Why are we doing an Intentional Interim Ministry Process? 
Can’t we just go ahead and call a “real” pastor?


When a church is considering – or has committed to – having an “outsider” come in during a season of transition between installed pastors, questions like those above often come up.  And they are fair ones!

Perhaps the easiest way to answer them for New Philadelphia is:  the Provincial Elders Conference (PEC) now strongly recommends it for congregations in the Southern Province. But that response is not enough.  It begs the follow-up query “so why does PEC suggest it?”

As I mentioned in the message on March 24, research has shown that churches who take the time – during a season of transition – to carefully reflect and plan for the days ahead, stand a better chance of calling the “right” pastor – the one who can best lead them to the dream God has put in their heart.

Worth Green was here a long time.  And, to his great credit, he had a marvelous ministry with you.  But I’ve heard it said more than once just this week “there will never be another one like him.”  I agree!

So it’s important – for Worth’s good and honorable legacy, for the members who remain, for the next pastor here, and for a new generation of the faithful – that New Philadelphia look to the days ahead.  That, obviously, takes time, effort, and prayer – a lot of “marching around,” as I quoted in a recent service from Thorton Wilder’s play Our Town.

As you well know, much has changed in recent years – much has changed!  Now is our church’s opportunity to take a long look at who we have become and why – and whether we are properly poised to continue being “ . . . a caring congregation, worshiping God, and encouraging one another to seek a closer relationship with Jesus Christ, as we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in service and in mission” moving forward.

And that, my friends, is why we’re doing an Intentional Interim Ministry process.  Aren’t you glad you asked!?!


Larry Jones