Starting Well Workshop

How to Get Off to a Great Start


You’ve been handed the keys, shown where the light switches are, and told where you can find a plunger. What happens next?

We provide guidance and resources to the essential components of effective transition, including coaching, leadership development, feedback, plus meeting practices and communication tools.


  • Learn the most critical concerns of the parish. Which concerns require your involvement now and which can wait?
  • Discern how to communicate your highest priorities and learn those of the parish
  • Schedule and conduct essential meetings to gradually transition into the work and world of the parish without draining you
  • Spark job performance, alignment, and shared goals with staff, leaders and parishioners
  • Set and communicate clear expectations of others
  • Learn what tensions and conflicts are present, which need to be addressed, and how to address them


  • Develop high levels of trust with staff, parish leaders, and parishioners
  • Prepare a variety of ways to humbly introduce yourself—your gifts, your interests, your needs, your faith story, and your humanity
  • Learn vision and priorities of previous pastor, assess and judge appropriate aspects of continuity, understand areas of challenge and difficulty
  • Recognize and understand sacred cows in the parish—and if necessary, how to herd them
  • Implement liturgical, worship, and ministerial changes different from “the way Father used to do it.”

Personal & Spiritual

  • Establish strong relationships and boundaries with parochial vicar, deacons, staff, parish leaders, and parishioners
  • Manage your time, commitments, and self care in alignment with your capacity, personal needs, and interests
  • Gain clarity about the challenges and opportunities for growth as a priest and pastor
  • Understand your new parish’s neighborhood, community and sphere of influence
  • Plan ways you need and desire to grow in your leadership and faith to move you closer to being a healthier, holier, and happier pastor

Gateways teaches lessons learned…

… from pastors, staffs, and leaders who have experienced engaged and growth-filled pastoral transitions, including do’s and don’ts of pastors in transitions.


Pastors, invite parishioners to share their views about pastoral transitions. We share survey results in our workshops.

Copy and paste this link to share our Survey: