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.

2023 Appointment Transition Information (PDF)
These policies are provided by the Cabinet to assist in the maintenance of consistent, uniform and fair expectations for all the churches and clergy of the Arkansas Conference who are experiencing a move this year.

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.

GCFA-recommended Moving Service that offers discounts for UMC clergy (PDF)
Interested clergy will need to fill out the form and email to the address listed or call the number provided and mention they are with the UMC. Please note: the question asking if this move will be billed to GCFA should be answered “no” because local church moves are the financial responsibility of the clergyperson.


Equipping Modules for PRCs When Receiving a New Pastor

Right Start for SPRC, Part 1

Right Start for SPRC, Part 2

Right Start for SPRC, Part 3

Download the slides for the SPRC Right Start Modules 


Equipping Modules for Pastors When Receiving a New Appointment

Equipping for Right Start, Part 1

Equipping for Right Start, Part 2

Pastor Module (PDF)


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.

Parsonage Standards (PDF)
These standards have been approved 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.

50 Ways to Welcome Your New Pastor
This Lewis Center document was created by Arkanss’s own Rev. Dr. Bob Crossman to help SPRCs and Congregations welcome their new pastor.

Suggestions for Churches with a Clergywoman
This Lewis Center document was created to assist SPRCs and congregations welcome a new clergywoman.