A Study of the Effectiveness of Interim Pastors

The Association of Presbyterian Interim Ministry Specialists asked Research Services to conduct a survey that would help them do the best job they could as interims. Research Services constructed four questionnaires—one each for the following four constituencies: (1) presbytery executives, (2) chairs of presbytery committees on ministry, (3) clerks of session in congregations that had had an interim pastor, and (4) pastors who followed an interim pastor.

Download PDF

(416.4 KB)

  1. In many ways, an interim pastor is a modern day John The Baptist. As we know, John The Baptist had several missions. Two of these missions were: 1. To get the people of Israel to repent of their sins and be baptized and 2. To prepare the people of Israel for the coming of the Messiah. Likewise, the interim pastor has many missions. Two of them are: 1. To provide a church with the necessary day to day leadership during the period of transition and 2. To enable the Pastor or Associate Pastor Nomination to perform its important task of finding the next "shepherd" for the church. We praise God, the Commissions on Ministry. and our Presbyteries for our interim "shepherds". They fulfill a vital function within the church.

    by Robert H Wright Jr

    September 29, 2014

  2. You're correct, John. Our clients were interested specifically in the perceptions of those who have been involved in interim ministry. It would be a different study entirely to look at objective measures of what happens during the interim period. It also did not look at congregations the called a new pastor without the help of an interim pastor.

    by Deborah Bruce

    August 13, 2010

  3. I serve on the Committee on Ministry in the Detroit Presbytery. I have served as an Interim Chaplain and Pastor without the benefit of Interim Training I. I also studied social and political research at the undergraduate level. While the survey may have used the standard criteria for social research methodology, I would still maintain that the study is seriously flawed. The results are based upon the subjective opinions of people who have a vested interest in the interim process not on an objective criteria--attendance, membership, baptisms or some other criteria.

    by john h pavelko

    July 20, 2010

Leave a comment