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Pastors in Transition

At various moments within a pastor's life, questions of "fit" and "call" and "tenure" come to the forefront. Discerning a wise course can be a challenge, requiring significant listening to the stirring of God's Spirit, to the voices of significant others, and to one's own inner being. For more on this, follow this link to chapter 2 of Effective Leadership in the Church, especially page 25, "confluence."

If you find yourself early in your new call, thinking about possibly moving to another ministry opportunity, or are 55 and older and looking ahead to retirement, the Thriving Together program has resources for you. These include gatherings, mentoring groups grants, vocational ministry assessments, and three documents containing curated wisdom from your peers who have navigated these transitions well:

If you are wrestling with your sense of call to your present ministry, and want to open yourself to the possibility of a new place of ministry, consider the following course of action:

  1. Update your ministerial profile
  2. Engage in a vocational ministry assessment to assist you in finding your vocational sweet spot—the place where their heart sings and where God is glorified.
  3. Respond to advertisements and public notices of vacant positions.
  4. Network with friends, family and acquaintances as advocates. Word of mouth is an effective way to communicate availability.

It is considered acceptable and even expected for ministers to be active participants in the calling process.

If you are wrestling with your sense of call to ordained ministry in general, or to some particular form of ordained ministry, you may want to consider a vocational assessment by an experienced team. This can be arranged through the PCR office.

If your discernment process has you wondering about the possibility of serving in the US, Canada, or elsewhere, questions surrounding border concerns, work visas and the like may be addressed to Carol Koppenaal, Director of Human Resources ([email protected].)

For a helpful resource on managing the transition from active ministry to retirement, see Closing Well, Continuing Strong. Questions concerning retirement and pension may be sent to [email protected].