Just because a church has agreed to an intentional interim process does not mean they are ready for all that goes with it.
It takes wise and thoughtful leadership to navigate the transitional process. Healthy transitions don’t just happen but require spiritual discernment, competency and wise leadership to navigate.
As you and I work with congregations in transition, we need to keep in mind some basics. For many of you, these ideas are not new but if you’re like me, I need reminding because I forget things.
This is your reminder of some basic principles to keep standing on as you lead and work with congregations in transition. Please send me yours to add to this list.
Vision comes in all sizes. There is the long term overarching vision a church needs. There’s also the shorter term transitional vision. This...
There’s a time and place for leaders to speak the words: “Don’t get your hopes up!”
I’ve heard doctors say those words. After my motorcycle accident, I asked my surgeon if I’d be able to run again in a few months. He said in so many words, “Don’t get your hopes up!”
I couldn’t believe he was so negative!
You find yourself talking to a board about how long their transition will be and they tell you that 3-6 months should be enough time. You carefully say to them, “Don’t get your hopes up!”
We’re cautioning people to avoid unrealistic expectations. We’re waving the caution flag and suggesting that in order to have a bright future during transition, you need to go through the valley of uncertainty and emotion to get to the other side.
Leadership during transition is about helping manage expectations and guide congregations...
Let’s talk about leadership.
In particular, let’s look at a group of leaders who have a great deal to teach us who are called to lead during these challenging times. The leaders I’m referring to are the Jesuits.
The leadership practice of the Jesuit's has a lot to teach us about living out our calling with courage, adaptability, and the readiness to help others change and grow through transition.
These thoughts come from a book I’ve revisited but still very applicable today. The book is by author Chris Lowney and is entitled "Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World." If you haven't read it, pick up a copy.
When you look at what the Jesuits believed about leadership some key underlying principles stand out:
The pastor is gone and is not coming back.
What is the best thing you can do for those who grieve the loss of their pastor?
No, no, and no.
What grieving people need is a companion to walk alongside them. It doesn’t need to be you, if you’re the transitional pastor, but it needs to be someone — someone equipped to know what to say, what not to say, and how to show up.
How we walk with people who are grieving matters. I’ve been learning to support grieving people in a way that has a track record of being very helpful - the term for it is companioning. How you and I show up with those who have experienced loss, whether it’s the loss of a pastor or the loss of a friend, makes a lasting difference.
One resource I’ve found very formative in learning how to walk with grieving people is the work of Dr....
In a world of distraction, there is a pathway forward. In this video, Cam talks about the three R's required to live with less distractions and how to stay focused in your life and leadership.
There continues to be a need for more harvest hands needs in all areas of God's kingdom harvest work. That includes the need for more quality transitional pastors. Where do you fit into helping to meet that need?