As our ministry grows, we are contacted by more and more churches across the United States, and even in other parts of the world, looking for an interim pastor help them through their time of transition. It’s important that we have an adequate number of interim pastors upon which we can call, so that when a church needs an interim pastor, we have someone available. That’s why we’re always looking to add qualified interim pastors to our team.
So, what makes a qualified interim pastor?
Probably most importantly, an individual must feel called to the ministry of interim pastoring—not just looking for a job. If you have not felt God call you specifically to interim pastor ministry, it may not be for you. And that’s OK. There are plenty of churches out there looking for permanent pastors to add to their staffs. Serving as an interim pastor takes a special heart and skill set, and not every pastor is suited for this specific type of ministry.
Some of the specific skills and gifts an interim pastor must possess to be effective include strong leadership abilities, self-awareness, teachability, and the ability to effect change in churches.
A good interim pastor also has a history, usually a lengthy history, of working in churches. He should have experience dealing with conflict within a church and leading churches through difficult times. As an interim pastor, it is often necessary to say or do things that are unpopular in order to bring about needed change, such as calling churches to corporate repentance or asking them to lay down their idols. This may make the interim pastor himself unpopular with some people, and he needs to be okay with that.
At VitalChurch, our pastors are intentional interim pastors, meaning they recognize that their role in a church is always temporary. An interim pastor must be prepared to leave when the time comes. While there have been many instances in which churches have wanted one of our interim pastors to stay on as their permanent pastor, this isn’t something we offer. We make it very clear upfront that our pastors are there to do a specific job and are not to be considered as a permanent solution.
An interim pastor that works with VitalChurch must also be committed to following our pathway of church revitalization. We have developed a biblically based process that our interim pastors take churches through that has proven to be very effective. We offer training in this process, and we require that all interim pastors hired by VitalChurch go through it.
If you have read through this entire blog post and still think you would like to pursue the possibility of becoming an interim pastor with VitalChurch Ministry, we invite you to take a look at our Careers page, where we outline a few more qualifications that are necessary for our interim pastors. Then, you can contact us to get a conversation started. We look forward to hearing from you!