Specialized Interim Ministry

Do more than just wait for (or rush to) the next pastor…

No church enjoys being without a pastor. Whether your last pastor was great, poor or in between, churches naturally want to get a pastor fast. Often this can be a mistake. Here are some thoughts to consider.

No replacements: Your last pastor was a one-of-a-kind and whom no one can ever replace.

What happened? If your last pastor did not serve well, it’s important to stop and ask, “Why did we choose a pastor like that?” Otherwise you are liable to repeat the mistake or make new ones by swinging in the opposite direction.

God’s pastor for Today: Many things have changed in your church and community since you last sought a pastor. People grow up, grow old, move on. You have new neighbors, new challenges. Even if you could get someone just like your last great pastor, would it be the right person for Today?

God’s mission for Today: These changes may mean not only the need for a different kind of pastor, but may even mean the church needs to refocus its ministry to bring the love of Jesus to a new group of people or in a new way.

Getting ready: Sometimes after a pastor leaves disagreements, sorrows and even conflicts which went unnoticed surface. Other times these pains and problems have been a part of the last pastor’s time. Now is the time to deal with these, before they can undermine your next pastor’s ministry.

A Specialized Interim Minister [SIM] can provide you with many benefits during this time between pastors:

  • An experienced pastor to lead, preach and care for your congregation and its members.
  • A consultant trained to discern small issues that may undermine future ministry and help resolve more painful conflicts which may be apparent.
  • A guide to help you discern God’s will for your next chapter of ministry and the sort of pastor who could best help you guide you into that future.

In a sense, you SIM will serve double-duty for you: being a pastor and, on top of that, assisting you in renewal and vision-casting in ways an average pastor is not trained.

There are several situations where calling in a SIM may be vital to the future of your congregation’s ministry:

  • Conflict between members or with the former pastor
  • Abuse by a former pastor or leader, or that directly or indirectly affected many congregation members
  • Tragedy such as the death of a pastor, the aftermath of natural disaster or other major life-shaking events that leave their mark into the time between pastors.

  • Critical Decline in the attendance or membership, whether rapidly or slowly.
  • Sweeping change in the ethnic, economic or social make-up of the neighborhood or community

Costs: The same as any pastor serving your church
Contract length: 6 month contract renewed up to 2 years under average circumstances, renewed up to 3-5 years in the case of abuse or severe conflict. (Sample Contract)

For more information see: