A pastoral transition is announced. One era of leadership winds down as the promise of a new one beckons. People are naturally drawn to the excitement of beginnings; however, a healthy beginning with a new pastor depends on a good ending with the exiting pastor. The problem is, people avoid and minimize the losses associated with endings.
For a new ministry to flourish, both clergy and lay leaders need to understand the congregation’s feelings about the predecessor. Every congregation has some history with (or without) clergy. At time of clergy transition, that history influences the selection process and the partnership as it develops.