[ETK - Home Page] • Transitional Pastor Ministry

Equip the Kingdom Ministries Logo


Home Page - Equip the Kingdom Ministries
Contact Us - Equip the Kingdom Ministries
About Us - Equip the Kingdom Ministries
Transitional Pastor Ministry - Equip the Kingdom Ministries
What We Believe - Equip the Kingdom Ministries
Heaven or Hell - Equip the Kingdom Ministries
Daily Devotional - Equip the Kingdom Ministries
Media Library - Equip the Kingdom Ministries
Pastor Greg's Blog - Equip the Kingdom Ministries
Support Us Financially - Equip the Kingdom Ministries
Apps Page - Equip the Kingdom Ministries
Web Links - Equip the Kingdom Ministries
Site Map- Equip the Kingdom Ministries

Transitional Pastor Ministry

What is a Transitional Pastor?

A transitional pastor is a pastor who serves a church in an interim capacity with the specific purpose of helping the congregation to prepare for receiving their new pastor.  The transitional pastor uses his leadership experience, ministry gifts, and training to ensure high quality transitional leadership for the church.  Transitional pastors may lead churches through smooth transitions, rough transitions, or crisis transitions. 
       • A smooth transition occurs where the congregation is in grief over the departure of the former pastor.  He left on good terms and the church relationships are in good condition. 
       • A rough transition occurs when the former pastor departs and relationships and/or trust is severely damaged.   
       • A crisis transition occurs when circumstances surrounding the previous pastor's departure and because of a variety disabilities renders church leaders spiritually unprepared  to guide the church through emotional healing and comprehensive preparation for a new pastor. 
The transitional pastor can step into these situations and serve effectively as a preacher, a pastor, and a consultant. 

Does my church need a transitional pastor?

That is an excellent question.  Transitional pastors can be of great benefit to all churches that are going through a pastor change.  This type of intentional interim pastor is not just forRev. Greg Schermerhorn Preaching the Gospel troubled churches.  Why?  The transitional pastor is able to work with a church to do and say things, in love, that their pastor cannot do.  He is an outsider who "Doesn't have a dog in the hunt" so to speak. When his job of transition is finished, he will go back to his home church.  This allows for a unique, unbiased perspective and can allow the transitional pastor to do and say things that no other pastor who is called to that church would be able to do...to bring about harmony, to show the love of Jesus, the help mend long broken fences.  So many times, a problem in a church goes back beyond just the last pastor.  It is a multi-layered and multi-faceted issue.  It takes someone like a transitional pastor, with God's help, to be able to get to the heart of the matter so that healing can occur. 

Even in churches where the transition is smooth and preparations have been made for the new pastor, a transitional pastor can help to make the soil of the congregation that much more fertile.  Part of the transitional ministry is helping churches to better understand their mission and vision, as well as, how to better fulfill them.  We also help the church to better understand the pastor's role so they know how to better support him and his family.  Many pastors coming into a church following a transitional pastor have said it put them well ahead of their own planning for that ministry, usually a year or more ahead.

Here is a video that LifeWay produced about Transitional Pastor Ministry.  This video from LifeWay explains, in detail, the benefits of having a transitional pastor versus an interim pastor when you have a pastor change in your church.  It will answer many of your questions.

Transitional Pastor Ministry Overview from Greg Schermerhorn on Vimeo.


The Transitional Pastor Ministry is a Biblically Oriented Process.

Every church is unique!  There is no predefined, cookie-cutter process that makes the work of a transitional pastor a 1-2-3 process that all churches simply fit into.  However, there are provenThe Holy Bibleprocesses of church transition that apply to churches of all sizes.  These processes are rooted in God's Word and prayer all with an expectation of a final result that will be pleasing to the Lord.

What are the typical areas of duty or responsibility for the transitional pastor within the church?

