Thursday, June 28, 2007

thoughts on pastoral transition

I've not blogged much this week, and for that I am sorry. But I am working on a message for a pastor's meeting coming up and thought I would take one of the rabbit trails that I hope to avoid on July 9th here.

I am a big advocate for church planting. New churches have the opportunity to identify with the culture right from the start. A planter will come into a community, identify a subculture and begin a church designed specifically for the people of that community. This is why I believe that new churches usually grow faster and win more lost than long established. They are not weighed down by years of "history" and "tradition." They are free to meet people where they are without much resistance. However, I have come to understand that the same thing tends to take place when a church is seeking a new pastor. Yes, there will always be the crowd that wishes to remain in the "glory" years, but to find a new pastor with the same stance as before is nigh to impossible and as a natural result that church is forced to adapt. Therefore with each new pastorate, the church changes, and each time it realigns, it moves closer to its community. This is probably most notable in an area where the neighborhood around the church has changed. The DNA of that church changes ever so slightly and the church also changes, it adapts to better suit the present membership. Please do not take his the wrong way, I am in no way endorsing church hopping by pastor or pew, but just wanted to point out a positive benefit of pastoral transition.