Leaving Well Workshop

One of the greatest gifts you can give the parish you are leaving is to leave well.

We will help you wrap up your pastoral work in a way that is satisfying to you and appreciated by your parish and its new pastor.

It’s not what people remember about you that’s important.
It’s what they remember about Christ about you.

How you leave—your personal readiness as well as your staff’s and parish’s transition—is largely in your hands. Unplanned or planned poorly, your departure can deepen the challenges and pain of separation and leave wounds. Planned well, your departure can be focused, relaxed, productive, free of unnecessary stressors and even joyful!

Your years of pastoral service and ministry effectiveness can be lost and forgotten when you don’t transition well.

  • What are your concerns, questions, hopes, and goals as you prepare to leave your parish?
  • Do you know the biggest concerns, needs, and questions your staff and parish have about your departure?
  • How do you administratively and emotionally leave the parish community which has been a formative part of your priesthood and ministry?
  • How do you create your transition plan, communicate it to others, and faithfully follow it?

Gateways offers a planned, prayerful, guided process to help a pastor, staff, church leaders and parishioners prepare for the pastor’s effective transition leaving and for the new pastor’s transition starting.


You and your parish can count on the following benefits:


  • Wrap up administratively–provide the most important, helpful, and relevant, information and records
  • Learn the reactions, needs, concerns, and feelings of staff, leaders, and the parish and respond to them
  • Plan and hold essential transition discussions without adding more unnecessary meetings
  • Address areas for improvement, conflict, and needs that should not be handed off to successor and communicate those that will be inherited
  • Discern what work needs handing off to others, finishing up yourself, or simply letting go
  • Determine the support, reminders, and encouragement you, staff, and leaders need during transition time?
  • Implement an advisory team to provide oversight, support, walk with you during your transition


  • Clarify expectations around future ministerial roles, personal interactions, sacramental requests, relationships, and boundaries
  • Evaluate your pastoral legacy, humbly, objectively and accurately
  • Promote continuity for the new pastor’s successful transition
  • Identify valuable lessons from your pastoral service
  • Communicate appropriately and effectively your pastoral wisdom to the incoming pastor in a parish community-engaged manner
  • Bring closure to any ongoing pastoral counseling relationships
  • Identify the activities and rituals your wish to be part of to say goodbye
  • Prepare your parting remarks, including your regard, desires, and prayer for the church you are leaving

Personal & Spiritual

  • Manage your time to meet your needs for rest, renewal, and your personal interests
  • Address your feelings, negotiate emotional baggage, and make sense of the pastoral situation you are leaving
  • Stay connected with your spiritual disciplines, involving those you need and desire to journey with you
  • Pay attention to God’s role and grace while continuing your effectiveness leading and serving your Eucharistic community
  • Living the Paschal Mystery—dying, rising, and going—with a community of faith
  • Focus on the successful transition for all