Roy M. Oswald, James M. Heath, Ann W. Heath
Beginning Ministry Together is about the transition period between the announcement that one pastor is leaving and the time when another pastor is well settled. The message brought by Roy Oswald and colleagues Jim and Ann Heath is that this is not an impossible time to be survived only with a lot of expert help. Rather, even though the task is complex, committed congregational leaders can handle it—with the help of people who have been on this journey before.
Oswald describes how clergy and congregations can better end and begin pastorates. He shows them how to say good-bye and discern their needs for the future—how to use the open space between pastorates for evaluation and preparation for a new day.
This handbook will also help congregations determine what they expect of their clergy and then accurately present their expectations to candidates. Likewise, clergy will learn how to share what gifts they offer and their expectations of a congregation. In this way, clergy and lay leaders can reach common and workable expectations of one another and begin a life-giving ministry together. Foreword by Robert T. Gribbon.
For those who have purchased Beginning Ministry Together only, click here to download reproducible copies of the resources.
“Beginning Ministry Together helps you see God's presence in your transition and to draw confidence and strength from it.” —Robert T. Gribbon
“Beginning Ministry Together provides an orderly, thoughtful, and spirit-filled map for the journey between pastorates. This helpful guide addresses often ignored issues such as coping with stress of transition, conducting an exit interview with the departing pastor, and tools for saying a 'good' goodbye. This useful manual should be on every denominational executive's desk and on the shelf of all church libraries.” —Jill M. Hudson, CoExecutive, Presbytery of Whitewater Valley, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
“It's all here in one resource-rich book—everything you need to know about pastoral transitions in congregations. Roy Oswald and his colleagues have compiled in this one volume the gathered wisdom from years of consulting by Alban Institute staff, research findings, and theoretical constructs that have stood the test of time. This new book also contains practical instruments and methods for conducting congregational studies. I strongly recommend it!” —Clyde J. Steckel, Emeritus Professor of Theology, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
“The transition between pastors provides a unique growth and learning opportunity for congregations. They need to journey through their grief and to ask afresh five critical questions: Who are we? What is our mission? What are our core values? What are our priorities for ministry? What kind of leadership do we need for this ministry? They also need to help the incoming pastor have a positive entry into the congregation. This will be a key resource for both congregations and pastors who seek to make a positive transition from one chapter in their lives to the next.” —Edward A. White, The Alban Institute
“In every season of a congregation's life, we pray for God's provision. During a pastoral transition, that season rife with potential for good and harm, we are particularly prayerful. This book is an indispensable resource for all communities who journey in that liminal time. Besides its comprehensive practical resources, Beginning Ministry Together is wonderfully attentive to the spiritual needs of this season and offers faithful practices for remaining grounded in the steadfast love of God.” —Ann Svennungsen, The Fund for Theological Education
Alban No. AL275
paper, 148 pages
($16.00 for members)