Monday, March 3, 2008

Reflections from Vacation

After a three week absence - I'm finally back. Why has it been so long?

1) The week after the last blog I was at Southern Wesleyan University for a two day conference and then the next week my Leadership Development Journey group took a one day trip back to the campus to hear Steve DeNeff speak.

2) At the Transition Team meeting following the "HOT, HOT, HOT" congregational meeting the team set about the task of writing a Pastoral Profile for the search committee to use in their review of resumes. This proved to a bigger challenge than I had expected but the team got it hammered out. I had promised the search committee that the team would complete the profile before I left on vacation. The profile will remain confidential until the next pastor is called. After that time, my intention is to get it posted on this blog.

3) My wife, Pam, and I took a vacation to Amelia Island, Florida for a week. During the vacation we celebrated my 54th birthday. Vacation time often gets me into a reflective mode. I want to share some of those reflections that relate to my Intentional Interim ministry.

It was on another brief vacation to Isle of Palms, South Carolina that we first began the move toward Intentional Interim ministry. While reading the book: The One Thing You Need to Know by Marcus Buckingham I began to realize that I needed to find a ministry that was more focused on my strengths while requiring less expenditure from my weaknesses. I didn't know what new ministry that meant at the time, I just knew that if I was going to be a more successful servant some changes would be needed.

I recruited two prayer partners to join Pam and I in seeking God's will and direction. During a six month period of prayer and exploration we discovered the concept of Intentional Interim ministry and the four of us became convinced that this was a place of service where God had gifted me to serve well.

Even though Intentional Interim ministry has been a practice in several other denominations for many years, it is something new to The Wesleyan Church. To the best of my knowledge I am the only Wesleyan who has completed the training to be an Intentional Interim. But this does not mean that Wesleyan churches are beating down my door for my services. Like most anything that is new, there will have to be some churches that are willing to try it before others will consider the possibility.

So, I am just four months away from completing my Intentional Interim service at First Wesleyan Church in Bessemer City and do not know where, or if, I will be serving another Wesleyan Church as an Intentional Interim after this July. My intentions are to post another blog later this week about this faith journey. I want to also include some thoughts for anyone who may be considering the transition from serving as an installed pastor to an intentional interim. Until next time, thanks for reading.

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