10. He helps keep the giving up. His steady presence sends the message that things are “okay” and his full-time status keeps the need for giving up! “Saving money” during the interim time can often result in diminished giving by the time the new pastor is called.
9. He helps keep the attendance up. When a church is without a Pastor or Interim Pastor, attendance, especially that of folks “on the fringes” often drops off.
8. He gives assurance to church members that somebody is “guiding the ship.” As he has not been involved in whatever emotional upheaval has been going on, he provides a welcome, “steady hand.”
7. He gives church lay leaders and staff members the chance to continue with their own important ministries instead of having to give themselves to the duties of the Interim or Sr. Pastor.
6. He gives the church the time to “take their time and do it right” (the Mr. Rogers Method) in looking for a new pastor. Trying to “replace” a departed pastor as quickly as possible is often regretted.
5. Most unresolved issues get addressed before the new, long-term pastor arrives.
4. The Interim Pastor is a specialist who will do everything possible to help as many people as possible participate in the interim tasks.
3. The Interim Pastor gives continuity where it is perhaps most needed: in the pulpit. He gets to know the church, it’s situation and it’s needs in a way that a series of guest speakers cannot.
2. The Interim Pastor focuses on the tasks at hand (the interim tasks) so that the new, long-term Pastor, when he arrives, can focus on long-term growth strategies. New long-term Pastors often don’t understand why churches are not ready to “charge ahead” with new plans and proposals!
1. The Interim Pastor has great freedom as an outsider/insider to be totally frank (in love and humility, of course!).