When pastoral changes are bathed in prayer and done God's way, the church will ultimately rejoice with its new spiritual leader.
Q: What happens when a church has to find a new pastor?
A: When a pastoral vacancy occurs there is a smooth process provided in the Church of the Nazarene. The district superintendent, who knows the church, its history, and the people, is the critical link between the church and a new pastor and will begin formulating a list of potential candidates.
The district superintendent will then meet with the local church board or a committee to discuss the procedures and plans for creating a list of prospects. Members are encouraged to participate in this prospect process. The district superintendent will check the pastoral records of all prospects and contact them to determine their interest and request a pastoral resume?. Following that, the church board will invite a potential candidate to come for a personal interview conducted by the district superintendent.
Upon a vote of the church board to recommend a potential pastor to the congregation, a two-thirds vote of the congregation makes the call official. The candidate will have 15 days to give an answer. It is important to note that when a call is issued the candidate should be informed of the remuneration that the church will provide. (See paragraph 115.4 of the Manual)
When possible, it is advisable to have an "interim pastor" or someone in the congregation to lead. That person will make sure ministries and activities of the church continue.
Transitions can be calm and should be God-directed periods of renewal. If not they can be difficult and destructive times.
When pastoral changes are bathed in prayer and done God's way the church will ultimately rejoice with its new spiritual leader.
Gene Williams has served as pastor in Florida and Kansas for the Church of the Nazarene.