Specialized Interim Minister
Second Reformed Church of Rotterdam, NY
- I did not seek to renew this contract after 12 months. I came to see that I did not have the
tools I needed to adequately prepare this congregation to find and adopt changes needed
to avoid closure in the coming years.
- Visited all the members of the congregation in the first 6 months letting people
discuss their perspectives on the past 20 years of the ministry and grieve the past.
- Developed in the congregation a true sense of the financial difficulties they faced
(many were in denial) and the urgency for developing a more effective ministry
- Encouraged the Consistory to consider whether it would be wiser to call a full-time
pastor in an effort to renew the congregation (risking running out of funds) or
seek either a part-time pastor or pulpit supply to stretch out the funds while they
seek to renew the congregations ministry. The Consistory ultimately (after I left)
chose to seek a part-time minister and at this writing is expanding the funds in
their endowment with the savings.
- Walked the congregation through 3 Town Hall Meetings, disclosing the realities of
the previous 50 years of ministry, discovering the real ministry heart of the congregation
and developing with them a mission concept (a belonging church), and sought to measure the churchs commitment to that concept. In the end,
the congregation showed a desire to focus on present care-taking ministries
(through efforts such as the annual rummage sales).
- Discovered and revealed loss of a $100 bill from the offering
plate and sought unsuccessfully to uncover the cause, leading to a
more consistent following of proper counting procedures where two people were present
at each counting.
- Realized that much of the congregation lacked a commitment to any vision and
expected to passively wait for growth to appear or be created by an incoming pastor,
and so I held a 4th Town Hall Meeting to address the issues of adopting the vision and
testing the ability for the congregation to actively embrace friendship-evangelism
- Worked with my wife to create a workshop series on “Befriending and
equip members/attendees to draw outsiders into their lives (friendship evangelism) and
into the congregation. We co-taught this course beginning in October.
- Came to realize my need for additional training to deal with emotionally fused
congregations unable to change.