Interim Ministry- an Overview

January  2017

 Interim Ministry- an Overview

The interim period – the transitional time between incumbents – is a critical stage in the life of every congregation. As you move through this interim period, St. John’s has a unique opportunity to reflect on the chapter of your story just concluded and to seek to understand where God is calling you to go in the future. The interim period therefore provides a time for a congregation to explore creatively future ministry options and to articulate a compelling vision of future mission. This exploration provides the basis for describing the qualities and skills in leadership needed to help the parish achieve its goals.

Process (usually 18-24 months)

  1. Interim priest-in-charge appointed and letter of Agreement drawn up
  2. Interim ministry team formed to give support and guidance to interim priest-in-charge
  3. Goals and objectives of the Agreement reviewed at intervals, e.g. 3, 6, 12 months
  4. Final review to determine readiness to enter canonical process
  5. Serving wardens, delegates and alternates become canonical committee
  6. Parish profile created and call for a new incumbent circulated by diocese
  7. Canonical committee interviews candidates
  8. Successful applicant is offered position
  9. Interim may remain until new incumbent is ready to join parish or supply is arranged

Possible Timeline

Months 1-2     acknowledging current reality

  • Meeting with leadership and individuals
  • Developing understanding of who does what and how
  • Creating an interim ministry team to provide feedback and reality checks
  • Sharing understandings

Months 2-10   assessing the parish system

  • Sharing stories and developing narrative history
  • Identifying sources of vitality and strength, acknowledging growing edges
  • Identifying areas where adaptive change is needed
  • Engaging with as many people and groups as possible

Months 11-18 building capacity for future

  • Putting energy towards possibilities
  • Promoting reflective capacity and practicing adaptive changes
  • Celebrating successes
  • Further developing self-differentiated and reflective lay leaders
  • Readying the parish for interim priest-in-charge leaving and new incumbent