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In Laity

By Mitch

Passing the Baton

On 19, May 2017 | In Laity, News, Reminder | By Mitch

Appointment season in the United Methodist Church comes around every year at this time. This June many churches will say good-bye to their current pastor as they greet a new pastor. Change, expected or not, can be stressful for congregations. But, “passing the baton,” pastor to pastor, is part of our Methodist heritage.

Here’s the good news: Change can also become an opportunity for mission focus, reevaluation of church values and growth. A change of pastor is a chance for new eyes to envision otherwise unseen possibilities. As laity, we pray for a smooth transition and that God will embolden us to support and minister alongside our pastors.

Prayer goes a long way toward calming the turmoil of change, enabling acceptance of what is new, and opening our eyes to see what God is doing in our midst.

  • Pray that congregations receive pastors sent to new charges in the spirit in which they are sent.
  • Pray that PPR committees provide the support and leadership that pastors and congregations need for continuity during a time of change.
  • Pray that congregations partner with new pastors and encourage them to minister as John Wesley taught: “Act in all things, not according to your own will, but as a son in the Gospel.”
  • Pray that we laity follow suit alongside our pastors. 

If a new pastor is sent to your church, please read this excellent resource provided by the Missouri Conference:

Pay attention to social media. See “Digital Transitions When Pastors Change” at:

Look at this resource from for 50 ways to welcome your new pastor:

We are an itinerant church. Wesley’s vision of itinerant ministry encourages a system of sending and sending again. But remember that as these changes occur, the mission of the church stands fast – the mission is unchanging even as leadership changes. Pray for each UMC congregation that the Holy Spirit guides and directs vital change in the local church, new pastor or not. Read more…

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In Laity

By Mitch


On 06, Nov 2016 | In Laity | By Mitch


Mark Twain said, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.” Twain had a sarcastic side with a twist on the truth.

So, where do you get your information? Specifically, where do you get your information about church life? Are you uninformed, misinformed or overwhelmed? What do you read?

First, we read the scriptures. No other source can provide the benefits and blessings of God’s word. But, most Christians I know also have favorite authors and websites that keep them abreast of the latest church ideas and trends. Below are a few of my favorite web resources.


Ministry Matters ( is a good resource with free content. If you want access to premium material a paid subscription is required. With a free account you can create bins to hold your favorite articles and subscribe to various weekly feeds.


The Lewis Center for Church Leadership ( is another place to mine information about church leadership, ministry and reaching out to different demographics. Check out their “50 Ways” suggestions under the Resources tab.


To keep up with current events in the United Methodist Church, go to and click on the News & Media tab.


To stay connected to all the latest happenings in the Missouri Conference, check out the Stay Connected page here: You can subscribe to Net News, Mission Cast, Justice Ministries or Shared Prayers and other subscriptions from the Missouri Conference.

If you tweet, follow the Missouri Conference on Twitter,


Finally, one of my favorites is I Am Second ( The site offers several innovative videos on many hot button topics. The short videos are good for sermons, small group topics or just to start a conversation.

What is your favorite resource?

Blessings, Mitch


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