Welcome to the first in a three part series on Interim Ministry. In this series we will look at interim ministry addressing the following questions:
- Part 1: Interim Ministry – what is it?
- Part 2: Interim Ministry – when is it needed?
- Part 3: Interim Ministry – what type of interim ministry is needed?
Part 1: Interim Ministry – What is it?
Interim ministry is ministry of a temporary pastor that occurs between one permanent pastor leaving the selection of and start of a new permanent pastor in a church setting. Not every church utilizes an interim pastor in between permanent lead or senior pastors. Some utilize fill in (or supply pastors), other pastors/staff or lay leaders.
The word interim can be translated to mean ‘meanwhile.’ The search for a new pastor can be long and arduous, and most churches cannot maintain their current ministry without pastoral leadership. Transitioning from one pastor to another can be very difficult depending on the circumstances. Interim ministry usually lasts 6-12 months but can last as little as 2-3 months or up to 2 years!
The interim pastor provides much of the normal leadership of the former pastor depending on the circumstances and needs of the church. This importance of the season of transition between permanent pastors is dramatically underestimated in most churches.
So, how do you know if you need an interim pastor? Find out in part 2 of our series, interim ministry – when is it needed?
Rev. Dr. Marcus J. Carlson, Executive Director