Welcome to the third installment in a three part series on Interim Ministry. In this series, we will look at interim ministry addressing the following questions:

  1. Part 1: Interim Ministry – what is it?
  2. Part 2: Interim Ministry – when is it needed?
  3. Part 3: Interim Ministry – what type of interim ministry is needed?

Part 3: Interim Ministry – What type of Interim Ministry is Needed?

While there are various roles in the church (in addition to lead/senior pastor) that can utilize an interim pastor in a season of transition, there are only two types of interim pastors, the traditional or standard interim pastor and an intentional interim pastor. 

Part of the framework for any interim pastor includes three priorities:

  1. Healing
  2. Transition
  3. Preparing for New Pastor

For the intentional interim, there are other aspects to the framework of their ministry in addition to these items.

Traditional/Standard Interim Pastor

Most churches need and utilize a traditional or standard interim pastor. These interim pastors are focused on helping the church heal, transition and prepare for a new pastor while mostly maintaining the status quo. They are a chaplain in many ways, a pastor who serves to fill the gap and be a placeholder in a season of transition. The traditional or standard interim pastor helps to ensure, along with the leadership of the church, that the key functions of the church continue in the season of transition.

You should utilize a traditional/standard interim pastor when:

  1. When you sense that the congregation is in need of healing.
  2. When the congregation needs help preparing for and welcoming a new pastor.
  3. When your previous pastor served 10 years or more.
  4. When your denomination/association requests or requires it.

Intentional Interim Pastor

An intentional interim has special training and experience to deal with difficult seasons of transition in churches. Intentional interim pastors address the normal issues of a traditional/standard interim as well as a host of other issues. They are most often need in cases of significant conflict or crisis, misconduct or betrayal, or when a church is unhealthy.

You should utilize a intentional interim pastor when:

  1. When there has been significant conflict, betrayal, or misconduct.
  2. When a pastor dies.
  3. When there is high pastoral turnover.
  4. When there has been a long pastorate (recommended at 10+ years, essential at 15+ years).
  5. When the church is unhealthy, stalled, or wants to leverage the transition for greater health.
  6. When your denomination/association requests or requires it.

Rev. Dr. Marcus J. Carlson, Executive Director

Categories: Leadership


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