What is an “interim period?”

An interim period in a church is typically the period of time between when a senior pastor resigns and a new senior pastor or leadership group begins. During that time, while a new leader or leaders are being searched for, the church continues to function.

Sometimes interim periods are treated as a time to “sit and wait” or to “hold the fort” until the long term leadership is established. More often, interim periods are very valuable periods for a church to unite and mobilize and press forward in their vision so that they are ready to hit the ground running with the future leadership.

It is not our intention to use the interim period to simply “hold the fort” but rather to strive to unify and mobilize our church around our goal to glorify God through a movement of the Gospel that is producing people who enjoy God, grow within community, and love others.

What is the process for finding a new senior pastor?

A search committee will be formed that will be charged with searching for a potential senior pastor candidate, vetting the candidate, and ultimately recommending the candidate to the church for a vote. Once a candidate is found and recommended by the search committee, the covenant members of the church will vote to install him into the position of senior pastor.

The details of the process can be read in Article 7, Section 2 of our church constitution (posted on our website).

Before we can form a search committee, we first will work on bringing our Nominating Committee (in charge of vetting out new elder candidates) up to six members (it is currently at 3), and then we will work on bringing more people onto the current Board of Elders (we currently have 6). Once the Board of Elders is increased, we will work on establishing the Search Committee.

In summary the sequence will go, update the Nominating Committee, then update the Board of Elders, then establish the Search Committee.

How long should we expect the interim period to last?

We don’t know specifically how long the process will take. It is common for the process to take at least 1-2 years once the search committee is formed.

Who will be leading the church during the interim period?

Joshua Kirstine and Bill Magsig have been asked to be the Co-Interim Pastors. These two men will work alongside the Board of Elders to lead and shepherd the church through the interim period.

Why do we need two interim pastors? What are the responsibilities of the interim pastors?

We consulted several people about what to do and they all agreed that the two pastors we have would be a better solution than trying to bring in someone from the outside, or to try to charge only one of them with all the responsibilities the interim pastor will need to fulfill. With the combination of a smaller staff (in the course of only one year we are down from 7 pastors to 2 full time pastors, and one part time pastor) and the several specific issues we need to resolve in the interim period, we felt the best use of our pastoral budget would be to hire Joshua Kirstine and Bill Magsig as co-interim pastors.

Specifically, we believe even with two interims, they will have their hands full with more responsibilities than any one person can handle. The Interim Pastors have five primary responsibilities:

1. Communicating Gospel-Centered Vision

2. Overseeing Accountability

3. Developing Leadership

4. Building Unity

5. Preparing the Church ( for the Future Leadership)

For more details on each area of responsibility, see the document “Interim Pastors – 5 Key Areas of Responsibility” posted on our website.

Will the interim pastors be considered for the senior pastor job?

Not at this time. However, while both Joshua and Bill have expressed their desire to focus completely on the Interim Pastor role, we have not felt like God has led us one way or another on whether we should consider them or not.

We think instead, we want to start the process of looking for a Senior Pastor earnestly, and if Joshua and/or Bill are the men for the job, we believe God will make that evident to us all as a church in the process. Their job at this point is to focus all their energy on being Interim Pastors and they are completely on board with that responsibility. 

Will Joshua Kirstine and Bill Magsig be asked to leave the staff once a new senior pastor is found?

We don’t know. That decision will be made when we establish the new leadership. Both Joshua and Bill have said they understand they may be asked to leave at the end of the interim period, but it is not a foregone conclusion that both or either will be asked to leave.

What is the minimum number of elders we need in the interim period?

We can operate with the current six elders we have, but our desire is to increase the number of elders on our current board.

There are two documents that we are working diligently to adhere to in terms of how the Board of Elders is functioning at the time of this document.

1. Our official constitution

2. The Biblical Elder Resolution that was adopted on April 11, 2010.

According to Article VIII, Section 2 of our constitution:

“ The Elders shall consist of twelve (12) or more members…”

The Biblical Elder Resolution stated:

“I authorize the current board to call for, equip, and ultimately recommend for appointment by the congregation the men that God chooses for the office of biblical Elder. At that time, the current board, along with the office of senior pastor, will be exchanged for a group of biblical Elders (as defined in the document “What is a Biblical Elder?”).”

We read this to say that the resolution asked the current Board of Elders to lead the church to a Biblical Elder board. Therefore, the resolution allows for the current Board of Elders to operate under the six people who are left from the Board of Elders at the time of the resolution rather than the minimum 12 as stated originally in the constitution.

For the sake of clarity, at the time of the resolution (April 11, 2010), there were nine total elders including the senior pastor. Since then, two board members have resigned and our senior pastor has resigned leaving us with the current six member Board of Elders.

However, it is the Board of Elders desire to see more people added to the current board in order to help with the many issues on the table that weren’t on the table at the time of the resolution. So they are working to bring the Nominating Committee back up to six members (there are currently 3) so that the committee can begin the process of identifying men who could be added to the current board as soon as possible.

Will we be adding new members to the current Board of Elders? What is the process?

We hope so. The process is for a Nominating Committee of six people to be formed and for them to identify and vet any elder candidate. Once they establish that the candidate meets the requirements for an elder, they present the candidate to the church to vote each candidate into the office of elder.

For more details, see Article 10, Section 2 of our constitution (available on our website).

Will a new Children’s Ministry Director/Pastor be hired? What is the plan for Children’s Ministry at this point?

Yes. We are in the process of looking for a Children’s Ministry Director/Pastor.

There are three main goals for our Children’s Ministry Department in 2011 (a complete list of the 2011 Department Goals for Olive Drive Church is available on our website):

  • Acquire Vocational Staffing: Hire New Children’s Director/Pastor
  • Double the Volunteer Children’s Ministry Teams: Double current ministry teams in both Early Childhood (20) & Elementary (20)
  • Develop and Expand Programming: Continue to solidify a strong Sunday Morning kids program & Initiate Midweek and special events Children’s Ministry programs that help children enjoy God and parents grow in Christ

Want to submit a question to our Elder Board?
Use the link below.

Email the ODC Board of Elders