- Spell out the steps from former pastor leaving to new pastor beginning using a roadmap graphic for print/handouts—see a sample roadmap below.
- Develop an interactive roadmap for digital applications such as the church website and social media.
If you're game to give interim ministry a try but wonder how to break into the field, try these ideas on for size:
Maintain an active online resume on LinkedIn or other social sites. Include recommendations from each of your references and list relevant ministry experience, strengths, and interests.
Job shadow an interim pastor. There's much to be learned from an experienced mentor who is actively working with a church in transition. Don't know an interim pastor? Sign up for a complimentary Coaching session with an Interim By Design / IBD mentor. We are delighted to talk with you.
Write a thoughtful job description outlining the desired leadership traits you are looking for: pastoral care, teaching gifts, conflict management and resolution skills, etc. Be prepared to articulate these traits clearly in the interview and explain why each is necessary.
Record online conversations and interviews—always ask for the candidate’s consent before doing this. When talking to many people, it's easy to forget details, take incomplete notes, or come away with differing opinions, so a recording provides a way to go back and replay the conversation later. It is also a helpful resource to share with others who did not participate in the original call.
Of all the advice I’ve gotten about transitional ministry, the words of a Presbyterian Exec still makes me smile: If you don’t make somebody MAD, you’re not doing your job! Maybe she was trying to impress on me that it was more important to help a church clean up log jams to provide an open stream for their next pastor than it was for them to like me.
How do you approach the preaching task during a season of anxiety?
Betsey: I try to be as honest as possible with myself about what I feel anxious about and what I hear others are anxious about and not be afraid to give voice to it. When I read and study a text, I think, "Where does the rubber hit the road here? If I were in a pew, what thoughts would I have going through my mind as I came to church and then as I heard this scripture passage read?"
What the people at Lord of Life are finding is that in unsettled times, when the future is largely unknown, it’s hard to figure out how to be the Body of Christ. They can all pretend that they’re going along with business as usual, but underneath the surface, there is grief and anxiety right alongside hope and anticipation.
Models for interim pastor-led ministry often include a transition facilitation team tasked with specific objectives such as tracking progress on interim tasks, coordinating communication with congregation, serving as sounding board for the interim pastor, and unifying various decision making bodies in the church.
Prior to the interview come to agreement on the type of experience, education, style of leadership, and other key factors you are looking for in candidates. Spelling this out on a rating sheet ahead of time.
Begin the interview by making introductions and opening with prayer.
Questions to consider when conducting an initial interview: