Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basic differences between Intentional Interim and Traditional Interim ministry?

Traditional Interim Ministry has usually provided a pulpit supply preacher for the interim time who “preaches, loves us, and leaves us alone.” Sometimes a church gets excellent preaching, sometimes a church saves a lot of money, and often the pastor does little (or nothing) to help the church address concerns or issues before calling a new pastor. The Intentional Interim Ministry offers interim specialists who preach, provide pastoral care and leadership, and help the church take a serious introspective look before calling the next pastor. A middle ground would be to call an interim specialist to help with a more traditional interim period by providing full pastoral services, when a church does not enter into the Intentional Interim Ministry process.

Is Intentional interim better than Traditional Interim ministry?

While the intentional interim process could probably help any church, it would be an overstatement to claim that all churches need to engage in the IIM. Traditional interim ministry has helped many churches over the years. A church simply needs to decide what is best for them at the present time.

Is Intentional interim Ministry only for troubled churches?

Any church in conflict should seriously consider IIM for their next interim period—but this is not the only reason for engaging in the intentional interim process. Addressing the lack of focus or the absence of vision are common reasons churches choose to utilize the intentional interim process.

Also, following a long-tenured pastor (beloved or not) is most often a predictor of failure for the next pastor, unless relavent issues have been proactively addressed in the interim period.

Is Intentional Interim Ministry very costly?

The IIM is designed so that it should never cost more than is already in the budget for a pastor’s salary.  If you call an interim pastor who serves you full time, then you’d pay him a full time salary package.  That is not likely to happen.  Most IIM pastors work 50% to 75% of time, doing 50% to 75% of a full-time pastor’s duties.  Therefore, it costs the church 50% to 75% of the pastor’s salary package to pay the interim pastor.  This formula is fair to the church and to the interim pastor.  The remainder of the pastor’s salary can be used to pay the travel expenses of the interim pastor.  Of course, all financial arrangements are negotiable between the search committee and the IIM pastor.

Will the Intentional Interim Pastor tell the church what to do?

The role of the Intentional Interim Pastor is to guide the process. The church’s elected Transition Team leaders assist the congregation in actually engaging in the work. It is the congregation that must do the appropriate work of reflection, assessment, vision, problem-solving, etc.) during the interim period, prior to selecting a Search Committee and beginning the search for the next pastor.

Does the Intentional Interim Ministry process really work?

Every Transition Team that leads a congregation in the IIM process must design an original comprehensive self-study. Since each congregation defines what is to be focused on, it is next to impossible to compare rates of success. Nevertheless, we are happy to send you survey results on the “success” of the IIM, as well as contact information on lay leaders from churches that have used the IIM and are pleased with its results.

How does BGCT fit into the process?

Churches entering into an interim period may be initially led by a Personnel Team, the Deacons, an Interim Pastor Search Team, a Pastor Search Committee, or some other group.

Common steps in considering the Intentional Interim Ministry process usually include:

  • A key leader in one of these groups calls the BGCT to discuss options for the interim period
  • A presentation to the entire leadership team of a church is scheduled
  • If the leadership team wants to recommend the IIM process to the church, an additional presentation is scheduled for the whole church
  • If the church votes to engage in the IIM process, a list of Intentional Interim Pastor candidates are provided to the Transition Team
  • A search for an Intentional Interim Pastor can usually be completed within six to eight weeks

What services does BGCT have to assist us in searching for and finding the right pastor for our church’s future?

We can train your Pastor Search Committee, consult with you about developing a pastor profile, and use our trusted network to seek candidates for your church. We also provide an online service where you can post the pastor’s position (or other ministry openings). Click here to post a position.

How can BGCT assist our Search Committee members in doing our job more effectively?

We can provide the search committee with a helpful manual, train the committee on a healthy search process, or lead a mini-retreat for the search committee that will provide team building, spiritual foundations, and training in a healthy search process.