Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Passing the Baton seminars prepare laity and clergy for leadership changes


The Oklahoma Conference is hosting Passing the Baton seminars for the fifth year in a row. The seminars are designed to help both clergy and laity prepare for changes in pastoral leadership. There will be three webinars held in May: one for clergy, one for laity, and one for either. All three webinars will be led by Jim Ozier, pastoral coach and consultant. 

“Passing the Baton is an opportunity for both clergy and laity to prepare for a time of transition in their church,” said Rev. Chris Tiger, director of Congregational Development and Conference Resources. “For clergy there are some helpful things you can do for your successor to provide a smooth transition, and Passing the Baton offers useful strategies for making a good start in your new appointment.”

The first webinar will be held May 6 from 7-8:30 p.m. for laity. The second webinar will be held May 11 from 2-3:30 p.m. for clergy. The third webinar will be held May 27 from 7-8:30 p.m. and will be open to both laity and clergy. 

“The webinars address the needs of both individuals and churches affected by a change in pastoral or district leadership by clearly detailing actions and steps that lead to a great ‘Passing of the Baton’ to a new leader,” Ozier said. 

Ozier said most clergy and laity identify how to conduct the "listening tour” for the new pastor the most important thing they learned. He teaches that a pastoral transition is one of the best growth opportunities a church can have. 

“All of our churches can learn new ways to reach new people for Jesus Christ; that's what the church is all about,” Ozier said. “For a relatively compressed, critical time period, the church is empowered to create new energy, clear focus, and intentional practices that can result in growth.”

Registration is required, and the cost is free. Register online at https://okumc-reg.brtapp.com/PassingBatonWebinars2021


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