New pastorates: Possibilities and problems
LE3 .A278 2011
Doctor of Ministry
Acadia Divinity College
Leaders have been following leaders in every walk of life since the beginning of recorded history. Newly arriving pastors follow pastors who have served before them in the church. This thesis seeks to help newly arriving pastors get a good start in a new ministry setting. The biblical and theological foundation of this research is based upon the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Christ is the Head of the Church. The regenerate local church membership seeks God’s will in the call of a pastor who desires to be in the precise place of God’s will. From the Scriptures, examples are given of spiritual leaders who have followed leaders who have ministered before them. Recently ten Atlantic Baptist pastors were interviewed to discover their experience of arriving in a new ministry setting. Part of these interviews concerned the type of pastor that preceded them. The age and tenure of the departing and arriving pastors, along with the strengths and weaknesses of each that may impact the new pastors’ ministry, were considered. Different types of former pastors one follows were researched: e.g., following one who was typical, retired, who died, extraordinary, in a moral crisis or who split the church. What went well, or not well, during these transitions, was also explored. Along with these interviews, that were evaluated in light of the Atlantic Baptist context, other research and literature were consulted which reflected similar findings in other constituencies. In conclusion a number of suggestions are offered for incoming pastors to consider that might make a pastoral change more positive and fruitful. Understanding the many dynamics of arriving at a new church can help the newly arriving pastor and the congregation get off to a positive and encouraging start. May all who read find a word of encouragement and wisdom.
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