Welcome to betweenpreachers.com: a blog and website dedicated to discussing biblical principles, providing information, and sharing tools for leading effective transitions between times of lengthy ministries.
My full-time ministry has taken me to five congregations 1967–2007 and seven congregations for interim ministry 2007–present.
I was blessed with a variety of experiences in transition in ministry. The first church out of school was my first full-time work and their first full-time preacher. I didn’t know what I was doing when I went and didn’t know what I was doing when I left. In the second congregation, I was fired. The third, I resigned without having any idea of where I was going. Between the fourth and last church, I spent seven months discussing, planning, and thinking. It was a slow, smooth transition.
I plan to post twice a month and add multiple resources that will help churches make good transitions and grow spiritually whether the transition was preceded by peace or conflict. My intent is to blog until I write everything I know about interim ministry. Then I will be finished.
If you think you can find a helpful “mustard seed” in this blog, please subscribe and tell elders, deacons, preachers, and all concerned Christians about this resource.
The human is composed of heart, soul, mind, and strength. We are not machines. When a preacher, who has been in his position for five years or more, dies, moves, retires, or is released, often the person who follows is destined to be in that position for a short time. We have the choice of having an intentional interim or an unintentional interim. I’ve tried it both ways. Intentional interim ministry is much more pleasant and more effective.
There needs to be a time of grief and adjustment at the exit of the previous preacher to prepare for the next. It is an excellent time for reflection, evaluation, and refocusing on God’s plan for this congregation. A trained intentional interim minister can be helpful to lead the congregation through this time of transition. Preparation and experience are helpful. Signing a contract that he will not consider or permit himself to be considered as the next preacher is essential.
I grew up in Centerville, Tennessee, graduating from Hickman County High School in 1963.
I went to Freed-Hardeman University, receiving an A.A. and a Third Year Certificate in Bible in 1966.
It was there that I met Gail Champion, who was raised at Childhaven in Cullman, Alabama. We were married August 18, 1964. We have two children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandsons.
I received a B.A. in Bible from Lipscomb University in June 1967.
Classes on counseling, grief, and conflict under James A. Jones, M.A., Central church of Christ, Dalton, Georgia, 1982–1985, provided me with principles and skills on how to deal with people, problems, and conflict. It was my privilege to serve as a co-leader of more than thirty workshops, Leadership Dynamic for Dynamic Leaders, 1986–2006.
John Parker, Gail, and I participated in Basic Education from the Interim Ministry Network in 1998, 1999. There were two weeks class instruction and six months field work. This was eight years before we started interim ministry. I took a refresher course from the Interim Ministry Network, March 2007.
The Post Graduate Seminar in Family Emotional Process at The Center for Family Process in Bethesda, Maryland consisted of three three-day seminars, October 2001, January, April 2002. This educational and growth experience was started by Edwin Friedman, author of Generation to Generation and many other books. Besides the Bible, this book has been the most influential in my life and ministry.
Gail and I participated in the Coaching with Excellence workshop with Dan Miller, January 16, 17, 2014. We learned principles in helping others grow and develop according to their opportunities and personalities.
Some of the best educational experiences I have had are weeks of isolation where I read, studied, and reflected fourteen hours a day. I did this August 11–18, 2000, November 5–9, 2001, September 13–17, 2004, and September 16–20, 2013.
Shady Acres Church of Christ, Sikeston, Missouri, April 2017-present
Northside Church of Christ, Jeffersonville, Indiana, September 2015-February 2017
Maury City, Tennessee, September 2013-July 2015
LaVergne, Tennessee, August 2011-June 2013
Collegeside, Cookeville, Tennessee, March 2010-June 2011
Hendersonville, Tennessee, October 2008-December 2009
Eddyville, Kentucky, May 2007-August 2008
Berry’s Chapel church of Christ, June 1993-April 2007
Sabbatical, June, July, August 2000
West Nashville Heights church of Christ, July 1988-May 1993
Central church of Christ, Dalton, Georgia, April 1977-June 1988
Madisonville church of Christ, Madisonville, Kentucky, December 1968-March 1977
Yorkville church of Christ, Yorkville, Tennessee, March 1967-November 1968
Regular Sunday appointments while in school:
Wrigley church of Christ, Wrigley, Tennessee, June 1966-February 1967
Dorris Chapel church of Christ, Trenton, Tennessee, September 1965-May 1966
Yorkville church of Christ, Yorkville, Tennessee, June 1965-August 1965
Northside church of Christ, Corinth, Mississippi, August 1964-May 1965
Monthly appointments while in high school and first year of college:
Lower Sulphur church of Christ, Centerville, Tennessee
Little Rock church of Christ, Wrigley, Tennessee
Wolf Creek church of Christ, Centerville, Tennessee
Beaverdam Springs church of Christ, Centerville, Tennessee
Brush Creek church of Christ, Linden, Tennessee
Farmers Valley church of Christ, Linden, Tennessee
I’ve been practicing ventriloquism since 1955. I do several programs each year for schools, teacher appreciation banquets, and golden age banquets.
I’ve been running since 1969. I completed the Country Music Marathon 2004, 2005, 2006. I’ve been running barefoot since the Spring of 2010. I’ve completed four half-marathons barefoot.
I enjoy riding a one-speed cruiser bike. I’ve completed eight century rides on the Natchez Trace.