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Here is a link to our You Tube channel.  In the top row you will find both our Video Book Reviews as well as our CORE Convictions Videos on various topics related to Biblical teaching, Lutheran theology, and Christian living.  You will find these videos in the order in which they were posted, beginning with the most recent.  In the second row you will find links to the Playlists for both sets of videos.  This month we want to feature a CORE Convictions video by NALC pastor Tim Hubert.

“INTERIM MINISTRY” BY PASTOR TIMOTHY HUBERT

Many thanks to NALC pastor Tim Hubert for his very wise and insightful video on interim ministry.  A link to his video can be found here.

Pastor Hubert has been ordained for forty years.  For twenty-five years he served in regular calls; for fifteen years he has served various interim assignments.  He has seen and experienced both kinds of situations – when a very beloved pastor leaves as well as when a pastor in a very troubled situation leaves.

Tim describes three questions that congregations will have regarding the new interim pastor –

  1. Can we trust the interim pastor?  Including, Can we trust the interim pastor to love us in the way our former pastor loved us?
  2. Will the interim pastor stay long enough – until we are ready to call a new pastor?  Church councils want a seamless transition in ministry.
  3. Will the congregation allow itself to love the interim pastor, knowing that the interim pastor will be with them only for a short time?

He also lists three expectations that interim pastors have –

  1.  To be treated fairly and honorably.  The congregation needs to remember that the interim pastor did not cause the former pastor to leave.
  2. To be paid a fair and honorable salary.  While some congregations will try to save money at the expense of the interim pastor, Pastor Hubert believes that the interim should be paid the same as the previous pastor.  Otherwise, the congregation could be in for a real shock when they learn that they may need to pay their next pastor more than they had paid the previous pastor.   
  3. That the congregation will trust the process.

Losing a pastor is a grief process – both when the former pastor was loved and when it was a troubled situation.  All change creates pain.  Even good grief can take up to two years to heal.

Tim recommends that a congregation have an interim for one to two years.  In situations where there has been significant conflict, it can take longer to begin the process of healing.  It is a good sign of healing when members are returning to worship and are becoming involved once again.

Tim’s closing advice is –

Pray for interim pastors – there are fewer and fewer of them.

Thank the Lord when He provides you with an interim pastor.

Thank the Lord that He already knows and has chosen your next pastor.

Remember that the Lord is in charge.  As Jesus said in Luke 12: 32, “Fear not, little flock; it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.”

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