Interim Ministry

At any time, about one fourth of the congregations in the synod are in some form of transition. Interim ministry is an essential part of building a solid foundation for a congregation’s future. Interim pastors work intentionally during a pastoral transition on a variety of tasks:

  • Attend to grief, loss and pastoral care issues that arise from the pastor’s departure
  • Address ministry tasks that may have fallen through the cracks and empower members to address those tasks
  • Monitor the general health and needs of the congregation
  • Reassure the congregation that pastoral responsibilities will be fulfilled; (e.g., worship, education, hospital visits, other visitations, emergency pastoral response, funerals, weddings, confirmation, baptisms)
  • Assure the continuation of worship services of the congregation in coordination with supply pastors, worship staff, assisting ministers and musicians
  • Attend to finances/stewardship
  • Support and guide staff who normally function under pastoral oversight (e.g., office personnel, music personnel, and custodial personnel)
  • Support the congregation’s lay leaders
  • Assure confidentiality regarding sensitive issues
  • Serve as a resource to the next called pastor and assist them in the continuation of immediate and special pastoral ministry needs
  • Assure that members are informed about the transition process

The interim pastor and leadership team also:

  • Ensure parochial records and reports are current
  • Ensure the congregation’s constitution and governing documents are current
  • Provide clear and detailed job descriptions for staff
  • Establish personnel policies which clearly communicate staff expectations
  • Select and apply appropriate and beneficial evaluation tools and procedures

The synod’s interim pastors meet monthly as a cohort to learn, share best practices, build relationships and support each other.