What does an Interim Minister do?
A question I’m asked frequently is, “What does an Interim Minister do?” Great question! Sometimes I wonder about that, too. This is my sixth intentional interim ministry and I am still trying to come up with a good answer. The reason is that each congregation is unique and the need changes from church to church. The best answer I can give to the question is that an Interim Minister is a “Temporary Shepherd.” This is the image Roger Nicholson used in writing the foundational text on interim ministry, and it is a fitting description of the work we do.
The Interim Minister is temporary in that we go into a church with the agreement that we are only going to be there for a limited time. During that time the Interim Minister “shepherds” the congregation through the emotional and spiritual process of preparing for the coming of a new pastor and the future God has for them. This “interim” time, or “in-between” time is important in the life of the church. It is a time to reflect on the past while looking forward to the future. It is a time of waiting on God, and at the same time gearing up to receive new leadership. It’s a time of great anticipation, but also a time of high anxiety. And, as we all know it’s in these times that we need someone to help us who has some experience with these things. That is what an interim minister does.
One of the advantages of having gone through this process numerous times is that it has given me the privilege of watching as God brings new vision understanding to congregations they need as they enter into a new future. I know that God will do the same here at Lake Ozark Christian church and I look forward to making this journey with you.
My only caution here is to not rush through it, but instead, cherish this time as a gift from God. Open your heart and let God do a new work in you and in the life of the church. Let’s make this a time of spiritual renewal and a reawakening of our commitment to Christ and his church.