Frequently Asked Questions concerning the Senior Pastor Transition

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Frequently Asked Questions concerning the Senior Pastor Transition.
The Frederick Church of the Brethren has had the blessing of walking in ministry with Pastor Paul for an amazing 20 years. Throughout that time Pastor Paul has faithfully preached the word of God, helped cast a vision for FCOB and has played an intricate role in the incredible growth we’ve experienced during his tenure. As shared in Paul’s letter to the congregation Paul has determined it’s now time for him to retire from full time ministry and move into the next chapter of service.

Change is a healthy and normal part of any organization. Change brings in fresh thoughts and new ideas and is used by God to bless ministries and churches. The Transition Team was formed by the Leadership Team in response to the strategic plan initiative calling FCOB to prepare for the eventual retirement of the Senior Pastor.

The following Frequently Asked Questions and corresponding Answers have been put together to provide the congregation insight into the work that has been done to date by the Transition Team and to share our thinking around some important decisions that we’ve made.

What can we, as members, expect from Pastor Paul Mundey during the transition period? In what ways will he continue to provide leadership for FCOB?

Paul will continue to serve as the Senior Pastor of FCOB until June of 2016. He will continue to preach, provide overall leadership to the congregation and pastoral staff and will work in partnership with the FCOB Leadership team to ensure that the church continues to move toward it’s desired future. There will be some shifting of administrative and staff oversight to other pastors as FCOB prepares for an interim period and the call of a new Senior Pastor.
What activity has the Transition Team been involved in up to this point?

The Transition Team has been meeting regularly with their work entailing:

  • Developing a set of guiding values and biblical principles for the transition

  • Creating a communication plan for and about the transition period

  • Consulting with Pastor Paul regarding what he will be focusing on during the transition

  • Planning for and administering an all congregation survey

  • Developing an approach to identify and call an Interim Senior Pastor

  • Discussing the timing of and approach to searching for and calling a new Senior Pastor

What assistance will our denomination provide during this transition?

Mary Jo Flory-Steury (Associate General Secretary of the Denomination) and Gene Hagenberger (District Executive) have been involved every step of the way with the Transition Team. They have provided insight and consultative guidance to the Transition team. They are specifically responsible for identifying potential Interim Pastors within the Church of the Brethren

Why did we decide to utilize an Interim Senior Pastor?

Because of Pastor Paul’s long-term service and the key role he has played in developing and growing FCOB to what it is today, the Transition Team recommended, with the encouragement of denominational leaders, that an Interim Pastor be utilized. The FCOB Leadership team reviewed this recommendation and approved the use of an Interim. This Interim period will provide the space FCOB needs to experience ‘life’ without Pastor Paul. It will prepare the congregation to ‘receive’ its next Senior Pastor in the healthiest way possible and minimize the risk of the next Senior Pastor following a legacy pastor ending up being a short term call. The salary for the Interim Pastor will be paid out of funds not used for Pastor Paul after his departure.  
What is the timeline for identifying and calling the Interim Senior Pastor?

The process has already begun and the goal is to have someone in place up to one month prior to Paul’s departure.
How will the decision regarding an Interim Senior Pastor be made?

The Leadership team will review and call the Interim Senior Pastor based on recommendations made by the Transition Team and Denominational Leadership. The Transition team is in the midst of creating an ideal profile for the Interim Pastor and will assess candidates, in partnership with SIMA – Minneapolis consultants, as to their fit for the role.
When will the process for calling a permanent Senior Pastor begin?

The goal is to identify a Search Committee by January or February of 2016
Will all of the Pastors and staff be staying through the interim period and after?

That question is ultimately up to each of them. All of the Pastors and Staff are key to maintaining momentum and health of the congregation and its ministries.

Will any of our pastors be considered for either the Interim or Successor position?

The Search team, once formed, will review all candidates that make it known they are interested in the Senior Pastor position.

How will the leadership of FCOB guard against the tendency for a church to decrease in attendance and momentum as a result of the transition of a long time leader like Pastor Paul?

While there are no guarantees, the Transition Team is committed to engaging in a thoughtful, prayerful and well communicated process that involves as many people as possible while expressing grace to all involved. The Transition Team believes this will allow FCOB to continue to progress toward the preferred future as articulated in the most recent strategic plan. It will also be important for other pastors, the staff, lay leadership and the congregation to see this period as an opportunity for continued growth as opposed to a time of scarcity and fear.
What does this transition mean for our long-range plan and specifically the move to a new site?

The strategic plan and move to a new site are still at the forefront of the future plans of FCOB.
Will Pastor Paul and Robin remain as members at FCOB after June 2016?

There are congregational by-laws that require an outgoing pastor to not be involved in the church for at least 6 months after their departure. After this time, a decision will be made in consultation with Paul as to the readiness of FCOB for Robin and him to re-engage.
What can I do as a member of FCOB during this time of transition?

Pray for the church and Pastor Paul during this transition process. Continue to engage in areas of ministry that you’ve been called to with the same passion and zeal as before the transition was announced. Participate in the activities that the have been planned to ensure that the Transition Team, Search Team and Interim pastor have the best information to guide the church through this process.
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