Succession can be a difficult transition to embrace, and many leadership teams often find these situations hard to navigate. Additionally, the challenge to find and place a new leader doesn’t end when they have officially come on board.
The process of introducing a new Lead Pastor affects the staff, congregation, and upcoming success of the church. Communication is key, so start by crafting a plan. Consider including these three steps in your plan to introduce a new Lead Pastor.
- Create a biography web page:The week before you plan to introduce the new Lead Pastor, create a web page that contains their biography information along with a short video allowing the candidate to introduce themselves to the congregation. This web page can also include a list of FAQs that can provide answers to questions like, “When will the new Pastor start?” or “How will things be changing in service?” Schedule a social media post or email blast that shares the link to the web page 7-10 days before the new Lead Pastor is officially introduced on campus.
- Schedule “Meet & Greets”:Several days before the formal introduction, set up a few “meet and greets” with key groups within the church. These informal introductions could be held at a board member’s home or in church communal areas. Consider scheduling a short meet and greet within the neighborhood, so that the community is also involved in the transition. These scheduled “meet and greets” will give people a chance to interact casually and get to know the Lead Pastor before they take the stage. Encourage the new Lead Pastor to bring his family along to these short encounters, so that the congregation can begin to form personal connections. Have the newly appointed Lead Pastor share a brief introduction of himself, and then allow time for people to ask questions.
- Start strong with a well-crafted video.Create a video that will introduce the candidate, give insight into why they chose to join the church family, and establish their vision for taking the church forward. The video should be a short and sweet clip that is conversational in nature. Consider including pictures of their family or hobbies.
In any succession conversation, prepare the congregation for the new Lead Pastor’s distinctive personality and preaching style. Enlist a staff member or Communications Director to help relay consistent information to the community, both via social media and the pulpit.
To ensure a smooth succession, talk to our team today. We are excited to craft a customized succession plan for your church including a timeline, communication strategy, and step-by-step help for what to expect during your transition.