July 2019

Preparing for New Leadership


As your PNC (Pastor Nominating Committee) draws closer to finding and presenting a candidate for your consideration, it is important to begin preparing for new leadership. There always seems to be some anxiety when an unknown is pending. If your committee truly reflects the makeup of the congregation, their reaction to the new pastor will be the same as the congregation. In other words, if the committee likes the candidate the congregation probably will as well. Trust the PNC.

Here are some words of advice to both the congregation and staff. First, be open to new ideas and new directions of leadership. Though comparisons will be made, do not expect the person to be like any other minister you have had, either positively or negatively. They will have their own style of ministry. Be open to that. Do not allow the “ghosts of pastors past” to influence how you evaluate the new minister.

Second, be careful of expectations for the pastor’s family. Remember, you are calling the minister not the family. Be inviting, but let the minister’s spouse and children decide how active they will be in the church and what roles they will play. Often, unreal expectations are placed on minister’s families that are unhealthy.

Third, realize your role in ministry in this church and step up. Even if you are not able or willing to be an elder or deacon there is something you can contribute. The first is your regular attendance to all church functions as much as possible. This is your church, support it. Don’t rely on the minister to do everything. God calls each of us to contribute to the ministry.

Remember that the success of a new call is a two way street. The minister has their responsibility and the congregation has theirs. I hope that you will support your new minister and commit yourself to the ministry of the church.