An intensely practical little book which will – inexpensively and quickly – help pastors navigate many of the common challenges of clergy transitions. When I say “little book,” I really mean that – the print edition is only 78 pages long, in a size that will fit in some larger pockets. Don’t be deceived, though – Bob Kaylor packs a lot of helpful information into those pages!
His chapter entitled “A Theology of Transition” is a good reminder of precisely who we are serving (hint: it’s actually not the congregations themselves), and provides helpful concepts and wording which will prove invaluable during conversations before and after a transition. Speaking of those conversations, Kaylor reminds us about specific conversations we need to have (with congregants and colleagues) throughout the process. He also provides a useful framework for a transition team, specific suggestions for pre-arrival research, post-arrival meetings, and points out the critical need for effective communication throughout the process.
There is not a lot of “fluff” (or leadership lingo, for that matter) in Kaylor’s book. Pretty much every page provides practical advice. The book’s appendix provides a sample “farewell” letter to be sent to congregants, a checklist of items to include in a handover packet to be given to the next pastor, ideas for an exit interview between the lay committee overseeing personnel (in the UMC, this would be the Staff-Parish Relations Committee SPRC or Pastor-Parish Relations Committee PPRC ) and the departing pastor, and a sample covenant that would be signed by the outgoing and incoming clergy.
This is a great book – worthwhile reading for anyone heading into a pastoral transition!
Relevance (Clergy and Laity):
Clergy: (5 / 5)
Non-clergy staff: (5 / 5)
Laity in leadership: (5 / 5)
General laity: (3.5 / 5)
Tags: Change, Clergy Transitions, Recommended Leadership Resources