William Vanderbloemen on Why an Interim Pastor Might be Your Only Choice During a Leadership Transition

When people typically think of an interim pastor, they think of someone who is filling a temporary role until the position is filled by the next full-time pastor. Few consider the fact that every pastor is an interim pastor. There has often been someone who has gone before you and there will always be someone who comes after. Pastors need to take measures throughout their time in ministry to prevent themselves or the pastor who follows from becoming an unintentional interim or sacrificial pastor.

After the impacts of 2020, many pastors are leaving their leadership roles early and replacement pastors are coming into more challenges than before. Navigating online and in-person services, determining budgets and giving when the economy is still rocky, and shepherding a community facing a global pandemic, add to the complexity of joining a well-established church as a new pastor. It is difficult to follow a legend, but here are some practical things to consider that might help ease the transition.

The New Pastor Will Meet Unexpected Challenges Along the Way

New pastors often face a set timeline upon entering a church. In the beginning, the new pastor can do no wrong. Typically, they are welcomed with open arms. Unfortunately, it is not long after that when the new pastor enters into a phase where they can do nothing right. Ultimately, this timeline leads the new pastor to leave. For many new pastors, this unintentional interim period lasts anywhere from three months to three years.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, William Vanderbloemen

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