A New Beginning…

Tonight, my family spends its last night in Ohio.  Tomorrow morning, we load up our moving truck and head to our new ministry in a small town outside of Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Rachel and I are very excited about what lies ahead and we are anxious to get to know our new church family.

As I have begun to think through the details of stepping into a new church ministry as a senior pastor, I realize that there are many expectations concerning what a pastor needs to do in his first days.  Some of the expectations come from others, some come from the pastor himself.  Some of the expectations are legitimate, others are not. 

Even the best books on ministry disagree with each other on what a pastor should do in his first days.  Some say that a pastor should do little or nothing in the area of making changes in the first year of ministry.  Others say that the best time to make changes are in the first days when people are expecting change (because of a change in leadership) and when the pastor is still in the “honeymoon” stage.

What are your thoughts?  Have you ever gone through a pastoral change in your church?  What would/did you expect from your new pastor?  Have you had any positive or negative experiences that you could share?

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10 Responses to A New Beginning…

  1. I am blessed, for wherever I go.. I go as an Anglican presbyter, myself a classic Anglican, so I have, as any real Anglican congregation, the Book of Common Prayer. (But I will and have preached where there is an open door, anywhere!)

    In Holy Week..”Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the Cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace. Through the same they Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Anglican Collect)

    I have found (and I am older than you no doubt) that as St. Paul said, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2: 2) And this was after Mars Hill, (Acts 17: 16 -31). Preach Christ and Him Crucified. Here is the power of the Gospel!

    God Blessings as you go!

    Fr. Robert

  2. jim says:

    I think as far as changes go, all you can do is 1, do is be yourself, and remember/remind that changes are not a bad thing they are just a different way of doing ministry, as long as there is a reason to make a change and a direction/purpose for the change than go ahead and make it. there will allways be detractors, i.e. those who either want things changes vs those who like things the way they are. so for me the question that we should never stop asking is how can we improve in our walk with Jesus, or how can we improve our ministry. we should never sit back and say Finally we have arrived this is the only way!

  3. Tim Farley says:


    I am not Anglican, but I do have a copy of the Book of Common Prayer in my library and have used it for personal study in the past. I have even considered using it for a year in my church. Perhaps down the road I will revisit that thought.

    By the way, my Easter Sunday sermon is on the “folly” of the cross from 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (not far from the thoughts of 1 Cor. 2:2).

  4. Tim Farley says:


    I appreciate your thoughts. I agree that pastors have to remember to be themselves and always do the right thing, even if it means there may be some conflict to deal with. I also agree that we can never sit back and think everything is as good as it can be.

  5. Bruce McLain says:

    We were praying for you on Easter Sunday. Hope you had a good day of ministry.

  6. Tim Farley says:


    Thank you for your prayers. Our Easter service was wonderful. It was a great day to begin our new ministry! I hope you and the people at PGBC had a great Easter as well.

  7. Sue says:

    I say you just pray for God’s leading as you lead His church, and you will be blessed.

  8. Sue says:

    oh… I don’t mean “just” pray. Really pray. : )

  9. layrenewal says:

    Baby steps. I advocate the “drip method.” Just like a good cup of coffee is made with individual steady drips of water, a good church (people not the building) is “made” as people turn their hearts to God each day. Keep pointing them to Jesus and encouraging their walks.
    And – when the first stone gets thrown – do NOT duck. Catch it and set it gently down. It’ll solidify your foundation as a pastor.

  10. Tim Farley says:


    Good to hear from you again. It has been a while, so I am glad to see that you are still reading. Thanks for your thoughts about the “drip method”. I am realizing that much of the change that is already happening here is coming in small, steady drips (as you call them). Most people are probably not even aware yet of any change, but over time, it will become more apparent.

    I am also realizing that many of the small things that are being changed impact many different areas of the ministry. So, as we continue to be slow and steady, we will get to the point where we are aiming.

    By the way, I am very interested in the Spiritual Growth surveys that you produce and hope to discuss with our elders in the near future how we can use them in our ministry.

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