Church Transitions Handbook (Word)


There have always been pastors and churches in transition, regardless of which appointment system was in operation at the time.  Once a local church is in transition, a board-approved Pastoral Leadership Task Force (PLTF) develops a church profile and pastor’s job description and works in consultation with the Director of Leadership Development and Church Health to hire a pastor who is a good fit for the local church and the denomination.  After receiving resumes, conducting interviews and selecting a pastor, the PLTF chairperson sends a request to the Bishop for that pastor to be appointed by the conference, and in turn the Bishop presents that recommendation to the Ministerial Education Guidance and Placement (MEGaP) committee for approval, after which the selected pastor is appointed.

At some point in the pastor’s ministry career, he or she will find themselves in transition, whether it is between pastoral appointments at local churches, going into transition without a new pastoral position or transitioning to retirement.  The Transitions Handbook for Pastors is designed to be a helpful resource during the process.

  • Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON (full-time position) (deadline to apply is February 15)
  • St. Joseph Island FMC, Hilton Beach, ON (full-time position) (deadline to apply is February 15)
  • Lakeview FMC, Saskatoon, SK (full-time position) (deadline to apply is February 22)

(Contact Davika Dotson in the Leadership Development Office to request a copy of the church profile and lead pastor job description)

Click here for more information on other positions available in other local churches

How to discern whether it is time to leave your current pastoral appointment.
[Note:  Just because you ask the question does not mean you will leave your current appointment.]  download PDF file       download WORD file
When It’s Time to Leave, by Gordon MacDonald
TRANSITIONS HANDBOOK FOR PASTORS          download PDF      download WORD file
Other resources for Pastors in Transition:
Fact Sheet for Pastors in Transition (FMCiC)
The Right Start:  Beginning Ministry In A New Setting (Saint Paul School of Theology / Wesley Theological Seminary)
Ten Commandments for Pastors, by Lawrence Farris
How To Leave a Pastorate, by Fred McGehee
Leaving Well (If You’re Going to Go, Go!) by Israel  Galindo
Letting Go:  Setting Boundaries In Retirement and Former Parishes, by L. Ronald Brushwhyler
Managing Transitions by Rev. Cam Taylor
Section One – First Steps in the Process Section-One-First-Steps (pdf) Section-One-First-Steps (Word)
Section Two – Developing the Profile Section-Two-Developing-the-Profile (pdf) Section-Two-Developing-the-Profile (Word)
Section Three – Seeking Candidates Section-Three-Seeking-Candidates (pdf) Section-Three-Seeking-Candidates (Word)6-Section Six-Welcoming the New Pastor
Section Four – The Interviewing Process Section-Four-The-Interview-Process(pdf) Section Four-The-Interview-Process (Word)
Section Five – Conclusion Section Five-Conclusion (pdf) Section Five-Conclusion (Word)
Section Six-Welcoming the New Pastor Section Six-Welcoming the New Pastor Section Six-Welcoming the New Pastor( Word)
Complete Church Transition Handbook (rev Jan/22) Church-Transitions-Handbook Church-Transitions-Handbook (Word)

Your local church is declared “in transition” and a Pastoral Leadership Task Force (PLTF) has been appointed by the Board.  The PLTF will have the responsibility of working with the Director of Church Health along with the Ministerial Education Guidance and Placement (MEGaP) committee of the conference in a search for the person who will give lead pastoral leadership to the next stage of your local church’s development.  This is an important responsibility and involves many hours of dedicated committee work, prayer, communication and interviewing.  At the end of the process, the PLTF will recommend a person for the Bishop to introduce to the MEGaP committee.  The Transitions Handbook for Churches is designed to help in the process.


Please contact:

Davika Dotson, Administrative Assistant 

Leadership Development department

Telephone:  905-848-2600 ext 205   Fax:  905-848-2603