The areas of duty or responsibility would be negotiated and governed by Covenant of Relationship between the transitional pastor and the church.  The covenant would detail specific responsibilities for  both the pastor and for the congregation.  Here are some of the general and specific duties of the transitional pastor that would typically be included in the covenant.
       • Seek the mind of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all things
       • Be a person of integrity in his family, in the church, and in the community
       • Be loving and gracious to all
       • Provide Spiritual Leadership
       • Guide the church through the stages of transition
              1. Viewing the church's history through the eyes of Christ
              2. Assessing the church's current reality
              3. Affirming biblical principles for church growth
              4. Focusing on kingdom results
              5. Establishing church practice
              6. Using the Essential Church strategy
              7. Finding a pastor to lead in fulfilling God's future for the church
              8. Helping the pastor get a good start in the church and community
       • Preach the Gospel
       • Coordinate worship
       • Counsel staff and church ministry leaders
       • Coordinate church baptismal services; officiate weddings and funeral when available
       • Supervise staff
       • Provide pastoral care and involve others in caring actions
       • Manage conflict to produce healthy, productive relationships in the church
       • Train the Pastor Search Committee and assist as a process consultant
       • Be unavailable for a call to the office of pastor
       • Lead the Church Transitional Focus Team
       • Represent the church in community and denominational activities

Here are some of the specific duties or responsibility of the church that would be included in the covenant.
       • Be loving and gracious to the transitional pastor and his family
       • Pray for spiritual power in his life and work
       • Respectfully relate to him as God's anointed leader for this task
       • Support his leadership with active participation in the church's ministries
       • Talk with him about personal concerns instead of talking about him to others
       • Provide the resources for doing the work to which he is committed
       • Provide a salary and benefits commensurate with the duties of his office
       • Free him to do the work for which he is called as other church leaders and members fulfill their responsibilities
       • Follow his leadership in forming a Transitional Focus Team

How long is the typical transitional period?

The typical transition period varies widely, but ranges on average, between nine and eighteen months.

Who do we contact about finding a transitional pastor for our church?

That is an excellent question.  Being a Southern Baptist pastor, I will relate this process to our experiences as autonomous churches joined together in associations, state conventions, and a national convention. 

I am a transitional pastor and may be available to assist your church; however, I have put this webpage Pastor Greg Schermerhorntogether, not just out of self-interest, but also for educational purposes because I believe this is a tremendous way to bring peace and long-term vitality to your church.  One of your best resources to locate a transitional pastor is your Associational Missionary or Director of Missions.  They are going to have their fingers on the "pulse" of your area and they should have a list of potential transitional pastors you could prayerfully interview.  Your state Baptist convention will also have a list of qualified potential candidates available.  Your likely point of contact with the state convention would be through the church-minister relations or similarly named department.  LifeWay also maintains a list of qualified transitional pastors.

I can only speak to what I know about in first-hand terms with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board (GBMB) and the local Baptist associations.  Of course, the local associations will have varying lists based upon personal contact with the AM/DOM.  The GBMB keep lists based upon training received and applications submitted for the file. If I can be of assistance to you as a consultant in your pastor search or can help your congregation with its transitional pastor needs, please contact me at GoodNews@equipthekingdom.org or 770-656-6502.


Georgia Baptist Convention LogoSouthern Baptist Convention Logo

Equip the Kingdom Ministries is a cooperating ministry with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and Southern Baptist Convention.


Connect with Equip the Kingdom on Twitter Connect with Equip the Kingdom on Twitter - @EquipTheKingdom
Read Brother Greg's Blog on Blogger Read Brother Greg's Blog on Blogger


My Jesus Lives - ©2007 Greg Schermerhorn, All Rights Reserved. The Holy Bible The Fields ARE White Unto Harvest! - ©2009 Greg Schermerhorn, All Rights Reserved.



Tweets by @EquipTheKingdom
©2010-2018 Equip the Kingdom Ministries. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks and trademark names are the property of their respective owners.