Mikey Lynch blogged this great interview of Dever talking to Phillip Jensen about long pastorates. This is very timely as these are the exact issues I have been trying to raise on this blog recently.
PJ says it’s horses for courses, but also says that NCLS data shows the denominations with the longest pastorates are the ones with the greatest steady growth, and the ones with the shortest pastorates have more decline. To sustain a long ministry you need to be a person who is growing and developing as a leader. He also talks about his own 28 year pastorate at St Matthias. He generally advises avoiding the 7 year itch.
He talks about the typical growth, plateau, decline phases. He says of the third stage that the parish needs to be ‘reinvented’, so to speak, rather than hark back to the old growth phase. He also talks about the need to do more than just teach, also to implement the changes that should come as a result of teaching.