frequently asked questions

faq on lcms TRANSItional Interim Ministry.

Discover more about Transitional Interim Ministry. Get answers to common questions and find the information you need.

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How does one go about getting a Tim pastor?

Email to find out whom to contact in your district about getting a Transitional Interim Ministry pastor.

How long does a tim pastor serve a congregation?

This depends on many factors, but typically from one year to two years. The factors depend on the condition of the congregation, the depth of the challenge at hand and congregational leadership. Length of interim ministry is one of the early conversations a congregation will have with a potential interim pastor. It should be noted, as a congregation prepares to receive its next resident pastor, the length of the call is not as important as the health of the church.

won’t we get the same benefit from a vacancy pastor as from a tim pastor?

A vacancy pastor is typically engaged to keep essential ministries going, but is not usually trained to provide organizational insight and guidance navigate congregational grief and loss nor lead a Learning Team through a process designed to rediscover your missional identity.

What is the involvement of the district?

Some districts provide and sustain a Transitional Interim Ministry program that includes consultation and supervision. In all cases, the district president and staff will be involved in helping to determine the need for a TIM pastor and, additionally, help the congregation formulate goals and parameters for the interim period. The district can also assist in identifying a trained and experienced TIM pastor suitable to serve your congregation.

What is the process a tim pastor will lead our congregation through?

There are five interactive areas of development (or focus points) a congregation will typically explore through its Transition Team during the self study stage of the TIM period. See: CCH Intro Video

  1. Heritage – Reviewing its historical heritage with appreciation, honesty, and transparency – talking through the issues, strengths, and challenges of the past to be able to go forward.
  2. Mission – Renewing identity, purpose, and vision, the congregation gets clarity about why she exists and what opportunities are being provided.
  3. Leadership – A new pastor often brings along shifts in lay leadership and a chance to review the congregation’s organization, governance, and staffing.
  4. Connections – Strengthening the congregation’s relationships with the circuit, district, and synod, as well as with those needs and resources in the congregation’s community setting, thereby helping them to focus beyond themselves.
  5. Future – Exploring new directions for ministry and mission, the congregation describes herself (profile) and the pastoral leadership gifts necessary to be ready for a Divine Call answering the question: “What is God calling us to do, at this time and in this place?”

Each interim ministry process has unique emphases depending on the need and goals agreed upon by the congregation in agreement with the District and the Transitional Interim Pastor. Congregations that have experienced trauma, misconduct, or extreme conflict may require specially trained pastors.

what is a typical compensation package for a tim pastor?

Given that your TIM pastor will be performing all the duties you expect your next pastor to perform as well as leading through a process designed to strengthen your congregation spiritually and organizationally, TIM pastors are typically paid what the congregation expects to pay its next pastor according to district or synod guidelines.. Some TIM pastors need compensation for regular travel, if they are living away from home. All this will be negotiated with your TIM pastor as you negotiate the shape of your work together.

Can we keep our tim pastor?

TIM pastors and congregations often develop a bond of love as they do ministry and developmental work together. Unfortunately, a TIM pastor is not permitted to stay. His temporary status is instrumental to the important work he is doing for your congregation, work that is clearly for the sake of the Kingdom, not his own benefit.