The River Conference of the Free Methodist Church

Checklist for Senior Pastors Leaving a Pastorate



  • Copy of the current mission statement along with Vision, Goals, and Strategics in place.
  • The official membership book in which all entries and addresses arc up-to-date in each category.
  • A complete list of all officers, leaders, membership of boards and/or committees, teachers, lay ministers and Local Ministerial Candidates of the church with terms of office where applicable.
  • Sample of the Sunday bulletin and weekly/monthly emails or mailers.
  • Church Calendar
  • Copy of minutes of meetings of all major boards and committees covering the past six months.
  • A list of all special events already scheduled.
  • Sample packet of materials being used in advertising, visitation, evangelism, disciple making, small group ministry, etc.
  • Copy of the current budget and the most recent audit (if available).


  • EIN Document
  • 501(c)3 Documentation
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • By-Laws
  • Certificate of Insurance
  • List of persons responsible for all buildings and grounds and related operations.
  • Tips on the physical aspects of both the church and parsonage or the person you need to contact for this information. (For example, the location offuse boxes, hard-to-find switches).
  • (If applicable) Explain how parsonage utilities function: Arc deposits necessary? ls sewer cost included in the water bill? Time and cost of garbage pickup, etc.
  • Location oflabclcd keys to doors, closets, PA system, instruments, church vehicles, etc.
  • Record of where all deeds, insurance policies, incorporation papers and other documents arc kept.
  • Record of contractual agrccmcnts,job descriptions, evaluations and salary scale for all employed staff persons.


  • Recommendation of best places to shop and the location of a reliable auto repair garage.
  • Information on how the pastor’s salary is paid.
  • Referrals to competent health care professionals, i.e. doctor, dentist, and optometrist.
  • Explain any variations from the Conference Guidelines for vacation and/or time-away.


  • A list of individuals being followed up on for outreach or pastoral care.
  • Church directory or list of all families noting their occupation, place of employment, and names and ages of children.
  • Church family contact/outreach lists with appropriate notations.


  • List of community agencies ( counseling, food pantry, etc) with whom the church maintains a relationship; especially those to which referrals arc made.
  • List of area ministers with whom the pastor works, along with time and place of ministerial association mecti ngs and any comm unity and/or joint services.