Today, we conclude this series by taking you through the final steps in moving the pastor.

We said last time that what triggers a pastoral move most often (though not always) is a pastoral move by another pastor through a pastor retiring, taking a call to another conference, etc.. This creates a vacancy that has to be filled.

Once there is a vacancy, there are only 2 ways to fill that vacancy:

Internally, meaning that we take a pastor that is already on our staff and move him/her to the church that is open, or,
Externally, meaning that we “extend a call,” in the language of the denomination, to a pastor who is in someone else’s conference.

My personal preferred method of filling vacancies is internally. I believe that the pastors that the Lord has given to this conference can do anything that we need to have done. If we filled every vacancy we have by bringing other pastors in from other conferences, we would be sending the wrong message to the pastors that we already have.

Of course, the down side to moving a pastor we already have is creating another vacancy, which has to be filled. If you move another pastor to fill that vacancy, that creates another vacancy, and so on. We called that earlier, “The Domino Effect.” I have seen as many as 20 pastors get moved at one time. As you might imagine, that can get very expensive, especially when we budget $12,000 per move (occasionally, a move can cost even more, sometimes, it can cost less),plus duplicate housing.

Externally filled vacancies, on the other hand, while, if they are done too often, send the wrong message to the pastors that we have, can be a blessing (if they are not done too often) by:

Allowing us to supplement the gifted […]