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How Involved Should the Interim Be in the Pastoral Search Process?

Ken Moberg Chairman, IPM Board of Directors

The intentional interim pastor can help provide the stability needed during the uncertain days of the pastoral transition. His ministry experience, coupled with training specific to the interim period will make him a valuable partner in the journey. But, a key question is how involved the intentional interim pastor should be in the search process itself. Most interim pastors are much more than pulpit supply they are transition specialists with great experience and insight. They are uniquely suited to help the church through this critical period in its history. The pastoral transition is one of the most teachable moments a church will experience. The opportunity should not be squandered. Accordingly, the interim pastor should be considered a valuable consultant, and as a consultant he should be invited to attend meetings of the churchs leadership team as well as those of the pastoral search team. One understanding of intentional interim pastors is that they will not be considered for the longterm position. This not only reflects the special nature of their role as a transition specialist, but it also protects their ability to speak candidly into any situation without having to hedge their comments to protect their interests in being considered for the more permanent position. It is important to recognize this transitional nature of the intentional interim pastor up front, because any interim pastor worth his salt will be asked somewhere along the line, Would you consider staying as our next pastor? When that question arises, it is best to have settled the issue in advance. This article is an excerpt from Ken's book Ask...Seek...Knock, a step-by-step guide for pastoral transitions.