On page 12 of this week’s print edition of the Biblical Recorder there is a short article titled “7 Reasons Why Churches Need a Trained Interim Pastor.” This is one of several features in each print edition that is not available on our website, so I want to call attention to it.
The article’s writer, Eddie Thompson, is senior consultant for pastoral ministries of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. I recently became more familiar with Thompson’s ministry of training interim pastors after attending a training seminar at Caraway Conference Center. In the interest of full disclosure, I am preparing to become one of those interim pastors after my retirement on May 31. However, I am not writing from self-interest. I write from concern for the health of our churches. Also, N.C. Baptists need to know about valuable resources like this.
Serving as your editor for eight years, I have been exposed to a broad perspective regarding the needs of our N.C. Baptist churches. One of the great needs I have discovered relates to the struggles many churches face when a pastor leaves and the search for a new pastor begins. Oh the horror stories I have seen and heard about! Don’t get me wrong – not all transitions are horror stories, but many are sad accounts of conflict, confusion, self promotion and manipulation.
That’s where a skilled interim pastor can help. This person is trained to listen, love and minister to the local congregation. He can help the church avoid many perilous pitfalls and prepare the way for an effective ministry when the new pastor arrives. This is a great need in churches that want to build positive relationships with the community they intend to reach for Christ. Their community does not need to see a church that is divided and bickering. Such division destroys the church’s witness externally and robs the membership of their joy and energy internally.
Please read Thompson’s article in the print edition and contact him when your church needs an interim pastor.
Sunday I was honored to preach the word for Pastor Ferran Roper at Corinth Baptist Church in Elizabeth City. I'm grateful for Corinth and churches like this across our state that are strongly committed to reaching the world with the gospel through hands on missions and generous giving through the Cooperative Program.
People need to know!
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