Many struggling churches are lead by a pastor that is in the twilight of his career. Stepping down to allow a younger pastor to take the helm, reigniting the congregation and taking steps to grow the church once it is in severe decline is not always an option.
Often pastors of struggling churches have worked their entire life in the pastorate and simply find themselves in a place where they don’t know what to do to make the church thrive. They don’t have a marketable skill outside of pastoring and find it difficult to get another job in ministry in this particular season. So they continue to pastor the church as members leave and upcoming generations refuse to attend.
Often there is a better role for the senior pastor that is not on the pulpit. In a church merger, it is best to find a role for the pastor on staff that best suits their passion and their gifting. It is a win for the church and a win for the pastor and his family. Many of these pastors have been faithful ministers and deserve to finish their career possibly making the biggest difference they have ever made for the Kingdom of God.
In many of our mergers, we have seen senior pastors thrive when moved into less stress filled positions more suited to where they are in life- missions, local outreach, operations, and administration. A church merger does not mean that the old pastor and staff are released from service. If God has called them into service, then it is our duty to honor God’s call on their lives and encourage them to fulfill their calling where they are best suited to serve his people.