Interim Pastors Quarterly Report
By Rev. Martin J. Homan
Many of us were trained in the earlier system of developmental tasks rather than with the current focus points of Heritage, Leadership, Mission, Connection and Future. The Rev. Martin J. Homan has used a reporting tool (initially developed by Rev. Tom Green) for several years and has adapted it to the new focus points. The tool, which should prove helpful for an evaluative process as well as for reporting, may be found here IP Quarterly Report.
This tool can be a useful tool for the congregation, the Interim leader, and the judicatory. It establishes a reporting procedure between all three parties involved in the Interim process on the local congregational level.
I first used this tool with a congregation over ten years ago. I used this report as a way to communicate what I was learning in the congregation with the members of the church as well as the judicatory. As I use it, I am able to help keep the judicatory as well as the congregation on the same page. After I share this report, I am able to ask the question of the judicatory and the congregation “What do we want to do next?” This information helps the judicatory and the church understand better what they need in a new pastor or rabbi.
Why do I work with the focus points and the process tasks? Originally, I worked with the developmental tasks and the process tasks. Congregational change has shifted from episodic to continual – quicker than most people want to acknowledge. I am able to expand the focus points to include other actions in the congregation. We are moving away from a linear set of tasks to issues in the congregation to items we all need to focus on. These focus points help us all to answer the dialog questions: “Who are we?”, “Who are our neighbors?”, and “What is God calling us to do?” Selfishly, I am able to understand better the focus points as I work with the congregation.
As I work with my own process tasks and the congregation, I am able to make visible to the congregation what I am working on. These process tasks are cyclical in nature with the exception of joining and exiting the congregational system. I want to help the congregation and the judicatory to understand what I am discovering.
The third part of the report is the all important aspect – Is there something else I am missing that the local congregation and the judicatory needs to know? I want to make sure that both the congregation as well as the judicatory knows what is going on during the interim time.
Why is such a report so important for both the judicatory as well as the congregation? The more they both understand about the local church the better the fit for the new pastor. Such new understandings help the congregation prepare better for a new future with a new pastor.
I commend this revised Interim Pastor Quarterly Report to the congregation, judicatory, and transitional clergy. Please feel free to reproduce and alter to fit your local needs. All I ask is that you share your learnings with the Interim Ministry Network so that we all can continue to be a learning community.
Rev. Martin J. Homan has been an ordained pastor in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod since 1981 and has served as an Intentional Interim Pastor since 1995. He specializes in churches with multiple staffs and schools and in after pastor churches. He is an active proponent of Intentional Interim Ministry in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod and the Interim Ministry Network. He served as the newsletter editor for the LCMS Interim Ministry Conference newsletter. Rev. Homan has a distinguished record of service to the Interim Ministry Network. He has been Chair of the Research Committee, elected to the Board of Directors, member of the Executive Committee and Vice-President. Is presently serving on the IMN Faculty and Continuing Education Committee.