Helping associates enjoy a Great Start


     Every ministerial transition, no matter how smooth, requires time and effort to sort out differences in gifts, talents and personal preferences. Connectional Ministries is working to make these often awkward transitions go as smoothly as possible.
    The bottom line: Don’t settle for an ordinary transition. There are steps you can take to enjoy a Great Start.
     On June 6, Connectional Ministries is hosting a forum at Dunwoody UMC: Great Start for Associate Pastors. The event, which runs from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., is geared to help first-time associates, associates who are receiving new senior pastors and associates who are becoming senior pastors.
     “Great Start is primarily designed to help guideconversations between persons new to one another,” said Mike Selleck, Director of Connectional Ministries. “The guiding comes from persons who are well equipped in process and who have given thought to how new working relationships can be maximized. At the end of the day, not only do participants have a more thorough understanding of each person’s gifts and graces but, hopefully, a better handle on how to integrate those talents for meaningful and effective ministry.” 
     Because no two pastors are alike and no two churches are alike, Selleck believes it is critical to get all parties sharing with each other and discussing relevant issues. Believing that “everything will eventually work itself out” sometimes requires a generous definition of the word “eventually.”
    “That is not a realistic approach,” Selleck said.  “People are complicated and react to events in such different ways that it is always better to set aside some time, early on, to listen and learn.”
        Great Start for Associate Pastors is split into three tracks:
·        The discussion for associates receiving new senior pastors will be facilitated by Barbara Hatchell and David Melton.
·        The session for associates who are becoming senior pastors will be led by Yvette Massey and Phil Schroeder.
·        The forum for first-time associates will be facilitated by Laurie Moeller and Mike Selleck.
Lunch will be served at noon and at 1 p.m., and there will be a panel discussion with senior pastors. There is a $5 donation for lunch.
To register: go to