Pastoral transitions can be fraught with pitfalls, yet there is advice that can help ministers and congregations avoid those dangers. Lawrence Farris, a veteran of three departures himself, gives ten wise, thoughtful commandments for shepherds leaving their flock. Far from heavy-handed dictums, these "commandments" are more gospel than law, laying out helpful strategies in such areas as recognizing when to depart, patching broken relationships, and enabling the next pastor to make a clean start. While many may dream of a comfortable, long-term pastorate, today's transient congregational realities make it clear that the wisdom in this book is needed by pastors in churches big and small, liberal, moderate, and conservative. Perfect for pastors soon to depart and for those happy to stay put for now, "Ten Commandments for Pastors Leaving a Congregation" provides guidance for both pastors and parishioners facing this hopeful and challenging transition.
Lawrence W Farris who has served three pastorates in Maryland and Michigan, teaches comparative religion at Glen Oaks Community College in Michigan, USA. His books on church issues include Inside the Small Church and Ten Commandments for Pastors New to a Congregation, published by Eerdmans.