HomeLifestyleFaithFAITH: The Interim Pastor

FAITH: The Interim Pastor

Author

Date

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column of those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Augusta Press.) 

Since I have been retired, I have had the privilege of serving eight different churches in the position of Interim Pastor.  For those who do not understand what that term refers to, let me shed a little light on the subject.  

An Interim Pastor is a preacher who fills the pastoral office when a church finds that they are without an active pastor.  Maybe he retired.  Maybe he left for another field of service, but whatever the reason, the church is in need of someone to fill the pulpit each week and also help the church with some pastoral duties.  The Interim Pastor also will assist in finding another pastor for the church if the people desire for him to do so.  The Interim Pastor can also be a healing balm for a church and he will provide a period of time for the members to get over losing their beloved pastor and begin to anxiously anticipate the man who will soon fill the Pastoral office.  But in the meantime, an Interim Pastor will certainly develop relationships with the people to help them until a new Pastor arrives on the field.

[adrotate banner=”71″]


After retiring several years ago, I was immediately contacted by a church family and I began my journey into the Interim Pastor field.  When I left the full-time pastorate, I wondered if anyone would ever want to hear me preach again but thankfully, the Lord has kept me busy helping churches during their interim time.  The delightful thing about such a ministry is that one gets to meet a variety of people from church to church and he can engender friendships which will last forever.  When the church finds a new man to fill their pastoral position, the interim Pastor will step aside and wait for the Lord to show him another place of service.  In the Lord’s timing, an official of a church which has lost its pastor, will call about enlisting the help of the Interim Pastor to assist them while they search for a new Shepherd of the flock.

Many times, a church will find that they will be renewed and revived under the leadership of a good Interim Pastor.  He is a new personality with different skills.  He is also a different voice in the pulpit which will give the church a fresh perspective.  A renewed sense of energy and expectation will have a chance to take root and grow so that when a new Pastor comes on the field, he will find a place eager to follow his leadership and have a new burst of commitment and growth.  The Interim Pastor fills a very important spot in the life of a church.  I thank the Lord for men who fill the Interim Pastor position for a period of time.  

[adrotate banner=”20″]


Some churches fall in love with their Interim Pastor to the point that they will ask him to become their full-time Pastor.  While this works from time to time, it is generally not something that is successful.  I always make sure that a church understands that I am not seeking a pastorate and that I am not available for their open position.  I am always flattered that a church would invite me to fill their Pastoral position (and it has happened on more than one occasion) but I politely decline.

So, Interim Pastors are an important part of church life.  They are really essential to the health of the church as they fill the important position of Pastor while the church is without one.  When the new pastor comes to the church, he should find that it is functioning properly and has been properly fed the Word during the interim time.  Pray for men who function in the capacity of Interim Pastor from time to time.  It is a difficult task but one that contributes to the health of a church during a crucial time of transition.  I thank the Lord for those Churches who have let me serve them as Interim Pastor and look forward to helping any others that might call on me.

Reverend William (Bill) Harrell has been in ministry 48 years. He served as the pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez, GA for over 30 of those years. He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also check out his blog at www.williamfharrell.com 

1 COMMENT

Recent posts

Recent comments

Juliann McCraney on Column: Faith: Ups and downs
Robert Schloesser on Saga with Gold Cross EMS continues
Thomas Yarbrough on Garnett Johnson: In his own words
Tedd Antonacci on OPINION: Letter to the editor
Charmain Brackett on Reoccurring Members
Charmain Brackett on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Russell Smeak on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Trudy Edwards on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Gay Wright on Reoccurring Members
Russell Smeak on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Charmain Brackett on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Charmain Brackett on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Russell Smeak on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Thomas Plowden on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Charmain Brackett on Man struck by train Thursday
Thomas Yarbrough on Man struck by train Thursday
Tedd Antonacci on Man struck by train Thursday
Dennis Perry on FAITH: Our Only Hope
Robert Turbyfill on Column: Serene18 – take two
Leonard Zimmerman Jr on In The Kitchen With Vera: Oh Honey
Tedd Antonacci on Bomb threat suspect in custody
Frank Bush on FAITH: A Great Lady
Judy Wheeler on FAITH: A Great Lady
Robert Green on Kemp signs tax cut bill
Dan Barnett on FAITH: The Turtle
William Speer on Whither Ukraine?
Sherri Jones Rivers on FAITH: The Turtle
Judy Wheeler on FAITH: The Turtle
Doug Herman on Whither Ukraine?
Phillip Williams on Column: Electing judges
John Mulherin on Column: Electing judges
Sarah Scott on Column: Electing judges
Thomas Yarbrough on XPR Augusta Concerts Canceled
Bill Lesshafft on XPR Augusta Concerts Canceled
Amanda Main on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Tedd Antonacci on XPR Augusta Concerts Canceled
Rev. Bill Harrell on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Jackie VOSS on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Penny Danner on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Rabbi David Sirull on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Elizabeth Ristroph on Michael Meyers: The Law Allows It
Phillip Williams on Michael Meyers: The Law Allows It
Gene Walker on