Beginning a New Pastorate by Robert G. Kemper

By Robert G. Kemper

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As the stages of the decision unfold, you must deal intensely with each one, but at the same time you must be thinking of the future. Before the second interview (if there is one) and certainly before the terms of call are agreed to, you need to do some intentional planning about beginning the new pastorate. Peter Drucker, well-known writer on management, remarks that when he is called to a company for consultation, his first question is always, What are you trying to accomplish? The basic point is that you organize in order to meet your goals, whatever it is you seek to accomplish.

The chances for error are great, but the chances are markedly reduced by intentionality. " Glasses are instruments designed to help one see clearly. You see with your brain, but the brain needs as clear and sharp a picture of reality as possible. In this case, glasses bring that clarity and sharpness by correcting different visual imperceptions. The Minister's Glasses Begin with yourself. What are you really looking for? How realistic are your expectations? Why do you want to make this move? The placement system, it was suggested earlier, is a source of discontent because it has too much to do.

All religious institutions are voluntary organizations. They are held together by trust, mutual trust among the members and between the members and the minister. High in your planning is the development of a trust relationship between this congregation and yourself. It has already begun with the pastoral search committee, and the committee has a role to play in furthering it with the congregation. Second, you can plan to deal with grief. To be sure, there is a rising tide of festive celebration in the decision-making process, but there is also an undertow of grief in that tide.

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