50 Ways to Welcome a New Pastor

by Robert Crossman. Lewis Center for Church Leadership, 2015. Accessed April 14, 2017.

United Methodist leader Robert Crossman offers fifty helpful actions that congregations can take to ease clergy leadership transitions. Crossman covers seven topics. One helps congregations “say goodbye to your current pastor in a healthy way.” The other six categories identify ways to orient and welcome the new clergyperson and his or her family to the congregation and the local community. Providing lists of lay-leaders and their responsibilities, assigning a “specific liaison person to whom the pastor can go for help and information during the transition,” filling the parsonage refrigerator, and providing child-care on moving day are four examples. Some actions can be done by individuals, such as praying for the new pastor and sending “Welcome!” cards. Others, such as preparing the pastor’s office, will involve small groups or the larger congregation. This accessible two-page document can be easily duplicated for distribution and is appropriate for a variety of religious traditions.