by Jerrie Barber

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BNc) — A preacher’s departure from a church, especially after an extended tenure there, creates stress. While most congregations face this event with Christian maturity and love, even the most stable find this time difficult, and some find it a time of crisis.

Since we completed our stay in Hendersonville December 30, 2009, I am available to work with another congregation as an interim preacher.

An intentional interim preacher can be helpful if a congregation finds itself in one or more of the following situations:

1. The minister served seven or more years before leaving,
2. The minister resigned under pressure (a forced termination),
3. The minister’s resignation was requested due to ethical or moral misconduct,
4. The minister departed in the midst of severe conflict within the church,
5. The church has not conducted a self-study of its structure, history, priorities, mission or vision in the last five years, or
6. The church has a pattern of the last two ministers leaving after having served the church for only two or three years (Ronald G. Brown, © Intentional Interim is copyrighted by Interim Ministry Network, Inc., Baltimore, MD).

From my practice, interim ministry is not just “fill-in preaching.” Gail and I move into the community. I work with the elders and those they select to evaluate the congregation and the strengths the next preacher needs to help them do the work of the Lord in their community. I teach leadership classes and train those who will be searching for the next preacher.

Gail is involved to the extent she is needed. In our last two works Eddyville, Kentucky, and Hendersonville, Tennessee, she taught ladies’ Bible classes and was involved in other areas.

One of the essentials of interim ministry is that I sign a contract that I will not consider or be considered as the next full-time preacher for that congregation.

To learn more about this process, see my web site: BarberClippings .

I would be glad to discuss the opportunities for spiritual growth during transition and suggestions for preacher searches. If you, or someone you know, is aware of a congregation that might consider my services, please let me know.

I am also available for a limited number of workshops and special series. See a partial list on my web site: Special Series and Workshops.

You can contact me by calling or email me: jerrie@barberclippings.com.

Jerrie W. Barber, 756 Woodland Way, Nashville, Tennessee 37209-5207

Barbara has been involved in missions for over 25 years, both in the field and in publishing.