Q: What is a Transitional Pastor and what role will he have at New Hope?
A: Transitional Pastors are specifically trained and uniquely skilled. The Transitional Pastor role is temporary and acts as a support for a church experiencing significant change. Additionally, their vast experience in pastoring enables them to support the current pastoral staff with preaching, congregational care, and counseling. Finally, they are skilled at preparing the church to form, at the appropriate time, a new pastoral search committee and support that effort in the process of pursuing of a new Lead Pastor.
Q: Does the Presbytery have to “approve”, like they did for Pastor Mike?
A: The EPC defines several pastoral roles that are different from the of Senior or Lead Pastor. Engaging an Associate Pastor uses a traditional Pastoral Nomination search committee (PNC) that presents a candidate that the congregation must then vote on to extend a call. That call is then endorsed by the Presbytery. This is the process used to call Pastor Mike. This is different from filling the role of Assistant Pastor. In this role an individual is hired directly by the Session to fulfill a specific role for the church. The role of Transitional Pastor is one of an Assistant Pastor and is therefore vetted, interviewed, and directly hired by the Session. The Transitional Pastor’s role is to execute a process with a beginning and an end. This means that their time here will be finite. He will be here for as long as we need him in the defined role. The EPC rules state that a Transitional Pastor is ineligible to be selected as the Lead Pastor.
Q: What will this look like at New Hope?
A: The Transitional Pastor will work about 25 hours each week and preach a minimum of one Sunday each month. He is part of our staff and will have an office at the church. He will be a part of our hospital visitations, meet and engage with our members and regular attenders and support our church with his expertise and heart for people. He has been specially trained to help a church define and execute identifying exactly they’re looking for in a new Lead Pastor. While he is not a member of the next Pastoral Nominating Committee, he will function as a resource and coach to the committee.