Bob Shantz served on the transition team at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ont, after the church's lead pastor left to take another position. "Sometimes I think, when a pastor resigns or is replaced, the church simply searches for-and replaces that individual-with someone who has the same skills and qualifications as the original person," he says of the experience. "The congregation continues on the same path as in the past. Stirling formed a transition team and gave [us] the mandate to review all aspects of church life, including structures, programs and staffing, and to make recommendations on any changes to be made. This gave Stirling members the opportunity to review what we liked about what we were doing, what concerns we had, and what we wanted to change."Lou Murray Gorvett, Stirling Avenue's current council chair, concurs. "I vastly underestimated the degree of anxiety various sectors of the congregation would feel about the transitions taking place," she says. "It is crucial that the interim pastor have a non-anxious 'stabilizing' presence."There are dangers to interim ministry, according to [Gerald Good], especially if a congregation sees it as "an end-all, a cure-all." There are "deep-seated systems in congregations" that require skilled intervention and the will of the congregation to change, he says. To counter these dangers, transitional ministers are encouraged to form transitional teams or listening committees of lay people, to help hear what is going on in the congregation. Using tools like "appreciative inquiry," they then help the congregation to hear the good that God has been doing and wants to do in the congregation.