Tool Kit for

  • Staff-Parish Relations Committees

  • Pastor-Parish Relation Committees

2012bookofdisciplineThe Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee is the administrative unit in a local church where staff and congregational interests come together to focus on the mission of the church. Every congregation must have a S/PPRC to build relationships among members of the congregation and the staff that are most effective for accomplishing the mission and purpose of the church. Historically, the church is most effective when leaders who are growing in faith come together for a common purpose. During times of church growth and revival, spiritual leaders—both lay and clergy—have served together as servants of God.

The S/PPRC has both leadership and management functions in the congregation. Leadership is the role of “keeping an eye on the big picture.” Even in the midst of meetings or crises, the S/PPRC members must never forget they are part of the body of Christ, and they must always be aware of the mission of God’s Church. Management is the role of tending to daily activities so that details are taken care of and strategies are implemented. In other organizations, management functions may be taken care of by a personnel office or Human Resources department. There are some legal and risk management issues for which the S/PPRC has responsibility. The S/PPRC operates under God’s leadership to bring together staff and congregational interests, which includes dealing with both the celebrations and disappointments inherent in any human family and church. (UMC Guidelines, Cokesbury)


SPRC Resources for Evaluation and Assessment

Types of Evaluation (Lewis Center PDF)

Giving and Receiving Feedback  (Lewis Center PDF)

SPRC Leadership Resources

ARUMC Annual Timeline for S/PPRCs (2 Page PDF)

What to include in a Policy Manual for Lay Congregational Staff (Discipleship Ministries)

Church Conflict: A Checklist for Transformation (Discipleship Ministries)

ShareChurch Human Resource Documents (Free  from ShareChurch by UM Church of the Resurrection)




Visit the Pastoral Transition Page

Transition Packet

Resources gathered from the Center for Vitality:

Bishop’s Mission Plan

ARUMC Annual Timeline for S/PPRCs (2 Page PDF)

This timeline shares expectations for the appointment/assessment cycle and suggested topics of discussion for a full year of monthly S/PPRC meetings.

ARUMC Pastoral Transition Covenant (1 Page PDF)

This covenant was approved by the 2014 clergy session of the annual conference and shares expectations that clergy should have of one another during an appointment transition

Checklist for Pastors in Transition & Outline of “Baton Passing” Transition Meeting (4 page PDF)

The checklist should be included in the transition packet that the outgoing pastor gives to the incoming pastor. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but will help you begin to gather the basics that will help the new pastor during the transition.  The included questions on the second two pages are designed for a “passing the baton” handoff meeting between the incoming and outgoing pastor. They may be in writing, or included as part of the handoff meeting and church/parsonage tour. If needed, the SPRC Chair and Lay leader may need to be included in this or a similar meeting.  This list and the recommended questions are adapted and expanded upon by Dr. Blake Bradford from the excellent resource found in the appendix of Your Best Move: Effective Leadership Transition for the Local Church by Robert Kaylor, Asbury Seedbed Publishing.

Resources from the Cabinet:

2016 Parsonage Change Reminders

2016 Parsonage Damage Report

Bishop’s Mission Plan and Next Steps 

I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form (If not already on file for the pastor)


Staffing Resources

These books may prove helpful for understanding the role of the S/PPRC and staffing congregations.


Guidelines Pastor-Parish Relations: Connect the Pastor, Staff, and Congregation by Discipleship Ministries (GBOD)

The Pastor Parish Relations Committee (PPRC), also known as Staff Parish Committee, serves a key role in establishing the focus of the pastor, staff, and congregation’s ministry. By advocating for the pastor and staff and helping to interpret their roles and ministries, the PPRC supports and nurtures the whole congregation. This Guieline is designed to help implement and guide the work of the ministry area.

This is one of the twenty-six Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation 2017-2020 that cover church leadership areas including Church Council and Small Membership Church; the administrative areas of Finance and Trustees; and ministry areas focused on nurture, outreach, and witness including Worship, Evangelism, Stewardship, Christian Education, age-level ministries, Communications, and more.

Also available in ebook and downloadable formats.


When Moses Meets Aaron: Staffing and Supervision in Large Congregations by Gil Rendle and Susan Beaumont

With the number of large congregations rising in the U.S., these congregations are increasingly dependent upon a greater number of staff to meet the needs of their diverse collection of members. As leaders of multi-staff teams, senior clergy must play the dual role of both Moses and Aaron–both visionary and detail-oriented leader–in order for their large congregations to thrive. They need to be skilled with the tools of human resource management, while at the same time setting a vision and inspiring both staff and congregation. Unfortunately, until now there have been few resources for senior clergy who lead multi-staff teams. Working without adequate models and tools, senior clergy of large congregations often find themselves with passionate, dedicated staff members who are moving in different directions, competing over limited resources and attention. They end up with questions of how to evaluate the performance of staff and direct their efforts. They find themselves using time, attention, and resources to care for staff rather than using staff as a resource to care for the mission of the congregation. Longtime Alban senior consultant Gil Rendle and Alban senior consultant Susan Beaumont have developed When Moses Meets Aaron to help clergy responsible for several-member staff teams navigate these unknown waters. They have taken the best of human resource practices and immersed them in a congregational context, providing a comprehensive manual for supervising, motivating, and coordinating staff teams. Rendle and Beaumont give both detailed and big picture guidance on hiring, job descriptions, supervision, performance evaluation, staff-team design, difficult staff behavior, and more. Their combined experience in consulting and training with staff and leaders of large congregations proves invaluable in this manual for today’s leadership demands.



Additional Ministry Transition Resources

The Lewis Center for Church Leadership, located at the Wesley Theological Seminary campus, provides a plethora of tools for clergy and congregations experiencing a change in clergy leadership.

Lists & Easily Shared Resources:

50 Ways to Improve Pastoral Transitions PDF

50 Ways to Welcome a New Pastor PDF

Suggestions for Churches with a Young Pastor PDF

Suggestions for Churches with a Single Pastor PDF

Suggestions for Churches with a Clergywoman PDF    See Also It’s Biblical: Women in Ministry by Dr. Michael Roberts  (ARUMC created document)

Lewis Center Articles:


Digital Transitions When Pastors Change

In our modern digital world, pastors and congregations have more things than ever to consider when facing a pastoral transition. Will Rice explains how with a little planning, websites, emails, data storage, and other digital platforms can be maintained with integrity through the change of clergy leadership.  This material is adapted from “A Guide to Comings and Goings in a Digital Age” issued by the Rio Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church


Four Key Challenges in Pastoral Transitions

What challenges are most commonly faced when pastors move from one ministry setting to the next? Lovett H. Weems, Jr., says four key challenges are dealing with family and emotional issues, paving the way for one’s successor, understanding the culture of the new ministry context, and saying goodbye in a way that provides closure.


Eleven Questions for Getting to Know a New Congregation

Robert A. Harris believes that one of the most important gifts a new pastor can give to the congregation in the first year and beyond is to be clear about not knowing. Be open and curious. Lead with questions. Learn as much as you can.


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