AT SOME POINT, EVERY CHURCH FINDS THEMSELVES WITHOUT A PASTOR. Regardless of the reason for the minister’s departure, this time of transition is critically important for every congregation. And often, a pastoral vacancy is commonly associated with a high level of unfamiliar anxiety for a congregation.
Pastoral transitions are a normal—even healthy—part of congregational life. The church’s ministry does not end when there is a pastoral vacancy. In fact, many opportunities for renewal and reformation arise in the midst of a pastoral vacancy.
From our earliest days, CBFNC has assisted churches in transition. While the system has changed over the years, our commitment to helping churches find pastors remains central to our work of “bringing Baptists together.” We are here to walk with you through this time of transition, offering guidance and help along the way.
Before you begin this process, keep in mind:
- Your church is not the same as it was the last time you looked for a pastor. We encourage all congregations to undertake a process of self-study during an interim period. Most often this is best facilitated by an outside coach or facilitator for a fresh perspective. Regardless of how you decide to navigate your interim time, we strongly recommend that your search committee does not embark on this journey alone!
- The landscape of ministry has changed dramatically in the past decade. The Cooperative Baptist movement is well into its third decade of ministry and we have raised a new generation of pastoral leaders. The theological education, spiritual formation and vocational paths of young ministers are vastly different than even their most recent predecessors. This has a direct impact on how and where you might search for your next pastor.