A minister transition represents one of the most important periods in a church’s life. It helps to have someone guiding the process who knows the way.
Interim Ministry Partners (IMP), a division of HOPE Network Ministries, focuses on churches looking for a new Senior Minister. Losing (and finding) a preaching minister can be a difficult and demanding experience for a congregation. Where do you start? What steps should you take? How can church leaders use the “interim season” to accomplish positive, healthy, and spiritual goals? Is there a trustable process for navigating this time of change?
IMP believes the transition to a new pulpit minister marks one of the most important and significant seasons in the life of a church. It is not something to be avoided or minimized or feared … it is an opportunity churches should embrace and take advantage of. The interim season allows churches to breath, to assess important questions like “Who are we?” and “Where are we going?” and “What do we believe—really?” It can encourage churches to rethink the call of God on their communal life and ministry. It can be a time when churches hit the “reset” button on their thinking, values, leadership strategies, and outreach. It can be a season when churches learn to be healthy and productive once again.
IMP also believes churches require experienced, qualified leadership during transition times. Many congregational leaders assume they can draw on internal resources to weather the uncertainty and details of an interim season. All it takes is some capable speakers, a schedule, and a little judicious advertising for candidates who are looking for a new Senior Minister position. Right?
The reality is that a minister transition represents one of the most important periods in a church’s life, involving some of the most significant decisions and consequences a church will ever face. Many congregational leaders have never managed a church through such a transition before. (“Our former preacher was here for the last fifteen years!”) Congregational leaders who are too experienced at this process (“We’ve been through four preacher-searches in the past seven years!”) may be mismanaging transition, repeating the same mistakes.
That’s why we formed Interim Ministry Partners.
- We are highly experienced pulpit ministers ourselves.
- We understand ministry and congregational leadership.
- We love churches and their God-given mission.
- We love elders and appreciate their desire to lead effectively.
- And we’ve guided scores of churches in their search for new pulpit leadership.
So, welcome to our website. Come in, make yourself at home, and look around. You’ll find more information about the “interim season,” about a trustable “search process,” and about the Partners who have committed themselves to this particular ministry. You’ll discover resources to sharpen your understanding of the important work to be done in the interim (e.g., “Developing a Mission Statement”). And you will hear a heartening message about the transition season: you don’t have to make this up as you go … you don’t have to go through this alone.