An Intentional Interim-Pastor fills the gap between “permanent” pastors.  It is an especially helpful ministry for a church that has conducted an assessment and desires help in implementing the resulting “Recommendations.”

Significant studies of hundreds of interim congregations over the past thirty years are now showing that the interim between pastors can be an important time in congregational life.

R. Neil Chafin, an experienced consultant to congregations, says, “The way a congregation chooses to use its interim time will shape congregational growth, identity, and health for years to come. We also know that what is done in the interim time really determines whether the new minister and congregation will form a solid ministry team.” (

Scheduling and Time Required

An Intentional Interim-Pastorate will usually begin with a three-month commitment.  This allows sufficient time for both the church and the pastor to discern whether the assignment is a “good-fit.”  This commitment is usually established with a written agreement, clarifying responsibilities and expectations for all parties involved.  Of course, the initial three-month commitment can be extended to any agreed-upon time frame, up to “the arrival of the next pastor.”  A typical length might be twelve to eighteen months.

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