COMMUNICATING THE NEED FOR AND BENEFITS OF INTENTIONAL INTERIM MINISTRY FOR LCMC CONGREGATIONS

Full Title
COMMUNICATING THE NEED FOR AND BENEFITS OF INTENTIONAL INTERIM MINISTRY FOR LCMC CONGREGATIONS
Author
Dawn Spies D.Min.
Abstract
The time between pastors can be a season of renewed focus on God’s actions in the life of a congregation. Walking through this interim time can also be colored by stress, grief, and frustration. Intentional interim ministry (IIM) provides a congregation with a trained and experienced guide to help a congregation discern God’s leading and prepare well for their next pastor. Communicating the need for and benefits of IIM to Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) associated congregations provides targeted options for congregations addressing an upcoming pastoral vacancy.

LCMC’s congregational polity and mutual accountability calls association staff and pastors to provide resources, support, and best practices for congregations entering a time of pastoral transition. An introductory presentation and facilitator training were created, taught, and evaluated with the goal of equipped intentional interim pastors to facilitate the presentation for LCMC as requested.

The facilitator training and an example of the introductory presentation were evaluated using two questionnaires. To further refine these tools, LCMC leaders with experience working with congregations in pastoral transition were invited to participate in a semi-structured interviewed. The initial training, evaluations, and interviews identified strengths in the introductory presentation where common questions were addressed, clarifying the need for and benefits of IIM, and reminding congregations that transition is a natural part of life in the church. Unaddressed questions were also identified. While the facilitator training was useful, the erroneous assumption that a brief training session for facilitators would be sufficient preparation to meet any congregations, including conflicted and anxious congregations, was identified. Overall, training pastors to facilitation an introductory presentation was successful, and a refined version of these tools could be utilized within LCMC to communicate the need for and benefits of IIM to congregations entering a time of pastoral transition.
Degree Granting Institution
Country
United States
Degree Granted
Doctor of Ministry
Major
Leadership and Management
Type of Work
D.Min. Project
Advisor
Martin Crain D.Min.
Steven Roy Ph.D.
William Donahue Ph.D.
Jonathan Y Kim Ph.D.
Language
English
Date
2022
Copyright Statement
Copyright is held by author. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.