Church & Ministry

The Role of an Interim Pastor: How to Help a Church Through the Process of Change in Pastoral Leadership

Reprinted with permission from Paraklesis Fall 2010.

When I came to BBS in 1998, after 20 years in pastoral ministry, I had no doubt God was leading me here. I was looking forward to being part of a team shaping a new generation of men to be servant-leaders for the church.

I enjoyed the ministry God gave me as a pastor, especially opportunities to get close to people, be involved in discipleship, and see a body of believers grow in their walk with and service to God. So when I approached the time for a change in ministry and focus I wondered: Would I miss being a pastor? The answer was “yes,” but God answered the longing in my heart with a great opportunity to combine my new role with continuing involvement in local church pastoral ministry: the role of being an interim pastor to churches going through the process of a change in pastoral leadership.

Soon after coming to BBS I learned a church I had previously served was losing their pastor. The deacons asked me to serve as interim pastor and assist them in the coming search process.

What a fantastic opportunity. I was able to go back to a church body I loved and assist them for nine months in areas that would help the church grow and prepare for their next pastor. Once this church cleared that process, which culminated in the calling of a new pastor, I found there were many churches going through similar circumstances.

Through the Church Relations Department at BBC&S and assistance from church fellowship leaders in various states, other contacts were made with churches needing similar assistance. Read more about The Role of an Interim Pastor: How to Help a Church Through the Process of Change in Pastoral Leadership

(An Interruption to the Series) The Call of God

by Daniel R. Brown

The call of God to the gospel ministry, apart from salvation, is the single greatest qualifying mark for anyone who is a minister of the gospel. For this reason, ordination councils examine a man in three separate areas: his conversion, his call to the ministry, and his convictions on doctrine. The call of God is widely recognized as a first order priority by virtually every book on pastoral theology. These authors, crossing every spectrum of theological position, devote a section or an entire chapter to the subject. Most churches will usually ask a potential pastoral candidate to give expression to his call to the ministry.

Even after this emphasis in both our literature and our practice, the call of God has fallen upon hard times. My experience in ordination councils, as well as discussions with pastors and teachers, indicates that a great deal of confusion and doubt surrounds the discussion of God’s call to the ministry.

I believe there are several causes for this increasing lack of clarity about God’s call to the ministry. First, while an abundance of literature addresses the call of God, authors tend to describe the call in their own terms, so that great variety exists in how the call is defined and described. Second, the call of God is confused with a subjective, existential experience equivalent to someone saying, “God spoke to me.” Third, some are openly antagonistic against the call of God to the ministry (e.g., Friesen, Decision Making and the Will of God). This is not an apologetic against that position, but if a man states that he is definitely not called by God, I am willing to take him at his word. Fourth, the call of God is a part of understanding God’s individual will for one’s life. Those who deny that God has an individual will for the life of each Christian will undoubtedly choke on accepting God’s call to the ministry. Read more about (An Interruption to the Series) The Call of God