One of the most significant opportunities for enhancing the health of a church comes during a time of transition. Some of the transitions that take place in churches are planned, others are unexpected. Regardless, how a congregation travels into, through and out of a transition is often a key predictor for a healthy future.

garden viewCHC has extensive experience in helping churches and ministers manage transitions in a healthy fashion. A sample of the types of transitions we have helped congregations and ministers manage include:

  • Retirement
  • Resignation and transition to a new job
  • Forced exit of clergy
  • Staff downsizing
  • Staff rightsizing
  • Staff expansion
  • Congregation growth and enlargement
  • Congregation shrinkage and implications
  • Graduation from Divinity School
  • Entry into new position


As an example, one congregation called upon us to work with them when their pastor of 20+ years decided to retire. Working closely with the pastor and a leadership team from the congregation, we navigated a series of key events over several months. These included:

  • Planning the pastor’s departure/retirement
  • Navigating healthy closure events
  • Exploration of interim options
  • Coaching the leadership team through a congregational choice and implementation of an interim option
  • Serving as congregational coach during a self-study process
  • Exploration of healthy methods for choosing a search committee
  • Serving as coach for the pastor search committee through search process
  • Providing guidance and coaching to navigate the call, arrival, installation of new pastor
  • Providing coaching for first year of new pastor’s tenure

Transitions Testimonials

Bert Browning, Midlothian, Virginia

After thirty-seven years in pastoral ministry and in anticipation of retirement from an eighteen-year pastorate at Huguenot Road Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia, I contacted Bill Wilson for counsel and direction in how to manage the upcoming transition for both myself and for the congregation. Bill is a trusted colleague and friend of many years, and I knew he would serve as a vital resource at this critical juncture for the church. Beginning over a year prior to my retirement, Bill provided professional and personal support – first to me, then to the ministerial staff, and later to the lay leadership and finally to the entire congregation. I could not be more pleased with how his wisdom, knowledge and even-handed involvement with the church at every level have resulted in a positive and productive transition time for the congregation. Bill’s unique gifts in the areas of consultation and coaching, combined with his personal warmth and pastoral sensitivity, have been an answer to prayer for all involved at Huguenot Road.

Darrell Thompson, Chair, Pastor Search Committee of FBC Tallahassee FL

The First Baptist Church of Tallahassee, Florida had not gone through a pastor search process for almost twenty years, and the only thing more valuable during our search process than the leadership of Dr. Bill Wilson was the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Your expertise, advice, written materials, knowledge, prayer and experience were invaluable to me and the Pastor Search Committee.  Your knowledge and training combined with your background as a pastor provides you with unique insight into the pastor search process and other church related issues.  Your training, examples, emails, phone calls, facilitation of meetings and services, input, guidance, and genuine concern gave our committee and church the confidence and ability to move ahead efficiently and effectively with our search process.  I strongly endorse the services of Dr. Wilson and his team to any church in need of their services!  Thank you and may God richly bless your new organization.

Ann Millard, Transition Team, Chair, First Baptist Church Wilmington, NC

When our beloved pastor of 25 years decided to retire, we engage the leadership of Bill Wilson to guide us through our transition process and our search for a new pastor.  We viewed ourselves as a “healthy” church; however’ time and again, with Bill’s expertise, he kept us from making unhealthy decisions.  He was always available to guide us whenever we needed his advice.  His leadership at our 5 Congregational Conversations made them fun and inviting for the participants while enabling the Transition Team to collect valuable data for our church profile.  When our search team finally recommended a candidate for our new pastor, we all knew that this was the person that God intended for First Baptist Church.