Grace Lutheran Church’s search for the next senior pastor was made a priority by the church council and Pastors John and Andrea. It is a valued process that leads to the selection of a professional consultant for this journey. After the three teams were decided by the church Council, we all gathered on February 22 & 23, with the goal of setting the foundation of planning a vision for the transition process and strengthened the partnership of the members of the teams. The three teams are titled: Transition Team, Call Committee, and Welcoming team and will be joining together to make this a successful pastoral transition.
Dr. James Pence has worked with congregations in fifteen states as a full-time consultant since 2007. Jim formed Walkalong Consulting in 2013 to broaden his work in the area of evidence-based leadership. Jim’s consulting practice focuses on pastoral succession planning and evidence-based approaches to organizational change. Jim’s knowledge and experience will guide us through the modified process called BridgeWalk (HolyCow Consulting). The metaphor of using a bridge to connect both banks of a river, Bridgewalk provides the key items in the transition from current Pastor to the next Pastor that God is calling to lead the church forward.
The Walkalong Consulting designates three key retreats for the three teams, staff members, and Pastors. The first retreat, Foundations, we gathered together to answer questions regarding our view on how things are going at Grace. These statements are shared with the Transition team members to develop a vision for the transition plan. They were posted in Koinia Hall and we have photos if anyone is interested in seeing our work. All members present at the round tables shared something that helped us complete these questions. After we discussed the four items, we felt more prepared to lead this Pastoral succession planning process and it helped decrease some of the members anxieties to be able to talk about history and the plan for the rest of the succession planning.
- “Talk about a time in your history when significant transitions had an impact on your congregation?”
- “Talk about a time or activity when we were at our best”
- “Write a brief statement of what your understanding of the core purpose of your congregation.”
- “Develop a draft of the transition mission statement”
As Lent begins and I am reminded that God created us all in his image and it feels that he is leading us down a path of amazing light to continue the image that Grace has adopted: A people and place where generosity and graciousness abounds.
Meet the Teams