Consultation is often the first contact you – the intentional interim pastor – has with a potential client church. Both parties have an agenda. You want to help them decide if they need an intentional interim period and if so, secure the assignment. They want to figure out if an interim is right for them and whether you are the right one for the job.

In this article I want to give you a couple of tools that will help you discern the need and help them make the correct decision.

The first tool you want to use is the 9 Signs That You Need An Intentional Interim. Before the meeting ask that each person will read that article and check off the signs they see in their church. This is an important pre-meeting activity because some may be predisposed to skip an intentional interim period. These folks will want to launch right into the pastor search process. Reading that article may avert a poor decision. Print a copy of the article to take with you. You may need to use it to “close the sale.”

At the initial meeting you’ll use two powerful tools to move them toward the proper decision (which may or may not be to engage an intentional interim pastor). The first is a PowerPoint slide deck, The Lifecycle of the Local Church. The second, The Elements of a Fruitful Ministry is the subject of a future post!

This video explains the lifecycle. After the break there’s a link where you can get your a copy of the PowerPoint slide deck.


After you’ve taken them through the presentation, return to the slide that shows the entire lifecycle. Next, you’ll say, “I’d like each one of you to write down where you think your church falls on the lifecycle.” Give them a few moments.

Then ask each person intern what he or she wrote down. Ask the quietest person in the group first. Work your away around the group from the weaker members to the stronger. Take care lest you start with the most outspoken member. You want every person to voice his or her own opinion before the strongest influencers and the thought leaders speak.

Now you have a decision to make. If you sense that things are going great and that resistance is minimal you’ll proceed to The Elements of a Fruitful Ministry (I promise, it’ll come in a future post!). If you sense resistance and you are sure they need an intentional interim ministry then pull out the 9 Signs That You Need An Intentional Interim and ask the group which of the 9 criteria their church meets. Ask them to identify who in the group or who in the church has the skills that are necessary to resolve the problems that they themselves have identified in the church. Then allow the Holy Spirit and the group process to run its course.

Get the PowerPoint Presentation for free

I’d like you to have the PowerPoint presentation in your toolbox. All you have to do to collect this PowerPoint presentation is hit the “Free Resource” box to the right or go to this link.