5 Ways To Introduce Your New Pastor To Your Church & Community
You’ve gotten through the potentially stressful Pastor search process, found a candidate who is a great fit, extended an offer, and successfully hired a new Senior Pastor. Congratulations! All of your work is over, right?
Well, not quite. Once the offer is accepted, part of “landing the plane” is introducing your new Lead Pastor to your church staff, congregation, and community. This is an exciting time for both your new Pastor and your church body, and it’s also a pretty important one. How a Senior Pastor – and the entire family – is introduced and welcomed to your church sets the tone for their time there.
Here are 5 tips for how to introduce your new Senior Pastor to your church team, congregation, and the surrounding community.
1. Assign a point person.
It’s easy for any introduction events to be overlooked if there isn’t someone specifically responsible for making sure they happen. Be sure to appoint one person to oversee all of the introduction activities. One of the most obvious choices for this person is your Pastor Search Committee Chairperson or the person on your church staff in charge of communications and/or events.
2. Get the big announcement out there!
Ideally, you have communicated well with the church staff and the congregation throughout the Pastor search process. The introduction announcement is your final piece of communication. If, throughout the process, your primary means of communicating has been through church-wide email, then your first step is to email the church body to announce to them that the new leader has been hired. If your primary means of communication has been through announcements, slides, or a church bulletin, then use those.
If you haven’t already done so during the final interview process, include pictures and information about the new Pastor and his family so that your congregation can begin to get to know him. Where are they from? Where did they go to school? How long have they been married? What ages are the children? Where has the Pastor served previously? What are some of their hobbies? Also include why the new Senior Pastor is excited to become their new leader.
One great way to do this, if you have the capacity, is to create an introduction video with your new leader and their family. That way your Pastor can introduce themselves and their family and say in their own words why they are looking forward to joining your church team. Have fun with this!
3. Hold a commissioning or welcoming service.
Some churches have a commissioning service or special welcoming service to announce their new Lead Pastor. It’s a time to praise God for who’s he’s brought to your church, prayerfully seek his direction for the next season of ministry, and hear your new leader preach their first sermon as your Senior Pastor.
Note: Throughout the introduction process, it’s vitally important that the spouse and family also feel very welcome. Taking a new job, moving, and switching churches and schools can take quite an emotional toll on a family, and they may not feel all of the “welcoming” that your new Pastor feels in his limelight. Go out of your way to make the spouse and children feel very included, cared for, and welcome.
4. Host a special staff dinner or two. Or ten.
Though your new Senior Pastor will be leading an entire church body, they will be leading and interacting with the church staff more directly. Make sure you host an event – or several – that gives your new Pastor the change to get to know their new team. This can be done in large and/or small group settings.
It might be a good idea to ask your new leader for their input on how they would prefer to get to know everyone. For example, when Tim Stevens joined the Vanderbloemen Search Group team, he took the entire team out to lunch – two staff members at a time – over the course of a couple months. Tim intentionally got to know us all in smaller group settings over meals. Make sure you facilitate this kind of on-boarding with your new Pastor.
5. Get social!
Once the new Senior Pastor has been introduced to the church staff and congregation, it’s time to get the word out to your community. Announce your new Pastor on your website, on all of your social media accounts (if you don’t have a facebook and/or twitter page yet, it’s time), in a press release to your local newspaper, and/or in an interview on your local faith-based radio station. Again, be sure to include visual elements like pictures and videos as much as possible. Getting the word out there may even attract more visitors to your church.
One final note: As you plan special dinners, services, receptions, videos, etc. for your new leader and their family, be sure to inform all involved of the plans, and schedule everything ahead of time so that the family can prepare accordingly.
What others ways can you introduce your new Lead Pastor to your church staff, congregation, and community?
If you liked this, then you’ll also like 5 Steps To Successfully On-Boarding Your Church Staff.