Challenges of Interim Ministry

Interim Ministry Workshop, Tuesday-Thursday March 14–16, 2023, Heritage Christian University, Florence, Alabama

We’ve been doing interim ministry since the first Sunday of May 2007. We enjoy it tremendously. When people ask, “How’s it going where you are working now?”, my answer is, “I never met an interim I didn’t like.”

But there are challenges of having a house in Nashville and living in another place.

Challenges of Living in Two Places

  1. Maintaining two residences. Three churches have provided housing. During one interim, we lived at home. We rented a house, a duplex, and apartments for the remainder of the churches. We pay utilities at our house in Nashville and at our interim residence. Thankfully, we’ve had no problems with our house in Nashville. We cut off the water when we leave and have had no leaks. Our house is available to people who need to stay there. Lived-in houses are easier to maintain than empty houses. We don’t move to a new location. We live in the new location. Our furniture stays in our house. We borrow furniture from people in our interim church. We travel with an interim bed we bought for that purpose. Having a consistent bed is helpful.
  2. Not seeing family as often as we’d like.
  3. Mail delivery. We didn’t learn for four years we weren’t supposed to hold mail and pick it up at the post office. When we learned that, we rented a post office box. When we return home each month, we have a month’s collection of mail to work through.
  4. Doctor appointments. I had a trip to the emergency room in February near where we’re working in Pacific, Missouri. I tried to see a local doctor to follow up on questions about my next step in recovery. No one would see me and take my insurance. A walk-in clinic said they would not diagnose me and would not prescribe any medicine. I returned to Nashville to see my local doctor. That was a two-day trip for a fifteen-minute appointment.

Dealing with Challenges

  1. Agree on time off. In my contract, I have a week off (7 days) each month and two days off each week. These are my choices. We see doctors, read the mail, and visit family. We’re making progress. We’re only two years behind on celebrating our children’s birthdays. We enjoyed Brian Parsons’ 2021 birthday on our last trip home. Now, we’re only two years behind. A few years ago, we were four years behind. Two of the weeks off are for family. We went on our 28th family vacation in the Smokies this summer. We have a Christmas weekend in December or January when Jerrie Wayne and Christi tell us it’s best for them. During the remaining months, I often have a meeting or a workshop.
  2. We have a neighbor who does landscaping and keeps our yard cut and maintained.
  3. We take two months off between interims to rest, renew, and take an interim trip.
  4. We’ve found dentists who take Humana insurance in the Pacific, Missouri area.

When we consider the challenges and the blessings, we see the blessings being by far the greatest. We thoroughly enjoy it, and we grow through our work.

If you have an interest in interim ministry and preparing for it or to sharpen your skills in your present ministry, participate in the next workshop.

Interim Ministry Workshop, Tuesday-Thursday March 14–16, 2023, Heritage Christian University, Florence, Alabama

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Jerrie Barber
Disciple of Jesus, husband, grandfather, preacher, barefoot runner, ventriloquist

3 Responses to “Challenges of Interim Ministry

  • Eddison Fowler
    2 years ago

    Thank you brother. You are a great blessing and a gift from God. May He continue using you to bless His church and other people.

    • Edison,

      Thank you for your encouragement.

      May God continue to bless the good work you have done for many years.

      • Eddison Fowler
        2 years ago

        Thank you too brother Jerrie. Your ministry is extremely important and I know of no other like it. May God continue blessing you in this fine work.