The Northern Light V13 Issue 4: Pastoral Transitions

Pastoral appointments in the Seventh-day Adventist Church are different than some other denominations. Pastors are transferable; we are not installed for life. Pastors are appointed by the Conference to new congregations and churches, and districts and congregations receive new pastors. These transitions invoke different emotions in congregations when pastoral families say goodbye to the groups they have served. But transitions are meant to create opportunities for each party to start again. The Lord says, “Look! I’m doing a new thing; . . . don’t you recognize it?” Isaiah 43:19

It is our hope in Minnesota, as we look at God’s new thing, that we can recognize what He is doing in our midst. The Conference leadership endeavors to make every pastoral transition as smooth as possible. We look at the overall needs of the Conference and attempt to make sure that churches are prepared for their newly appointed pastor so they can support him or her to begin well. This means a lot of praying and prayer for all involved. 

When the Conference Board approves the transition, we ask the church to support the pastoral appointment and recognize that there is a period of time before the good seed begins to sprout into new life. The first several months in a new pastorate will often determine the trajectory of one’s ministry in the church or the district. Conference leadership tries very hard to help churches find healthy closure and create a positive new beginning. We encourage celebrating both the outgoing and incoming pastors and their ministries. 

Below is a list of recent transitional timelines in our Conference. We have tried, where possible, to create a distinct delineation between outgoing and incoming pastors.

  • Pastor Adam Breiner will begin serving the Cambridge Church on Nov. 1, in addition to the Andover Church. This creates the Andover District.
  • The Hinckley Church is being added to Duluth District beginning Nov. 8. The district will consist of Christ Our Righteousness (Moose Lake), Duluth, Grand Marais, and Hinckley congregations. The district is currently looking for a new pastor.
  • On Nov. 8, Daniel Hauck will begin serving as pastor of the reorganized Stillwater District.  The Stillwater District (which previously consisted of Hinckley, Pathways and Stillwater churches) is reorganized to include St. Paul Eastside Hmong Church and the Hmong Plant along with Stillwater.
  • Jared Little will continue in the Westview District consisting of Maple Plain, The Way, and Westview churches.  Westview District will bid farewell to Daniel Hauk and the Hmong Plant on Nov. 7. 
  • The Edge District remains a two-church district. With Cambridge moving into the Andover District, The Edge Christian Worship Center will gain Pathways Church. This district is still working through transitional details.

At this writing:

  • The Iron Range District is not being reconfigured and does not yet have a pastor.
  • The St. Cloud District is not being reconfigured and does not yet have a pastor.
  • The Minnetonka Church needs an associate pastor for youth ministry. 

We ask each church, congregation and district to engage in the most important component of ministry – prayer. Let us join together in prayer, seeking God’s will and God’s wisdom moving forward in this new thing the Lord is doing. God knows our needs, and the Lord will guide each member and their new pastors in effective, responsible ministry. Please welcome, support and encourage your new pastor, because,  “ . . . Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. . . .” Hebrews 13:17

By Brian Mungandi, VP for Administration