Redemption Ministry is dedicated to helping congregations and ministers. Mostly those who are either in transition and/or stressful situations. Thus the purpose of this post…
I have had the joy of being an interim for two congregations… one for 16 months, the latest for 8 months. Both were an absolute blessing in my life. The first had terminated or forced three ministers to leave within 18 months, the other’s pastor left on good terms with understanding from God’s people. This past Sunday the previous pastor and I jointly participated in a service of blessing and commission for the incoming pastor and his family. God’s people were truly joyful that day… for me, sadness was mingled with my joy.
An interim is a unique situation. For certain reasons, he has freedom that many pastors are uncomfortable having. It may be because the expectations aren’t as high for him or some other reason I’m not aware of. I just know that in the two congregations where I was interim God brought great healing to the first congregation and He helped the other consider a track for ministry in new and exciting ways.
For me, I was able to answer questions and give guidance from experience when they asked. I was able to help them navigate through waters they had traversed before, but weren’t comfortable doing as they had previously. There were also things I said to the church about doing church from the basic call and expectations found in Scripture (Not that they hadn’t be made aware before, but by way of reminder).
It was a joy to help both congregations retool their prayer life… speak reminders about Deacons, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. It was a joy to encourage several who were struggling and see God work in their life. And the best part of being an interim was forming new relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ I had not previously known. Bottom line, being an interim… at least for me… has been a wonderful blessing and joy.
While I do hope and pray God will one day provide me with another congregation to be His under-shepherd, I can say without reservation that serving in an interim capacity is equal in joy and fulfillment as being the pastor of God’s people.