A CANDIDATE FOR AN INTERIM PASTOR POSITION
The interim time is a special time in the life of a congregation. It is
Before the interview with interim ministry candidates, the following preparations can be made:
Possible Interviewing Questions and what to look for:
What do you value about interim ministry? Do you approach it any differently than you would in a called/installed position? (Does this candidate have an understanding and passion for interim ministry?)
What do you see as some of your strengths in helping a church during a time of transition? (Are these the strengths we need at this time?)
What are some of the kinds of situations that challenge and stretch you? (Will this candidate be over their head by working with us during this interim?)
Share a Bible story that has particular meaning for you and why. (Does this candidate’s theology and approach to the Bible mesh with ours?)
What feeds your spirit? (How will this person function as our spiritual leader?)
How would you describe your leadership style? (Will this style fit with our structure of decision-making, e.g., your Session/Council/Cabinet/Consistory?)
Discuss with the candidate the tasks you think your church needs to accomplish before being ready to receive a new pastor. (Is there grieving going on? conflict to resolve? a need for renewal? a lack of clarity of direction and mission? ) How do you propose helping us address these issues?
Show the candidate a copy of a sample worship service. Does this order of worship correspond to what you are used to? (Explore any differences. The candidate will bring some changes but should be able to show respect for your ways as well.) Share the role other members of the church usually play in worship leadership.
Talk about the various groups and programs in the church and what role you want the interim pastor to play with each. (Remember that a time of transition is a good time to consider when to let go of some things, change direction, or experiment or explore new things.) Are you able to relate to these groups and programs in the ways we need at this time?
Describe other hired or volunteer staff positions and discuss the role you want the interim pastor to have with these persons.
How can we reach you in case of emergencies? (Sometimes an interim minister will be commuting a distance or serving you in less than full-time arrangements.)
How long a commitment are you able to make in serving us as interim minister? (Some candidates may be ready to commit for the duration of your search until the next pastor is ready to begin; others may intend to move on at an earlier point.)
Review regular pastoral expectations, such as:
What kind of salary compensation are you seeking? What housing allowance or arrangement will you need? (Be prepared to know what your bottom line lump sum total is. Give the interim candidate freedom to apportion the amounts in the way that suits their situation. Every interim candidate may do this a bit differently. )
Let the candidate know when you expect to make a decision. As a courtesy, be prepared to reimburse candidates for their travel expenses for the interview.
When appropriate, negotiate a contract. Clear agreement should be reached about: