When a church finds itself in a time of transition or crisis, it can often be difficult to know where to turn. These types of situations often occur when a lead pastor suddenly leaves, is asked to leave, passes away, or becomes too ill to continue in his position. Sometimes, there is a staff or church member who can step up and lead the church, or if it’s a denominational church, they can ask the denomination for help, but for most independent, non-denominational Sacramento churches, having a vacancy in the lead pastor position is a real challenge.
VitalChurch Ministry is an organization that was established to help churches navigate seasons of transition or crisis. We step in to provide hope and healing for struggling churches. We use a biblically based three-phase approach that includes a church health assessment, an interim pastor period, and follow-up coaching. Our process isn’t a quick fix, but it is an effective approach that has helped many churches through challenging times.
Our Approach as Sacramento Interim Pastors
There are some great church consultants out there, and while some of what we do at VitalChurch could be considered church consulting, we do much more than that.
Our process of church revitalization starts with a comprehensive church health assessment, which we call our diagnostic analysis. We conduct a church-wide survey, and can also do face-to-face interviews with church leadership, staff, and key volunteers to get a complete picture of the current state of your church. It’s often the case in churches in some type of transition or crisis that there are underlying issues contributing the more obvious challenges a church is facing. A complete diagnostic analysis can reveal these things so you can begin to address them.
For Sacramento churches without a lead pastor, the next phase in the process is to bring in an experienced interim pastor. An interim pastor from VitalChurch does more than just preach on Sundays. He is not just a “temporary” pastor to fill a role while a church searches for a new lead pastor. He will provide leadership and is also equipped to address any issues that were uncovered in the diagnostic analysis. Whether the issue is a lack of clarity in the roles of staff and elders, or that the church has become insulated, or that they have unknowingly placed things above God, an interim pastor can help rectify the situation. They can provide practical assistance on the organizational side of things and also spiritual guidance. They dive in and become part of the church while they are there, forming real relationships and investing in the people and the ministries. The goal for our interim pastors is to help create a more healthy, vibrant place that is ready to call its next lead pastor.
The final phase of our process is to offer follow-up coaching. Once a church has brought in a new permanent pastor, VitalChurch will stay in touch with church leadership to make sure that any systems that were put in place continue to serve the church well, and more importantly, that the church stays committed to following Christ.
Our approach isn’t for every church. It only works in those churches that are truly committed to change. We sometimes ask churches to do hard things. We point out uncomfortable truths. But we do all of this out of love—love for God, love for the church, and love for the people we serve alongside.
Church Health Assessments for Sacramento Churches
Maybe your Sacramento church isn’t currently in a state of transition or crisis, but you still want to get a general sense of how your church is doing. VitalChurch can conduct a diagnostic analysis for any church interested in getting a better understanding of what they are doing well, and what areas could use some improvement. We have three levels of diagnostic analyses, depending on the level of depth you want to go into. We are even able to help you get answers to some specific questions you may have, such as “What is the quality of our congregants’ devotional lives?” or “Does our congregation trust the church’s leadership?”
At the end of the assessment, VitalChurch will provide you with a report that will show you what was revealed in the analysis, as well as some prayerfully considered steps for moving forward.
Help for Denominations in Sacramento
If your church is part of denomination and is looking for help in the area of interim pastoring, VtialChurch can help. We provide interim pastor training based on our many years of experience serving in churches throughout the country. Our interim pastors have written some of the leading training materials on interim pastoring and are frequently called upon to speak at conferences on the subject.
VitalChurch has also worked with denominations by providing assessments of denominational churches. This can help denominational leadership determine how they can better serve their churches and make them aware of any issues that need to be addressed, either in individual churches or throughout churches in a particular area, or in the denomination as a whole.
Contact VitalChurch for Church Health Assessments or Interim Pastors in Sacramento
Churches experiencing a season of transition or crisis can almost always benefit from some outside help. As with anything in life, when you’re in the midst of a trial, it can be difficult to see the path forward. It’s no different for churches. At VitalChurch, we walk Christian churches of all types and sizes through our church revitalization process that gives them a new sense of hope and excitement for what God has for them.
We’d love to talk with you about how VitalChurch can help your Sacramento church. Whether you are in need of an interim pastor or would just like to learn more about our church health assessments, contact us to learn more.