-tenured senior pastor

Author
Christopher M Freeland
Abstract
Although it is impossible to imagine a more disruptive change to a church than a transition of its senior pastor, this qualitative research project showed that careful attention to the critical factors of (1) an unwavering public respect between the departing pastor and his successor, (2) a ministry philosophy that allows freedom of form while maintaining core function, and (3) a clarity of non-staff church leadership governance that allows the incoming senior pastor both freedom and protection can ease the disruption to a local church and propel its ministry into the future.

Vision for ministry: leadership succession in United Methodist churches

Author
Justin S White
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to create a tool that congregations can use to improve pastoral transitions in United Methodist Churches. The author researched biblical models of leadership transition and interviewed clergy for their input in creating this tool. A draft of this transition tool was used by two congregations during their respective transitions in clergy leadership. Based on the feedback and results of these two trials, the author proposes three action steps that United Methodist conferences could take to improve clergy leadership transitions.

Small group storytelling in the midst of transitioning

Author
Kathy Spitzer
Abstract
The author researched how storytelling, the process by which parishioners celebrate their past and contemplate hope for the future by sharing personal experiences, can be used to facilitate pastoral transition. She created small group sessions within each church in her charge and posed questions designed to engage participants in discussion. While each church responded differently to the prospect of saying goodbye to one pastor and welcoming another, the author concluded that these small-group sessions were an important forum within which each church could affirm its community of faith and consider its hope for the future.

Between forced exit and intentional ministry re-entry

Author
Lauren W Orchard
Abstract
This project highlights commonalities inherent within the transition time of those exited from pastoral ministry. Research of published material reviewed statistical reports, dissertations, published works, and internet sources. These were scrutinized in conjunction with surveys and subsequent interviews with ministers in transition and denominational officials. Prevention and intervention strategies were evaluated, resulting in recommendations to bring healing to and reintegration of pastors into career ministry. Emphasis is placed on a mentor/friend relationship to guide both minister and family through the transition. Healthy recovery requires applying the principles of forgiveness, evaluation of life processes, and a review of the calling upon one's life.

Pastoral care that minimizes negative transition for pastors of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada

Author
Edwin F Drewlo
Abstract
This study is a qualitative analysis of the degree to which negative transition occurs among senior and solo pastors of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. It attempts to determine whether a better system of pastoral care for pastors might minimize instances of negative transition and related pastoral problems. The study includes a survey of relevant biblical passages and a fairly extensive literature review. The field work surveys a representation of solo and senior pastors, district superintendents, and denominational leaders. The project concludes with ten recommendations related to transition regarding pastoral care for pastors.

Sharing the word: a new pastor's model for preaching transition to empower the leadership of the traditional church

Author
Stephen Jesse Russell
Abstract
This project was designed to address the need for empowerment through leadership for necessary transition at the Nazareth Baptist Church in Washington, Pennsylvania. This model for empowering leaders to participate in transition involved a diagnosis through a spiritual audit, sermon series, and two survey questionnaires administered to a sample of congregants to determine the effect of collaborative preaching. The results of this model affirmed the hypothesis of the researcher, that including key leaders in the process of preaching transition was the most significant and successful variable for empowerment in this context.

The integration of a new minister into an existing congregation: building bridges into community

Author
Ian Dennis
Abstract
The start of any ministry is a stressful time, but it is especially so as a new minister enters an established congregation. The congregation has a history and character that must be appreciated if the new minister is to be integrated fully into its life. Through the conducting of a community survey among the members of Crosshouse Parish Church and the village in which it is based, this thesis shows that the bridges into community already exist within the congregation and that the new minister is a participant-observer within the life of the congregation.
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