The tasks of intentional interim ministry move through five areas of focus: heritage, mission, leadership, connections, and finally onto the future.
- Heritage – coming to terms with the past: this involves helping the congregation talk honestly about their history together and coming to a common narrative about their story. Offering a variety of formats for interaction is helpful. Listening Circles is small group model. A sermon series exploring an epistle to the early church lends naturally to the task. I have found the book of Philippians to work well in both a historic downtown small city church and a larger suburban church.
- Mission – renewing identity: this task is typically completed by conducting a church mission study. Here is one example of a Church Mission Study and with Methodology Appendix Click Here.
- Leadership – strengthening patterns of lay leadership: an interim leader can positively impact governance practices by inviting new patterns of leadership to emerge. For example introducing peer evaluations to governing boards. If this practice is unfamiliar to the church the Interim Pastor may consider asking officers who serve on outside boards to guide the process.
- Connection – discovering vital relationships and networks needed to expand into the future. This can involve strengthening ties with a denomination. For instance in a Presbyterian setting a liaison from the Committee on Ministry may participate in session meetings and in training the Pastor Nominating Committee.
- Future – preparing for new leadership by synthesizing discoveries and tending to practical matters such as update bylaws, job descriptions, committee and organizational structures. Identify committees the new pastor is expected to serve on ensuring time commitment is consistent with responsibilities outlined in the job description. Updating the church pictorial directory in digital (online) and print format can be a real asset for new leadership.