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Entering that New Church – Carefully and Effectively

The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) tells Joe that the church wants to start using contemporary worship forms.  He tries some that worked well in his previous church.  After two months there’s an uproar!

Susan, a new Associate Pastor, is assigned to work with the youth and a liberal young couples group.  Her “liberal” ideas outrage some powerful conservative leaders.

Alex is confused by the Board’s inability to reach decisions on anything potentially controversial.  What’s happening?

Has something like this happened to you or a friend?  From conversations with the PNC, you thought that you had a really good understanding of the church.  You had great ideas for fulfilling their dreams.  But things fell apart!  Did the PNC lie or intentionally misrepresent the situation?

I have worked with or known pastors who have found themselves in all kinds of difficulty because they didn’t take time to understand the inner dynamics, i.e. the system, of their new church.  They didn’t know who the real leaders were, the untouchable practices or rooms or furniture, what landmines to avoid. Unexpectedly, they had to seek a new call.

How might these missteps be avoided?

For answers, tips, and tools see Entering Wonderland: A Toolkit for Pastors New to a Church