First Baptist Church, Brenham

I am writing this letter to share my thoughts on the Intentional Interim process our church has journeyed through over the past couple of years.

Honestly, this was one of the best experiences in the organized church I have ever been through. I did not grow up in the church but became a Christian in school my freshman year at Baylor University. I have been a member of several churches over the years through my life experiences as well as moves. I moved to this town in 1999 and, after several visits, joined First Baptist Church. It was a thriving and growing church with many exceptional ministries and ministers.

When the ministered resigned in 2011, I saw a major change come over the congregation. We had settled over the past several years, losing members to church plants wanting something different, while we seemed a bit stuck in our ways. I feel the Lord had no choice but to deal with us in this abrupt way.

With that said, the idea of the Intentional Interim was the best solution. We listened intently to possible directions to take and, overwhelmingly, the congregation voted in favor of this proposal. Someone could come in, be honest, loving, and truthful, and help our church family recover, heal and move forward. From the moment our Intentional Interim Minister arrived, a renewed spirit came alive in the congregation. It was like a true second chance at something wonderful. We began to walk together in a series of sermons and services that brought about a fresh new and exciting air. Our congregation became a praying group of people, not perfect by any means, but more focused and sincere. We came together and learned so much about one another and the history of our church. The Transition Team, which continues its work, led out.  As a group of warriors, they gave our church, with the help of the Intentional Interim Pastor, purpose again. We felt a renewal in our spirits.

About 18 months into the process, we made a decision to create a Pastor Search Committee. I had the privilege of serving on that committee. It was an amazing journey, personally, and in the life of our church. All along, we knew that the Lord was directing our path and plan and the eventual choice of a wonderful pastor.  We had a retreat to prepare us for the challenge that lay ahead. We felt so trusted with the very big decision. We all received notes of encouragement, shared our testimonies, and were nurtured by our church family. The church held a commissioning service, and we were prayed over by members of the church. This was one of the most memorable experiences in my life. I get tears and emotional just thinking about this day. I was touched and bonded together with the other 6 members in a ways that words can never describe. I felt the hand of God upon me.

With that said, our hearts had grown accustomed to our Intentional Interim Pastor. We had grown to love him beyond words. Within 6 months, God found His man for us. With the decision to call the Pastor, the next step probably was the hardest—saying farewell. There were tears of joy and laughter, and there was a little sadness, as our Intentional Interim came to an end.

We now have a wonderful man at the helm, who has a vision for our church and our community. He has a heart for revival and he is just what we need.

I have already recommended this Intentional Interim Process to other churches in the process of change. I cannot imagine what would have happened if we had chosen a different path. This ministry is definitely a gift from the Lord to hurting churches. I pray the church our new pastor came from uses this ministry. We called a man who was not looking for a move, but came here by the power of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of the Intentional Interim Process. Again, I say the IIM was a gift to us, and it would be a gift to others, if they would just try it. I truly believe this is an ordained ministry from the Lord’s heart.

Sami Rahman, First Baptist Church, Brenham

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