Have you thought about becoming an interim pastor? Maybe you are a retired pastor looking to earn some extra income, or perhaps you are currently a pastor in a church, but would like the opportunity to serve elsewhere—in different types of churches around the country. The temporary nature of the position appeals to certain pastors, especially those who are invigorated by change and enjoy the challenge of working in different environments and with different types of people. Becoming an interim pastor can be a fulfilling profession for those who have the right giftings, the proper training, and realistic expectations about what the job entails.
When considering interim pastor jobs, it’s important to understand that there are different types of interim pastors. There are those who simply fill in at a church by preaching on Sundays, and then there are those who take on the complete role of pastor, which can include leadership duties, operational tasks, facilitating conflict resolution, counseling, and more. The interim pastor job description for the former will be vastly different than the latter.
At VitalChurch Ministry, an organization that provides Christian churches with interim pastors, their interim pastor job description is largely a description of the characteristics they’re looking for in a pastor who desires to be added to their team. Yes, they are looking for people with pastoral experience and a solid theological background, but they’re also looking for pastors who have the heart and the giftings that are best suited for interim ministry.
VitalChurch Ministry provides interim pastors to churches that are looking to use the interim period to address any issues within their church, and grow in unity and effectiveness. Their interim pastors help churches discover who God is calling them to be as a church and then look for a new permanent pastor who shares their mission and vision. Because the VitalChurch interim pastors do so much more than just preach on Sundays, they must be equipped serve in a variety of capacities. They receive extensive training in how to effectively serve as an interim pastor, but they must also possess certain characteristics that VitalChurch Ministry considers essential for an interim pastor, such as integrity, honesty, reliability, cultural adaptability, and more.
Even though the list of desired traits for their interim pastors is long, the VitalChurch Ministry team is truly a team, and they work together to walk churches through their transitional periods in ways that yield positive, lasting changes. So, while each church that works with VitalChurch Ministry has one main interim pastor assigned to them, the rest of the team supports that pastor by lending their own unique gifts to the church. For example, multiple team members from VitalChurch Ministry may participate in the initial church assessment, and a team member who specializes in church governance may come in for a time to assist in that area. During the entire interim period, the church will receive sound, biblical teaching from the interim pastors at VitalChurch Ministry.
Other organizations that provide interim pastors to churches may have very different job descriptions, but the VitalChurch Ministry has made it clear what they value in their interim pastors, and it goes beyond just having pastoral experience. Probably most importantly, they believe that an interim pastor must be called to this specific type of pastoring, because serving as an interim pastor isn’t the best fit for every pastor.