Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Churches: Get an Interim

This post may not be valuable to you now, but it just might some day.

I'm (too) acquainted with a church that is going through quite the brouhaha in their pastoral search process.  One of the things adding to up-and-down nature of it is they are using current staff to preach on Sundays.

I've been asked no less than four times what I think about that situation.  Every time my answer has been the same:  get an interim pastor.

The response has been the same each of those four times:  we have people who can preach on Sundays, so why spend the resources or muddy the waters with yet one more body around.

I'm not saying I'm the smartest guy in the room in any room I'm in.  But I think an interim pastor serves several purposes...

1.  An interim pastor can preach on Sundays.  And he can often say things that others cannot or will not.

2.  An interim pastor can lead the staff.  In most every case you can describe or experience, the staff needs leadership from a central source.  And whether the church is congregational, monarchial, or prebyterian in its polity and leadership structure, a single focal point of leadership and accountability is crucial.

3.  An interim pastor brings a fresh set of eyes.  And that's much-needed in most cases.

I was blessed, unbelievably, by the interim pastor who preceded me at Heritage Park.  He said things that needed to be said.  He led the staff.  He brought fresh eyes to the situation.  And he set the church up for the transition.  I stepped into a functioning and ready-to-be-led environment because of his willingness to serve as the interim pastor.

So if you're ever in a position where your church is in pastoral transition, wave the flag for an interim.  It'll do the (church) body good.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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