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Transition Team

Transition Team Report

The Transition Team Report provides an overview of the work of the Trinity Transition Team. The report includes a synopsis of the extensive feedback the team received from our congregation, as well as survey results, all of which inform the lead pastor call process. The report includes the team's recommendations regarding mission, organization, structure, and more.


September 2015

The purpose of this charter is to create a transition team to assist our congregation to review mission, ministry, and structure as we prepare to call a new senior pastor.  The team will consist of three work groups of 4 to 5 members each to focus on various aspects of Trinity’s mission and structure.  The results of this work will  assist the call process and provide information about Trinity to potential candidates in the senior pastor call process, as well as to assist the congregation in making decisions regarding  Trinity’s structure and direction.  In addition, as part of the transition team process:

  • The council will appoint a Transition Team leader who will:
    •  coordinate and facilitate the work and progress of the three work groups. 
    • serve on the senior pastor call committee to provide continuity and insight regarding the findings of the Transition Team.
  • Work group chairs and members will be appointed by the congregational council and will meet regularly with the Transition Team leader to ensure work is coordinated and not duplicative.  It is expected that work groups generally will meet on a weekly basis.
  • Each work group will evaluate information and make recommendations that will be incorporated into a single transition team report to be made to the congregational council  and the congregation.
    • Recommendations may include changes or decisions that should be made immediately and those that need further consideration or should be made after a new senior pastor is called.
  • Each work group will be responsible for working with the Transition Team leader to ensure effective communication with the congregation and orderly planning for obtaining input from the congregation, such as through surveys or questionnaires.  The work groups will review recent Trinity surveys, including the Faith and Family and Opening Doors surveys conducted in 2014 and the Holy Cow! Congregational assessment survey in 2015 to avoid repetition in additional survey work done.
  • The Transition Team, including all work group members, will be commissioned at a worship service, and once its work is completed, will be formally thanked and decommissioned at a worship service.
  • The Transition Team is expected to complete its work in four to six months, balancing the congregation’s interest in moving forward with the senior pastor call process with a need for effective and thorough consideration of the issues before them.  Issues unresolved in the Transition Team process will be identified in the Transition Team report and the council will determine next steps for their resolution.


  1. Mission and Vision. 

The Mission and Vision Work Group will engage the congregation in reviewing Trinity’s current vision and mission to determine whether changes are needed for the next five to seven years or to make a recommitment to the current mission and vision.  The work group will consider:

  • The Biblical basis for mission
  • Who we are as a congregation and where/what/how God is calling us to be and do going forward
  • How technology, demographic, and cultural shifts and other changes will/should shape our future ministry and mission
  • How hospitality is incorporated in our practices as a worship community
  • How Trinity might work with other congregations or organizations to further ministry and vision and how we are church together
  • What it means to be a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and make recommendations about how we can more effectively discuss our differences and find common ground to live out our mission and vision. 
  1. Staffing and Leadership Needs.

The Staffing and Leadership Needs Work Group will identify ministry priorities for staffing;  the senior/lead pastor’s responsibility, authority, and accountability regarding staffing levels, alignment with ministry, mission, and budget’ staff reporting responsibilities, along with council and congregational roles for oversight; staffing levels needed to fulfill Trinity’s mission and vision; and whether staff position descriptions accurately describe the responsibility, authority and accountability of each position.  The work group will explore how the congregation can better engage, develop and use volunteers in our ministry and mission work.  This will involve meeting with staff and congregational committee/board/team leaders to assess current and future needs of staff interaction and staff/volunteer leadership development, as well as reviewing the staffing of comparable congregations.  The work group also will review how the roles of lead pastors and senior pastors differ and make a recommendation regarding which role is most appropriate for Trinity.

  1. Organizational Structure.

The Organizational Structure Work Group will assess existing reporting and accountability structures, review the results of the HolyCow! Congregational Assessment Tool and identify additional follow-up to be done in response to those results, and review whether the existing committee and board structure of governance meets Trinity’s needs.  The work group will research council size and structure used by congregations comparable to Trinity, and make recommendations about changes that will support the needs of the congregation and a new senior pastor.