Cionca, Before You Move


John R. Cionca, Before You Move: A Guide to Making Transitions in Ministry. Kregel Publications, 2004.

Referenced in: Ministry Transitions and Interim Ministry Summary

This is a valuable treatment of the subject based on interviews with hundreds of ministers and ten years of counseling ministers. It begins by addressing the myth of the greener grass, then the relationship between sovereign direction and personal choice. From there, Cionca helps the minister assess whether to leave or stay at one’s present ministry, with separate chapters on congregational signals, personal signals, and pastor/people signals. He follows the same format for assessing an invitation to move, with separate chapters on each of the three signals. Final chapters present best practices on pastoral assessment and the candidating process. Cionca provides helpful checklists and worksheets. Highly recommended.

From the Publisher

The average senior pastor serves a church for five years. Most youth pastors move every two years. Why do pastors and other ministry professionals change positions so frequently, when experts agree that longer tenures enhance ministry effectiveness? Are there objective criteria that can be applied to transition decisions, or must you simply rely on your sense that “my ministry here is complete”?

In this valuable guidebook, John Cionca provides practical wisdom, evaluative checklists, and specific worksheets to bring some objectivity to your assessment of making a change in ministry. Based on surveys and interviews, along with ten years of experience counseling leaders in transition, Cionca’s advice will prove invaluable in helping you decide if now is the time for a move.

If you are being led to a ministry transition, Cionca provides helpful advice and planning suggestions that will make your move go as smoothly as possible. Before you move, you must read this book.

About the Author

John R. Cionca is the executive director of Ministry Transitions, Inc. He also holds the position of professor of ministry leadership at Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Cionca has served in full-time capacities as a youth pastor, minister of education and senior pastor. He has written four books, coauthored three books, and served as contributor and editor for two other books. He has ministered in many churches as an interim pastor and transitions coach. John is also a ministry spouse; his wife, Barbara, serves as a children’s pastor in the Twin Cities.

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