Pastors In Transition

Many blessings on your church and your community as you enter a time of pastoral transition. Below are some links, resources, and information to assist pastors, leadership teams, and Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committees as you journey through this season of simultaneously saying “goodbye” and “hello” to your pastors.


The Arkansas Conference has created downloadable tools to assist in clergy transitions.

Critical Questions During a Transition (PDF)
This question bank is designed for transition conversation meetings between the incoming and outgoing pastors, along with key lay leaders, such as the S/PPRC Chair. Additional discussion questions have been added to help pastors transition to a new church during COVID-19.

Checklist for Pastors in Transition (PDF)
This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and not every church will have every item available, but this list will help you begin to gather the information that will help the new pastor during the transition. Additional items have been added for the unique circumstances of COVID-19.

Annual Timeline for S/PPRCs (PDF)
This timeline shares expectations for the appointment/assessment cycle and suggests topics of discussion for a full year of monthly S/PPRC meetings.

ARUMC Pastoral Transition Covenant (PDF)
This covenant was approved by the 2014 clergy session of the annual conference and shares expectations that clergy should have of one another during an appointment transition.

Pastor’s Moving Expense Form (PDF)
This form provides for the reimbursement of moving expenses for pastors either within, moving into, or moving out of the boundaries of the Arkansas Conference.


Parsonage Damage Report and Checklist (PDF)
This document may be used by the SPRC and Trustee Chairs as part of a inspections during a pastoral transition.

Parsonage Guidelines During a Pastoral Transition (PDF)
Actions to be completed during the pastoral transition with responsibilities shared between the church and the clergy family.  Special care should be taken by the church for cleaning between pastors during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Parsonage Standards (PDF)
These standards have been approved by the Arkansas Conference.

Clergy Couples Housing Policy (PDF)
This policy has been adopted by the Arkansas Conference.


An Order For The Celebration of An Appointment
This order was designed to be used within a service of worship by a congregation whose pastor has been newly appointed by the bishop. The leader could be the chairperson of the Pastor–Parish Relations Committee or another designated leader in the congregation. This worship resource, found in the United Methodist Book of Worship (1992), is provided online and in editable Microsoft Word format by Discipleship Ministries.

An Order of Farewell to a Pastor Or Deacon
This order may be used within a service of worship on the last Sunday before a pastor or deacon moves to another congregation or retires, or it may take place at a special service. This worship resource, found in the United Methodist Book of Worship (1992), is provided online and in editable Microsoft Word format by Discipleship Ministries.

To the Point: Suggestions for Churches with a Clergywoman
Clergywomen graduates of Lewis Fellows, a Lewis Center leadership development program for young clergy, provided the content for this resource.