8 simple ways to ease the transition of your new pastor

Summer is full of sunshine, blooms and fresh air, but the season is so much more than a showcase of Mother Nature's finest offerings. For congregations across the country, this is the time when pastors get new assignments. This is reason to celebrate, as members welcome new church leadership with open arms.

Change can be intimidating, but also exciting as a new pastor can bring a fresh energy to your church. To make the new pastor feel welcome and ease the transition, consider these eight simple things members can do.

1. Pray

Let the power of prayer help lead your old pastor to new successes. Then pray that your new pastor will feel at home and discover new connections with your church family.

2. Prepare

If your congregation has a parsonage, consider volunteering to prepare it for the new family. From a fresh coat of paint to yardwork and planting new flowers, this welcoming touch can make a big first impression.

3. Plan

A welcome party can be a nice way to greet a new pastor and his/her family. Form a planning committee and decide what type of event suits your parish's personality best. It could be a coffee hour, barbecue, potluck or more formal occasion.

4. People

Your new pastor is trying to learn many names. Don't feel strange about introducing yourself several times. Consider making nametags and wearing them to all church events for the first month.

5. Pictorial directory

Provide a Lifetouch Church Directory to the new and old pastor. For the new it will be a useful resource to get to know members. For the old, it is a cherished keepsake. Contact Lifetouch about a special promotion that features pastor nametags and notecards.

6. Processes

It will take time to get familiar with the church organization and its processes, but you can help make this easier by doing things like providing reference documents on information systems and making a map of the church grounds.

7. Presents

Help welcome your new pastor to your town by providing gift cards to favorite local businesses. This could be a group gift where people pitch in and give it together to show they are part of a supportive community.

8. Privacy

As much as everyone wants to welcome your new pastor and his/her family, remember to give them a little space. Settling into a new town and home is a big step, so privacy at times can be appreciated.