Introduction

INTENTIONAL INTERIM MINISTRY Frequently Asked Questions

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Question: What is Intentional Interim Ministry? 


Answer: Watch this short explanation: (Click Below) 

Essential to Intentional Interim Ministry is congregational participation and ownership.

 

Question: What does the Intentional Interim Minister do?


Answer: As "Intentional Interim Minister," Reverend Poole seeks to serve a congregation in two primary ways: First, as pastor to the people - preaching, teaching, and providing care for the congregation. Second, he serves as primary resource for a church-selected transition leadership team. The transition team's task is to guide the congregation through a thoughtful and prayerful process of self-discovery. As "Intentional Interim," Reverend Poole assists the church through the entire journey. Expectations, tasks, and terms for the role of Intentional Interim are clearly identified and agreed upon early in the relationship. Anticipated time for completion of the process is is 12-18 months.


Question: Do we wait for a new pastor before we begin programs or take new directions?


Answer: The short answer is “no.” While faithfully moving through the Intentional Interim Ministry process, the congregation continues its life under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and existing lay leaders. Emmaus Baptist Church is comprised of spirit-led people who know Jesus Christ personally. Decisions emerge from their spiritual practices of prayerful discernment and a longing to bring God’s Kingdom to earth. The church should only put on hold programs and decisions which the Holy Spiritdistinctly leads them to delay. A lay and Spirit led congregation whose identity is not overly wrapped up in a Pastor is in a far superior position to identify a “matching pastor” than acongregation that depends on a Pastor to give them identity and direction. 


Question: What are the five focus points of the Intentional Interim Ministry process?


Answer

1. Focus point: HERITAGE – seeks to celebrate highlights of the past and identify qualities and lessons that should be carried into the future.

2. Focus point: MISSION – seeks to clarify how a local congregation embodies and fulfills God’s purposes in the community and in the world. “Why does God want us to exist?” “What is our God-given mandate for being in the world?” “What is God’s vision for our congregation in this place and time in history?” 

3. Focus point: LEADERSHIP – an examination and clarification of the church’s processes such as…

a. incorporating new believers/members into the life of the congregation.

b. developing leaders and members of all ages who are growing in theknowledge and practice of Christian living – including the role of the bible in such matters.

c. taking care of anticipated needs within the congregation along with special needs as they become known.

d. building healthy and nurturing relationships among members.

e. reaching out and connecting to those who are pre-Christian, unchurched, under-churched, and de-churched.

f. governing, deciding, and reviewing documents and structures that make these things possible.

4. Focus point: CONNECTIONS – reviewing and assessing the partnerships with whom the church collaborates in fulfilling its purpose and mission in the world.

5. Focus point: FUTURE – synthesizing the four focus points above, developing a church program calendar for the coming year, completing a congregational and a prospective pastor profile, recommending to the church to form a Senior Pastor Search Committee, and decommissioning the Transition Team.


Question: Are the focus points approached in linear fashion or can more than one at a time be open?


Answer: The ongoing life of the congregation dictates how many and how much. It is conceivable that with subgroups leading different focus points more than one focus point will be opened at a time. Imagine an airport with several runways where planes take off and land simultaneously. However, the key to success is congregational engagement. Scheduling must consider time frames, activities, etc. that invite maximum participation by the congregation. 


Question: What is the Transition Team?


Answer: The Transition Team is comprised of trusted, wise, and spiritually mature Christians who have been selected to lead the congregation through the Intentional Interim Ministry process. They receive eight hours of orientation before being commissioned by the congregation. As the TT leads the church through the process, they report back to the congregation what they are hearing and learning. Critical to the process is the commitment to gather input and facilitate conversations among the congregation. The Transition Team is not a decision-making group. The key to success is congregational engagement. The TT must focus on ways to listen and reflect when has been said.


Question: When will the church select a Pastor Search Committee? 


Answer: According to the Intentional Interim Ministry covenant, the search committee will be formed as the congregation nears completion of the following: 

· The five focus points of the self-identity study (see above)

· A profile describing the congregation is developed and accepted by the church 

· A profile of the desired characteristics and qualities of next pastor has been approved by the church

At that point, the Transition Team will recommend to the church that the Pastor Search Committee be formed according to governing documents (see below). The Pastor Search Committee begins its work with a solid body of information and is therefore much ahead of where they would have been apart from the IIM process.


Question: Who will serve on the EmmausPastor Search Committee?


Answer: The by-laws of Emmaus Baptist Church will guide the process for Search Committee selection. 


Question: Can a Transition Team member serve on the Pastor Search Committee? 


Answer: Yes, if selected by the process above,


Question: When is the Intentional Interim Ministry process completed? 


Answer: Following the formation and training of the Pastor Search Committee by the Intentional Interim Minister, the Transition Team wraps up their work and is decommissioned. At that time, the search for a new pastor begins. 


Question: What happens to the Intentional Interim Minister when the PSC begins the search?


Answer: Assuming the covenant has expired, the congregation releases the minister and he begins looking for the next invitation. However, many congregations consider retaining the IIM until another congregation emerges that needs his/her services. In addition, a new covenant may also be negotiated that benefits both church and minister until the new pastor arrives.

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