I arrived at Christ Church on July 1, 1997. Here is my photo. I was clearly a child. I followed Rev. Bill Cooper. In the weeks after the big announcement, Bill made it his mission to prepare the church for the transition. He spoke of how excited he was that I was coming and that he believed I was God’s choice for the congregation. He told them I had a big engine and encouraged them to “hang on the the ride.” He not only prepared them for me, he prepared me for them! He sent me weekly bulletins, newsletters and recordings of the services. The rest has been history.
As many churches prepare for July 1 shifts, outgoing pastors who help with the transition are blessings to the conference, congregation, the incoming pastor and to their own legacies. There is simply no down side! I will forever be grateful to Bill Cooper!
Smooth hand-offs keep the mission of the church moving forward and can give the new pastor an appreciated “running start!”
Prayers for all pastors and congregations in transition! Be strong and of good courage!
-Rev. Shane L. Bishop has been the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois since 1997.