Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Snapshot of an Intentional Interim

The following list of traits, qualities, characteristics and skills of an intentional interim minister has been developed from two books: The Interim Pastor’s Manual and Temporary Shepherds, the notes of Les Robinson, Jr., and my personal experience.

Personal Traits:
1) Commitment – devoted to both Jesus Christ and His bride, the church
2) Adaptable – quickly assimilate into and gracefully exit from a church
3) Perceptive – discern systemic problems from observing surface behaviors
4) Self-differentiated – know who you are apart from the people or problems around you
5) Positive attitude – with God’s help, churches and people can change
6) Stability – staying calm in the midst of chaos
7) Teachable – always learning and not afraid to ask for help

1) Communication – both public preaching and personal interaction
2) Team Building – bring people together around a common mission/vision
3) Conflict Management – negotiate, compromise and mediate between parties
4) Crisis Intervention – stepping into a difficult place as a non-anxious presence
5) Organizational – establishing plans and procedures for the work
6) Stress Management – helping others and yourself find relief from intense situations
7) Pastoral – caring for people and giving oversight to church affairs

An Intentional Interim Pastor needs to have:

1) A sense of “call” to this work – sensing both the need in the church and the God given giftedness within himself

2) Training for the work – from previous pastoral experience, specialized instruction, and continuous education (reading books and attending conferences)

3) Tolerance for uncertainty in job security, term of service and frequent change

4) Flexibility in styles of worship, polity practices and methods of church operation

5) The ability to use varied leadership styles and approaches to problem solving in differing situations

6) A sense of humor that is capable of not taking self too seriously while maintaining a strong sense of personal worth and self-assurance

7) Emotional maturity that can connect easily with others without becoming dependent or interdependent upon that connection

If you would like to discuss intentional interim ministry in greater detail send an email to: I would love to dialogue with you!

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