Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pastoral Transition

One of the issues shaping the health of the churches today is pastoral transition: conveying the spiritual authority of the community of faith from one minister to another. Much of the time, it is being done exceedingly poorly.

As a pastor who has followed long leadership tenures both in Lubbock and San Antonio, I am in a unique position to give perspective on the matter. I have postponed commentary on the subject for over a year since leaving San Antonio in order to gain a measure of clarity and analysis about this complex, emotional issue.

In August, Associated Baptist Press did two pieces on pastoral leadership succession that merit your reading. I have posted the links below:
http://www.abpnews.com/2709.article
http://www.abpnews.com/2710.article

21 comments:

Dr Randi Fass said...

Thanks, Charlie, for these two articles. As we've discussed, I'm having a hard time in the search for a church home since we've moved back to SA. I must say I was initially surprised that you urged me to return to Trinity, but really, it was like you to lift up that body to the blessings of God. So I am thinking about it. I sense a level of healing in your life, and Jana's, and I hope it is a healing that TBC will also experience. No doubt we all loved Buckner, and still do, but I was stunned and dismayed by the situation that followed his retiring. These articles helped me with that. When we finally meet Jesus, I think we'll all be saddened by all the silliness and self-indulgence we rolled about in here on earth... Thank God that will be followed by Glory!

Martin sends his best as well,
R

Pr. Tom Robison said...

I will be interested in your comments in weeks to come on interim ministry. I resigned from my congregation in your last place of regular residence, San Antonio, and will begin an interim ministry in January. It may be that I share with you, but much more recently, the need for some healing and perspective on what I've recently experienced in a near 10 year ministry, and the desire to contribute to the transition of a congregation from 27 years of ministry under one pastor as I begin work with them on December 1. I'll be attending the Lutheran version of Interim Ministry training at the end of this month at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota. Looking forward to seeing more on the blog re interim ministry. Tom Robison

Anonymous said...

Charlie, I know that you're a busy man, but I REALLY wish you'd write more. I am so interested to hear your thoughts on current events, or different theological issues, or stories from your own past.

Please, its a shame to waste such a talent.

Anonymous said...

yes, please write more often!

Anonymous said...

Did you see the article in the San Antonio Express News about Trinity and life after Buckner/Charlie? For a change it was pretty accurate. I think the time has come, though, to get this church back on track. We should be out inthe community, making a difference for the Kingdom.

Kansas Bob said...

A lot of the problem is that many Christian leaders become idol-like celebrities and hordes of deceived people worship at their pulpits.

It is an issue of religious seduction.

Anonymous said...

See Charlie, you really do need to write more! Your words are powerful and you really reach the peoples SOULS!

Anonymous said...

I concur with others who have asked. Please do write more. I check frequently and am disappointed when I find nothing new.

Anonymous said...

agreed...get back to the keyboard!

Anonymous said...

let me join the cacophony of voices that praise your writing and insights. Your postings are missed!

And so are you. best you and Janna.

Wayne

Caroline said...

Hi Charlie,
I'm not sure how often you check postings or if this one will even appear as recent (november '07)..I am happy to report to you that Craig and I were finally married. You baptized him at Trinity, and that was another beautiful day for us. We miss you and hope you and your whole family are well. We hope you can come back to San Antonio sometime soon. Caroline Dobson Chavez

barb michelen said...

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Anonymous said...

Dear Charlie,

Love your words of light and grace but we need something new ~ WRITE!

dirk vz said...

Charlie: Great links. The error at TBC, and many churches, seemed to be Nicolaitanism. Nikao - to conquer, and Laos - the people; i.e. to "conquer the congregation" in a religious, 'hyper-ecclesial' sense.

When we allow this to happen--for example, elavating "priests" or "bishops" or (dare I say it) "pastors" to a position of authority to the point where blind spots develop as to their own need for humility and daily supplication, then we end up with a church not unlike the RCC wherein actual "grace" is presumed to be routinely dispensed by the priest.

That is abhorent, and Protestants are not immune.

There is no mediator between God and man except Jesus Christ.

Nicolaitanism rears its head both in Catholicism where it has been institutionalized, and also in broad swaths of Protestantism. We need to be vigilant whenever and wherever it appears, and both prayerfully and boldly confront it for the sin that it is. Left unrestrained, churches wither, die, or perhaps most sardonically in the eyes of the enemy, continue to exist in a lifeless state...i.e. Sardis.

Keep up the good work, Charlie. Stay on your knees.

Dirk

Anonymous said...

Nice Post.

Anonymous said...

I miss you Pastor Charlie. I am doing well. Write soon. Arthur Trevino-Dillon

Anonymous said...

Pastor Charlie,

Your sermons were hands above Buckner's. I miss you even today. I still remember you saying it took you 1 hour of study for 1 minute of sermon, and it showed in your wonderful sermons. Thank you again for visiting Mom when I asked and giving me your cell phone number, telling me to call you anytime I might need it. She is still doing pretty good, and will probably outlast us all.

May God bless you, Pastor Charlie, for all that you did at TBC.

Anonymous said...

The articles about pastors transitioning are good and they open eyes to possible problems in ministry. I think more writing about these problems from people like Charles will help unstand and fix these problems.

Anonymous said...

Charlie
transition is difficult.
Loyalties and emotionalism play hard taskmasters with newly appointed leaders.
would like to hear more on this subject

Anonymous said...

Charlie,
I have enjoyed getting to know this year and I especially have enjoyed reading your posts here! Yours is a compelling story that I will cherish as I learn and prepare for my ministry.

peace

Anonymous said...

You are so loved and admired ~ truly Gods gift!