Some have referred to interim pastors as “temporary shepherds”. Others, often mockingly, have called them “very lame ducks”! Actually, the ministry of an interim pastor is a much-needed and often complicated one.
- “Just don’t rock the boat” – The nature of a temporary ministry may include attention to matters of vision, mission, building, staffing, budget, growth, and structure. Sometimes congregations find themselves in severe conflict and a major state of decline. Then “rocking the boat” has already happened and interim pastors tend to the system (congregation) and deal with urgent issues. Fortunately, BCMC has done incredible work in the past number of years in many of these areas. “Rocking the boat” is not desired nor anticipated. More than likely, I will be called to steer the boat, keep it on course, and encourage the passengers (BCMC leaders and participants) to keep on rowing. There is much to be thankful for; there is much to look forward to. I will hold up the mirror and reflect what I see as I minister in the name of Jesus Christ.
- “Just what will you do?” The three areas that will require my 3/4 time are: worship/preaching, crisis ministry, and administration. We will work together as a current staff who already have a tradition of spiritual worship that combines the heart, mind, and soul in Christian discipleship. I will work with the Worship Commission to invite many voices to participate–especially with attention to inter-generational worship–by offering their gifts in word and deed. In the area of pastoral care, I will attend to crisis situations and major life changes. Susan Wheeler and I will coordinate care along with the Visitation Team and Deacons. And finally, I will attend to administration to be sure that communication is clear and goals are accomplished. The Church Board will be setting direction and consulting with the congregation as the Pastoral Search Committee begins its work. I look forward to these varied ministries in the next 6-12 months.
- “Weren’t you retired?” Yes, I was! I enjoyed the less demanding schedule and the ability to sleep late and travel to see my mother in Minnesota, my brother in Colorado and our daughter in Ohio. However, the tug to serve BCMC was very strong and the opportunity to again delve deeply into pastoral ministry a true calling.
May God grant us all new visions for mission as we conclude the 15-year chapter of ministry of Heidi Regier Kreider and prepare to welcome a new pastor in the next year.
Dorothy Nickel Friesen