When a church finds itself in a time of transition or crisis, without a senior pastor, employing an intentional interim pastor is often the best solution for the health of the church. The intentional interim pastors at VitalChurch function not as consultants, but as pastors, with each bringing his own pastoral gifts and strengths to bear on the intentional interim process. Our pastors are not looking to maintain the status quo, but to act as gospel-centered agents of change for churches facing difficult circumstances.
Ultimately, the intentional interim pastors at VitalChurch are seeking to discover where God is leading the church, and then work with the church to graciously guide the congregation and leadership there. The process often includes leadership training, gospel-centered preaching, governance upgrades, and the establishment of (or a renewed commitment to) the mission and vision of the church. This may include work in the following areas:
- Conflict Resolution
- Strategic Planning
- Ministry Team Building
- Spiritual Formation Training
- Church Staff Assessment
- Leadership Development
Operational and Governmental Assessment and Upgrading
A church and a business are not the same. VitalChurch’s intentional interim pastors treat the church as a body—a living organism indwelt by the Holy Spirit—where people’s lives come before the financial or organizational bottom line. A church must be willing to address anything that hinders the health of the body in order to become a vital and vibrant place, ready to call a new pastor.
FAQs About Intentional Interim Pastors
Q: How long do VitalChurch’s intentional interim pastors serve in a church?
A: The timeframe is based on the specific needs of the church, but typically our interim pastors serve at churches for 12-24 months.
Q: Will the intentional interim pastor change our church’s doctrinal statement, denomination, or congregational distinctives?
A: An intentional interim pastor carries out the agreed upon goals of the congregation they serve. So for example, if a congregation feels that it is important to reconsider its doctrinal statement, the intentional interim pastor will facilitate that reconsideration. The intentional interim pastor will facilitate the development of a doctrinal statement that lines up with the theology of the church they are serving. In other words, the intentional interim pastor will not come in to a church and insert his own doctrinal statement.
Q: Do VitalChurch’s interim pastors help facilitate the search for a permanent senior pastor?
A: Yes. We come alongside your pastoral search team or elder board to help find a senior pastor that will fit the needs of your church. We also work to prepare your church as a whole to be a healthy and safe place for your next pastor.
Q: Do you provide intentional interim pastors for denominational churches?
A: Yes. In our more than 20 years in interim pastoral ministry, we have worked with churches of many different denominations. During our intentional interim pastor’s time at your church, he will maintain communication with denominational or associational leadership to keep a level of organizational accountability intact.
Q: Can we hire someone from your team as an interim pastor without going through the diagnostic analysis?
A: Our experience has taught us that the diagnostic analysis is a necessary step in the process of true church revitalization, and therefore we do not forego this step.
Q: Does intentional interim pastoring have scriptural support?
A: The term intentional interim pastor is never used in the Old or New Testaments, but the idea of a Christian leader coming into a situation to effect God’s change is well documented. For example, the book of Nehemiah in its entirety is the story of how Nehemiah intervenes for change in the life of post-exilic Israel. The book of Titus is the story of how Paul sends Titus to Crete to intervene and problem-solve in the churches on the island.
Q: What will it take for our church to actually change?