the free methodist church in canada

Church Health


Church Transitions Handbook (Word)

There have always been pastors and churches in transition, regardless of which appointment system was in operation at the time.  Once a local church is in transition, a board-approved Pastoral Leadership Task Force (PLTF) develops a church profile and pastor’s job description and works in consultation with the Director of Leadership Development and Church Health to hire a pastor who is a good fit for the local church and the denomination.  After receiving resumes, conducting interviews and selecting a pastor, the PLTF chairperson sends a request to the Bishop for that pastor to be appointed by the conference, and in turn the Bishop presents that recommendation to the Ministerial Education Guidance and Placement (MEGaP) committee for approval, after which the selected pastor is appointed.

At some point in the pastor’s ministry career, he or she will find themselves in transition, whether it is between pastoral appointments at local churches, going into transition without a new pastoral position or transitioning to retirement.  The Transitions Handbook for Pastors is designed to be a helpful resource during the process.

Churches in Transition - Profiles Available

  • Madoc Wesleyan and Free Methodist Church, 137 Elgin Street, Madoc, ON K0K 2K0 (full-time position) (deadline to apply is January 31)
  • Polson Park Free Methodist Church, 139 Robert Wallace Drive, Kingston, ON K7M 1Y3 (full-time position) (deadline to apply is January 31)
  • St. Joseph Island Free Methodist Church, 1589 Hilton Road, Hilton Beach, ON P0R 1G0 (full-time position) (deadline to apply is February 7)
  • New Hope Free Methodist Church, 17 Queen Street, Bracebridge, ON P1L 1H2 (part-time position) (deadline to apply is February 14)
  • Hillside Free Methodist Church, 753 McNabb Street, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 6W3 (full-time position) (deadline to apply is February 21) 
  • New Horizons Community Church, 383 Russell Street N., Sarnia, ON N7T 6S8 (full-time position) (deadline to apply is February 21)

(Contact Davika Dotson in the Leadership Development Office to request a copy of the church profile and lead pastor job description)

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

How to discern whether it is time to leave your current pastoral appointment.

[Note:  Just because you ask the question does not mean you will leave your current appointment.]  

download PDF file       download WORD file

When It’s Time to Leave, by Gordon MacDonald

Transition Handbook for Pastors

 download PDF      download WORD file 

Other resources for Pastors in Transition:

Fact Sheet for Pastors in Transition (FMCiC)

The Right Start:  Beginning Ministry In A New Setting (Saint Paul School of Theology / Wesley Theological Seminary)

Ten Commandments for Pastors, by Lawrence Farris

How To Leave a Pastorate, by Fred McGehee

Leaving Well (If You’re Going to Go, Go!) by Israel  Galindo

Letting Go:  Setting Boundaries In Retirement and Former Parishes, by L. Ronald Brushwhyler

Managing Transitions by Rev. Cam Taylor 

Transition Handbook for Churches

Your local church is declared “in transition” and a Pastoral Leadership Task Force (PLTF) has been appointed by the Board.  The PLTF will have the responsibility of working with the Director of Church Health along with the Ministerial Education Guidance and Placement (MEGaP) committee of the conference in a search for the person who will give lead pastoral leadership to the next stage of your local church’s development.  This is an important responsibility and involves many hours of dedicated committee work, prayer, communication and interviewing.  At the end of the process, the PLTF will recommend a person for the Bishop to introduce to the MEGaP committee.  The Transitions Handbook for Churches is designed to help in the process.


Contact Davika Dotson

Administrative Assistant

Leadership Development Office

905-848-2600 ext 205
Fax: 905-848-2603