Pastoral Transition Process Checklist
updated as specific tasks are identified and
[italic=completed, bold=in process, regular=to be completed]
- Hire Interim Pastor/start date: July 12, 2021
- Session consultation with and the Presbytery Commission on Ministry (COM)/ Transitions Work Team. December 14, 2021.
- Mission Study. Session appoints a “Transition Mission Study Team” as an ad hoc committee to work with Interim Pastor to prepare the congregational mission study. This can be a lengthy process involving new learning, careful design, communication with the congregation, examination of the community context, and then preparing a final report. The final mission study report has been completed, and approved by Session on March 14, and presbytery COM on March 21, 2023.
- The Nominating Committee begins to seek candidates from the congregation to serve on the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC). The PNC was elected by congregation on March 26, 2023.
- The PNC will receive training from the COM about the specific steps in the call process of calling an installed pastor. The PNC’s work is confidential.
- The PNC will prepare a Ministry Information Form (MIF) based on the findings of the Mission Study, which is used to advertise the position nationally. Once drafted, the MIF must be approved by the Session and the COM.
- Once the MIF is posted, the PNC chairperson will begin receiving PIFs (Personal Information Forms) of potential candidates. The PNC will determine a strategy for evaluating PIFs, interviewing, and selecting a candidate who will ultimately be presented to the congregation.
March 17, 2023
**CONGREGATIONAL MEETING – MARCH 26**
Pastoral leadership transition update and announcement of called congregational meeting.
This week, the Session approved the Congregational Mission Study Report (which will be made available to the congregation following a corresponding approval from the regional presbytery Commission on Ministry on Tuesday of next week). This is an essential last step required before a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) can be elected, who will lead the confidential search process for the next installed Senior Pastor of St. Andrew’s.
The Session has called a meeting of the congregation for Sunday, March 26, in order to elect a Pastor Nominating Committee, to be held following one united worship service. In lieu of the typical schedule of three separate worship gatherings, one United Worship Service will be at 9:15 am in the Sanctuary, followed by the Congregational Meeting at 10:45 am. This will be a particularly meaningful time to join the entire congregation together in combined worship, with contributions of different music styles, and displaying our visible unity as the congregation of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Both the United Worship Service and Congregational Meeting will be live-streamed.
Later this week (following presbytery approval), you can expect to receive an email from the church which will include the slate of church members who are being nominated by the Congregational Nominating Committee to serve on the PNC. This is an exciting time, to worship together, to pray together, and to commission together the PNC to do the important work of discerning who God will call to serve and lead as our next Pastor!
March 1, 2023
In a Presbyterian church, there are three groups with the authority to present action items to the Congregation: The Session (those elders elected by the Congregation to faithfully lead the church), the Nominating Committee (whose responsibility it is to nominate members to serve as Elders, Deacons, Trustees, and on the Nominating Committee itself), and a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC). While the Session and Nominating Committee are teams that exist all the time, a PNC is only organized when a congregation is ready to conduct a formal search for an installed Pastor or Associate Pastor. While many church committees are accountable to the Session, or Trustees, or Deacons, a PNC does its work confidentially and independently, since it only reports to the Congregation.
Specifically, these are the next steps in the transition process at St. Andrew’s:
- When the Congregational Mission Study is completed sometime in the first quarter of 2023, it will be submitted to the Session and the Presbytery de Cristo for approval. The approved study will be published on the church website for review by the congregation and prospective pastoral applicants.
- Along with the approval of the Mission Study, will come permission from the presbytery for the Session to call a congregational meeting for the purpose of electing a Pastor Nominating Committee. The Congregational Nominating Committee will present a slate of church members to the Congregation for approval at that time.
- The PNC, with guidance and support from the Presbytery, will do its work of prayerful discernment to seek the one whom God is calling to serve, ultimately presenting a candidate to the congregation for approval of that call.
But how long will this take?! Let me recommend reflection on the Goldilocks principle. For everyone involved to clearly discern the will and call of God, it will take time. The PNC will likely review a minimum of 75 applications, and conduct zoom and in-person interviews with several candidates. This will take time. Discerning God’s will won’t take too much time, or too little time… it will take just the right amount of time! Meanwhile, we make our desires known to God in prayer, and we pray the prayer that never fails: “Thy will be done!”