Minister Transition Resources

Compiled by

Randy Willingham, D.Min.

One huge loss for churches is when they see the minister transition as simply replacing the past minister. We cannot possibly calculate the lost value in adopting that perspective. One of the most strategic and opportune times for churches to develop is in the transition between ministers. Questions can be asked and insight gained at that time that cannot be gained at any other time in the life of a congregation. Additionally, attention to the transition between ministers (for both churches and ministers) is even more important today than yesterday because of the shortage of ministers.

We hope this loss will be avoided and turned from loss into real opportunity. The Baptists and the Methodists have been doing interim ministry for years and have decades of research and practice from which we can learn. One of the best interim ministers I have seen in the Churches of Christ is Jerrie Barber. We highly recommend his work. He is a creative, courageous, and true peacemaker who understands transition work at a very deep level. We strongly encourage you to secure the assistance of competent and trained practitioners who understand how to harvest the opportunities in these transitions. We strongly recommend translating this valuable point in time as a leverage point for significant congregational growth.

About this Document

The material here will be updated so be sure to check back if it has been awhile since you downloaded the document. We have provided it so you can easily print this off to take into a search committee meeting. However, feel free to also email the document to others because the electronic document can be nice as most of the contact links are provided as hyperlinks. And, the table of contents includes links to places in the document or to the relevant resource.

Dr. Charles Siburt served on the board of Pure Heart Vision, a ministry dedicated to helping churches mature in achieving God’s mission. Drs. Charles Siburt and Randy Willingham were the sub-committee for that group to help Pure Heart Vision offer significant resources for assisting in the minister transition that collaborated with what Dr. Siburt was currently doing.

You will notice a reference to a Minister Transition E-Workbook. Randy Willingham is currently preparing the workbook that will be available for both ministers and churches. However, in the meantime, the link goes to a site where you can purchase Dr. Siburt’s material that he previously used in coaching churches through the transition. You can purchase the material through ACU.

Dr. Siburt’s material is highly valuable but is less useful without his coaching. Once the material is completed by Randy Willingham we will keep the link to Dr. Siburt’s material because even though it can never be as useful without his coaching it will be useful along with the workbook produced by Dr. Willingham.

  We dedicate the current material we are compiling and the ministry to churches and ministers in this transition to Dr. Charles Siburt.

We lost the physical presence of our beloved Dr. Charles Siburt but we will never forget him. Much of our consulting and coaching work is inspired by and dedicated to him. He is missed every day. Our Center for Spiritual Leadership is dedicated to Drs. Siburt and Flavil Yeakley. And, we dedicate our attempt to assist ministers and churches in transition to Dr. Siburt.

He was a unique mixture of high level competence and genuinely deep compassion. He loved true harmony but was willing to challenge cheap, superficial, or false peace. He constructively challenged people with courageous care that was both truthful and relevant to greater maturity. Charles loved to empower others, and to experience others reaching their God-given potential. He was a master at helping others close the gap on who they were becoming without imposing himself or his own agenda. Personally, he lived a dedicated life of purpose and meaning that was very intentional.

He was like a great artist when it comes to interpersonal relationships, and his masterpieces were pictures of truth in love framed with grace - and, sometimes, painful grace. He was, though legally blind, repeatedly described as the most insightful and wise man others ever experienced. Ironically, almost poetically, he saw what others didn't before their very eyes; he saw what mattered most. He blessed us as Chair of our Pure Heart Vision Board until he left his loved ones to be with the Lord on July 11, 2012.

We hope the very best for you as you make the most of the minister transition you are entering.






Table of Contents

Harding University

Harding University

Harding University


Follow Up