Fall 2014

Powerful Ecosystem

Restoring balance when a pastor leaves
The church is a complicated and delicate ecosystem— a three-way balance (in the human sense) of pastor, leaders and congregation.

Capable of great, blossoming growth, this ecosystem is also susceptible to both outside predators and inner neglect. Its balance needs constant care and feeding.

Perhaps one of the greatest shifts in the balance arises when the senior pastor steps aside. The resulting changes resonate from top to bottom, shifting the equilibrium. This is true whether the transition was a well-orchestrated handing-off of the leadership baton or a sudden fracture that left grief in its wake.

This issue of EFCA Today isn’t about why pastors step aside. Instead, the stories look more at the how of a pastor’s transition: how the possibility first surfaced, how it evolved, how it’s affecting everyone involved.

You’ll meet EFCA pastors who’ve stepped back to allow those they’ve mentored to step forward. You’ll meet others whose calling took them entirely out of the church they had planted and nurtured. And you’ll meet lay leaders whose stable presence helped bring balance again afterward.

May this issue encourage you to plan now for the unknown that’s sure to affect your church’s ecosystem in the future.