By Wade Paris
The new pastor will do well to spend time getting to know the church, the people and the community before making any big changes. When the pastor is new, people will do almost anything the pastor suggests. New brooms sweep clean. However, the pastor may not know what to ask.
The pastor selection committee at Downtown Church explained to the new pastor the church community was rapidly changing. They said a decision would need to be made soon whether the church should remain in its present location or relocate.
Since he was new, the pastor did not realize the church needed to relocate. After several years, he was able to see this need. However, the church had spent so much money on renovation they would not move. They believed it would be “poor use of God’s resources to walk away and leave all they had done.”
The next pastor bided his time. Eventually the church relocated and today has a wonderful ministry. If Pastor Robert had moved more slowly, he probably could have accomplished the relocation himself.
Not only does a new pastor need time to ascertain the needs of the church, he also needs time to identify the church movers and shakers.
Some, especially the young and inexperienced, will argue that discerning these power brokers is too much like politics. In a tape about church growth, Carl George said rather than abandoning such strategy as political, a wise pastor will be glad such a system exists and will learn how to function within it (“Beyond 400” by Carl George, part of the audiotape series “Barrier Breaking Seminars”).