Rev. Dale Walling
Interim Minister



Why an Intentional Interim?


      “There is value in transitional-ministry.  Sometimes congregations are afraid of interims, believing they will change everything and cause more harm than good.  But interim ministry is about strengthening a congregation in preparation for their next minister by looking at programs, personnel, church history as well as addressing any conflict or struggles within the membership.  The goal is not to create problems but help “firm” the foundation for the future.


                                                                               --Rev. Walling


 What Is An "Intentional Interim Minister"?

The word interim means in between. In the churches life, it refers to that period of time between the leaving of one installed pastor and the coming of the next. Ordained Ministers who are called to serve churches during the interim period are referred to as Interim Ministers.
In addition to their basic seminary preparation, some ordained ministers have received special education and training in Intentional Interim Ministry. Besides leading worship, making hospital visits and the other usual pastoral duties, interim ministers provide leadership to help a congregation work through various issues:  grief, anger, and/or sadness over a pastor's leaving, conflict and/or special problems, rediscovering its mission and renewing its resources, setting new directions and goals for ministry and preparing for the coming of the next pastor.
Do All Churches During Transition Hire Interim Ministers?
Not all churches do.  Sometimes ministers serve during the Interim Time who are not specifically trained for Interim Ministry. These ministers may be contracted to carry out the routine pastoral functions of preaching and leading worship, visiting the sick and home-bound members, officiating at weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc. and attending board/committee meetings. This is often referred to as Maintenance Ministry.  Sometimes a congregation will choose to contract with a minister just to provide worship leadership and preaching.  This type of ministry is called Pulpit Supply.

What Situations Would Call For the Hiring Of An Intentional Interim Minister?
If your congregation has just ended a long term pastorate or if your congregation is at a critical point in setting new directions for its life and ministry.
If your congregation is dealing with conflict or the pastor suddenly resigned or passed away.
If your pastor left because of misconduct or if the congregation has had a number of short, rather unfulfilling pastorates. 
Any time the congregational leaders believe it is time for a significantly new direction for the congregation in any of these situations, your congregation should consider an Intentional Interim Minister.  The need for such skilled leadership exists whether a congregation is large or small, urban, suburban, small town or rural.


Contact your Regional Minister if you have questions or want more information about Intentional Interim Ministry. They can also provide you with the names of congregations that have worked with Intentional Interim Ministers so you can hear their experiences.

This information was adapted from the  ASSOCIATION OF DISCIPLES INTENTIONAL INTERIM MINISTERS (ADIIM)  website.