Transitioning Ministries


Congregations will develop greater health and vitality for successful ministry as they intentionally prepare to welcome new pastoral leadership.

Our Pastor has resigned. Now what do we do? When the resignation or dismissal of your pastor occurs, congregations find themselves in uncertain times. However, congregations can find hope and greater health for the future through the individual attention they receive from the Consultant for Transitioning Ministries.

ABC-MI is here and ready to guide you through this time of transition. Whether your pastor has left due to a call to another church, for retirement, or has been asked to leave, we have trained Transitional pastors and an experienced Consultant ready to walk with you through these next months.

What is the American Baptist Churches of Michigan (ABC-MI) offering to assist congregations in transition to make the most of the opportunities before them?

The ABC-MI offers congregations in transition specific assistance to be at the healthiest place for ministry under new pastoral leadership. The Consultant for Transitioning Ministries is available to work closely with congregations in transition by:

  • Consulting with church leadership to find a trained Transitional Pastor who will help guide and encourage the congregation through the transition period, enabling them to continue effective ministry. The Transitional Pastor will also help the congregation explore and address ways to increase effectiveness.
  • Working closely with the church's Search Committee as they seek the best pastoral candidate for their unique situation. The Consultant for Transitioning Ministries, utilizing a revised Church Reflection process, will assist the search committee in gathering information from the congregation that will help inform the search process. The Consultant will also train and guide the Search Committee through the interview and selection process for discovering your next Pastor. The Consultant will also be available to Search Committees as needed to
    ensure this process is effective.
  • Providing a variety of congregational assessments designed to assist the congregation and its leadership in identifying and addressing areas of focus as important to preparing for the next pastor. Having a variety of tools to offer our congregations enables them to choose the tool that best fits their context in preparing for the future. Using the insights gained from the use of the assessment tool, the Consultant and Transitional Pastor work with church leaders to develop an action plan for the transition time, drawing on strengths to improve weaknesses. When identified needs are beyond the gifts and abilities of the congregation, the ABC-MI will suggest available resources and individuals to help the congregation address these areas (this may be an additional cost).

What is the process for churches in transition?

When your church experiences the resignation or dismissal of your pastor, contact the ABC-MI office or the Consultant for Transitioning Ministries directly. We will arrange a time when the Consultant can meet with the leadership of the church to discuss the transition process. The Consultant will also be available to meet with the congregation as a whole in a Town Hall Meeting format to share with them what can be expected during the transition period.

The agenda of the meeting with the Consultant will cover:

  1. an overview of the transition process and how the Region can serve the local congregation during this time;
  2. review of the various assessment tools designed to strengthen the congregation during the transition;
  3. an overview of the search process;
  4. discussion of the needs of the church and how Transitional Pastor can help address these needs; and
  5. time for questions and answers.

Please allow up to two hours for this meeting. Following this meeting, the process will begin for creating a Search Committee, scheduling the assessment, and identifying the best person to serve the needs of the church as the Transitional Pastor.

What is the cost to the church?

The services listed above are a ministry of the ABC-MI and made possible by our constituent churches support of United Mission and specific financial gifts that underwrite the ABC-MI annual budget. Therefore the expenses of the Consultant for Transitioning Ministries are paid for by the ABC-MI. Congregations will be responsible for the costs of other resources or resource persons they require to help them address the issues resulting from the assessment. These costs will vary depending on the need.




Consultant for Transitioning Ministries, ABC-MI

Ms. Mary Beth Robertson
4578 S. Hagadorn Rd. East Lansing, MI  48823
Phone: 402.708.0656