Interim ministry leaders and pastors are sometimes referred to as ‘transitional ministers.’ Typically we serve in churches, nonprofit organizations, and academia. While serving as an Interim leader, the goals guiding my work in congregations and organizations include:
- Endeavor on a daily basis to do the tasks and ministry necessary to insure the success of the next installed pastor/organizational leader.
- Maintain the viability of the congregation by finding out everything possible about them from peers: such as the Presbytery, neighboring pastors/congregations, community leaders, etc.
- Resolve feelings of grief: identifying issues that must be resolved during the interim period, and discerning which ones should wait for the next leader to address.
- Reinforce the ministry of the laity: getting to know the congregation, especially the boards and committees focusing on history, service, worship, power structures, and other vital needs.
- Craft a roadmap*: communicating where we are at each step in the process of calling a new pastor/leader.
- Clarify the mission of the church/organization: conduct a mission study suitable for use by the nominating committee, new leadership, and other entities.
- Identify and resolve special needs in the staff and other constituents.
- Nurture an abundance of fellowship among the congregation and their friends.
- Seek reconciliation in strained relationships.
- Guide the work of governing bodies to form, train, and expedite the work of the nominating committee to seek the next pastor/leader, and
- Say good-bye.