The Incredible Value of an Interim Pastor

What he can bring to the table

When a church leadership team first considers bringing in an interim pastor, at some point they will wrestle with the question of value or worth. What value will an interim pastor bring to the table? Is it worth having an interim pastor during this season of transition?

What should the leadership team look for? What expectations are appropriate for how an interim will fulfill his role in the life of the church during the strategic transition season?


The State of Pastors 2017 -Leading in Complexity

I would highly recommend any church leadership team sign-up for this free webinar by the Barna Research Group. It’s coming up fast, this Thursday (January 26th) starting at 8am PST. Go to this link for more information or to register!

Our Next Engagement

I am pleased to announce that Lucy and I will be moving to Temecula, CA to be the interim pastor at Rancho Baptist Church (RBC). Our ministry with this great body of believers will start January 16, 2017.

Being on-site at RBC will limit my availability to coach other churches in person, but I can still schedule being a virtual interim. For more information on how Transition Resource Ministry can come alongside as you face pastoral transition, please contact me at:

Shepherding Change -Part 2

What to do when the sheep act like cats

Regardless of the “why” behind a senior pastor leaving a church, the transition unleashes a powerful tsunami which impacts everyone. But not everyone responds to change in the same way. What often puzzles and befuddles the leadership team is that the reactions by those in the church are all over the board: the sheep are acting like cats!


Shepherding Change -Part 1

What to do when sheep act like cats

It’s an understatement to say that a church will face change when there is a turn-over of their senior pastor! Yet most church leadership teams underestimate the impact.

To use the word ‘change’ can easily keep pastoral transition at an unemotional and detached level, as if the church simply changed the color of the paint on the wall (though that has often been a very emotional experience in some churches!). (more…)

How to Avoid Getting Sideways in Pastoral Transition

When even best intentions can’t keep you out of trouble

bewilderedClassic Yogi Berra wisdom, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up some place else.”

Solomon put it this way, “Ponder the path of your feet, then all your ways will be sure.” (Prov.4:26)

How many church leaders, when trying to help the body of believers they serve navigate pastoral transition, suddenly find things have gone sideways? It’s not going as planned, and the potential outcome appears to be getting worse.

After the initial quiet and sober reaction to the blunt news that the senior pastor has, or is, leaving -now tempers are flaring…accusations are being hurled right and left…trust in the leadership team has evaporated…key volunteers quietly mention they are thinking of taking a break…key families haven’t been seen in worship for weeks. The mood around the church feels tense! (more…)

Pastoral transition is not a problem to solve, but a season to shepherd.  -Rick Foster

Do You Want to be Told or Shown?

The Powerful Impact of an Intentional Interim Pastor (Jean-Frederick Fortier)Last week I had errands that took me into two different “big box” stores. I wasn’t sure where to find what I needed since I was unfamiliar with the layout of both stores.

In the first, I asked an employee where the item was located. He was very knowledgeable, friendly, and immediately informed me of the right aisle to go to.

In the second store, when I asked the same question, that employee responded by saying, “Come on, I’ll show you.” They personally took me to the aisle and pointed out where on the shelf the item was located. They also mentioned several other options that I might consider depending on my needs.

What a difference between being told and being shown. And it just feels different, doesn’t it?


How to Sabotage Your Pastoral Transition

sabotage-train-tracks-with-shadowWhen the lead or senior pastor of a church exits, powerful rip-tides are unleashed! Those on the leadership team, tasked with handling this transition, often face intense pressure without any advanced preparation or training.

In addition, most pastoral transitions occur abruptly, leaving a church with a mosaic of emotions. So not only is the leadership team trying to deal with their own emotional reactions to the pastor leaving, but as shepherds the church needs help with theirs! (more…)

When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2011)


Chris does a fantastic job of helping search teams keep in mind what they are really doing. They are looking for a man who has been deeply shaped by God’s Word: his character, his vision and his preaching. Especially helpful are the forms so that search team members all critique candidate’s sermons from the same perspective.

Click the title above to purchase through Amazon.