Great Starts designed to help pastors make successful transition


        There are obvious benefits in making a good first impression, getting off on the right foot.
       Competitors know the hazards of suffering a poor start or false start. The same might be said of pastors who are moving to a new appointment.
       Certainly, years of study, training and academic rigor go into the making of a pastor, from understanding doctrine and theology to digging into church history and scripture.
       “But there are many important areas where pastors don’t receive formal training,” said Mike Selleck, Director of Connectional Ministries. “We know that if a pastor gets off to a rough start in a new church, it can hinder the entire ministry. We want to keep that from happening. ”
        In 2005, Connectional Ministries launched Great Starts, a single training workshop designed to help pastors who are taking new appointments. The first symposium was for pastors and administrative assistants.   
       This year, Connectional Ministries is offering five sessions covering an array of practical topics.
       “We know that some pastors, who have no training in management, are sometimes given a staff of four to 10 people to lead,” said Selleck. “They are not equipped to run staff meetings or manage folks. It is our goal to get people together and facilitate conversations and get to learn about how each one operates.”
      Selleck says that Great Starts is not simply a matter of teaching the “right way or wrong way” to manage a church, but to address differences in style or preferences that might cause conflict.
     “You might get a pastor moving to a church who has 20 years' experience handling finances in a particular way,” Selleck said. “But the person working at the church might have 40 years experience doing it another way. It is not a matter of who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. We bring people together to get to know each other, discuss ideas, ask questions and negotiate how they will operate together.”
  Great Starts for 2012
All sessions will be held at the United Methodist Center at Simpsonwood. Registration for each event is $20 per person and includes lunch. Specific details will be sent to all registered participants.
•        Date: July 10
•        Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
•        Facilitators: Jackie Powers and Phil Schroeder
•        Date: July 11
•        Time:  9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
•        Facilitators: Jonathan Holston, John Moeller, Mike Selleck and more.
•        Date: Aug. 2
•        Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
•        Facilitators: Keith Cox, Karen Fullerton, and Mike Selleck
•        Date: Aug. 23
•        Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
•        Facilitators: Susan Gary Ashe and Adam Roberts
•        Date: Sept 27
•        Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
•        Facilitators: Dee Shelnutt and Beth Shugart
 To register: Go to