An intentional interim pastor is one who leads by jumping first. He fights organizational paralysis, because the tendency among the leadership team at this time is to think, “Let’s leave well enough alone”. It’s the mindset of not wanting to stir-up trouble in an already stressful time. After all, if you don’t move the furniture, you won’t see the cockroaches scatter. That’s classic risk-avoidance!
Yet the interim period is a time for strategic initiative, for proactive work in a few key areas that will set-up the church well to receive their new pastor and launch into a future of Christ-honoring ministry.
That’s why the leadership of an intentional interim is to jump first: to take the church where it might otherwise be hesitant to go.
In a blog on MIX (www.managementexchange.com), Dr. Martha Lindeman, CEO of Agile Interactions, Inc. wrote, “A leader’s fundamental task is ‘identifying possibilities, defining what needs to be done, and influencing other people to do it.’ The five everyday skills that enable this are self-direction, creativity, discovery, planning and influence.”
This is exactly the kind of leadership an intentional interim pastor can give to a church:
- They identify possibilities.
An intentional interim comes to a church with fresh eyes. He hasn’t been part of the past so everything is new, which means he ends up asking all kinds of annoying questions about why things are being done the way they are. Yet he also comes with a wealth of experience and focused training that equips him to weave the truth of the scriptures and the church’s current environment into a vision of possibilities. In other words, intentional interims are purveyors of hope.
- They define what needs to be done.
An intentional interim has a temp job and a countdown clock. He is driven by a specific agenda that focuses his energy. During an interim period, a church can experience a host of wildfires that need to be put out, but an intentional interim doesn’t let the urgent derail the important. On top of that, depending on the size and complexity of the church’s ministry, there can be a multitude of details to handle. An intentional interim keeps the big picture in mind, and keeps the main thing the main thing.
- They influence other people to do it.
An intentional interim is not a Lone Ranger. Rather he gathers key, like-minded, spiritually focused, Christ enamored people to engage in the necessary training and preparation for the church’s future. Some of these are currently part of the leadership team, others may not be. An intentional interim is convinced the only hope for this generation lies in the church being what Christ wants it to be and acting as Christ would want it to act (missional-driven). The health of the church begins with the spiritual health of its core leaders, that’s why the interim focuses an immense amount of attention here.
So the intentional interim goes to the edge and leads by jumping first. What church, facing pastoral transition, would not benefit from that kind of leadership? How else could an intentional interim help your church? Leave your comment below.