Succession Planning

Pastoral Transition & Succession Planning

Elevating the right person, at the right time
When the search is on to find a new church pastor or nonprofit leader, it’s imperative to move quickly yet with extreme transparency. Pastoral transition, especially, can take many months to facilitate. It can become challenging to mitigate general anxiety and varying opinions throughout a congregation. Each member of a church has a stake in its next chapter. And, everyone wants to feel they are a part of the process and that their voice matters.

Two women and one man sitting at table discussing church planning and strategy for pastoral transition

As pastoral transition is eminent, churches may be concerned with:

  • Keeping the important ministries of the organization from eroding during a transition
  • Preparing its leadership team to manage the transition process, including resources and time
  • Keeping the transition process as short as possible, so the morale and vitality of the organization is kept high
  • Finding the right person with the right gifts at the right stage of life to be its next leader
  • Preparing its next leader to begin ministry with genuine insight to the church. This will help them avoid land mines, and optimize the success and effectiveness of their ministry.

Bridge Design
At Crows Feet, our transition learning process, called Bridge Design, helps leaders address these concerns. Such preparation ensures they can be a Ready Organization, find the Right Pastor, and get a Running Start. We work alongside church leadership through every step of the pastoral transition process. Your team deserves the smoothest, surest path to embracing a new, energized pastor.

The entire church should welcome a new pastor enthusiastically. Everyone should have a part to play in embedding the new pastor from the very start. This includes organizing introductions and advising them on the church’s unique culture. Proper training should be scheduled and clear communication plans made for every arm of the church.

"Thank you for your work with us at Trinity. To a person, everyone was more than pleased with your data driven consultation. We valued your fresh approach, and your wonderful sense of humor. You truly related to everyone and we all felt like you "got us." Our work with Crows Feet Consulting was eye opening for many and generally motivational for all."

— Minnesota ELCA Church


Michelle Snyder
(814) 758-2056