An Interim Pastor-2

The interim pastor, in simplest terms, is “the pastor who serves in a church in the time between pastors”. That’s it. Or is it?

Interim pastoring is often focused on filling in until the church can get a permanent pastor, essentially functioning in a maintenance role. The church often will wait till the new pastor comes and his responsibility will be to determine vision for the church.

Regardless of the reason for a church’s loss of a pastor, the interim time is viewed as simply a time to look for another pastor. Unfortunately, many churches see the interim period as simply a time to coast until they find the next pastor.

  • Carry on the previous pastor’s role
  • Give a sense of consistency to pulpit ministry
  • Keep the public aware that the church is still operating
  • Helps keep current programs running
  • A good job for retired/ semi-retired pastors (an assumption:“you don’t have all the responsibilities of a full time pastor”)
  • It is viewed as a kind of upgrade from having guest speakers.
  • Is  primarily “filling in” till the new pastor arrives

The time between pastors can be an extremely productive time in the life of a church.  It enables time for ministry evaluation, identifying and resolving problems, renewal, vision development, and growth.  It is important for a congregation to use this time as efficiently as possible. 

The bottom line


It’s not about “filling in time between pastors”… it’s about helping a local church grow in health and build a foundation for increasingly effective ministry.



In every congregation, there will be times when members wrestle with their church’s identity and ministry. These unique transitions occur after particularly long pastorates, when conflicts exist within the congregation, when there are instances of pastoral misbehavior, when demographics change drastically, or during other church-changing circumstances.

Such times of transition are often marked by congregational stress, hampering ministry and making a fulfilling church experience difficult.

Intentional Interim Ministry is designed to restore congregational health by offering a safe bridge between challenging times and the selection of the next permanent pastor.












Significant studies show the importance of a transitional time in a church's history



Defining moments in a church's history




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