Well…I had a good laugh today—shouldn’t we have at least one good laugh every day? I decided to look up the word interim. The phrase that popped up as a synonym for interim is makeshift. Not exactly how I see my ministry with you at Zion!
Let’s move on to a different synonym; thrown together. Nope, not how I see my work at all–just ask my family about my careful, well-thought-out, and annoying lists. Although, thrown together could have some wonderful ties to how we think of the Holy Spirit’s work in bringing congregation and pastor together. When a pastor accepts a call to serve in a congregation, we trust that the Holy Spirit has put us together for the work of ministry in this time and place. So, in that sense, I am glad to be thrown together with you by the Holy Spirit. I look forward to seeing what the Holy Spirit is up to as we seek to discern God’s preferred future for Zion.
On to some other synonyms for interim–caretaker, transitional. Better, but not inclusive of how the Lutheran church approaches interim ministry. To make sense, another word needs to be added to interim and it is an important addition. That word is Intentional. I am called here to serve as your Intentional Interim Senior Pastor. An intentional interim period for a congregation is deliberate and purposeful.
Intentional interim ministry is not a new thing in the Church. Since 1970, the Church has been addressing the needs of congregations by developing a specialized approach to interim ministry. To that end, I have been trained by the Institute of National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors. That training helps me pay attention and listen to the inner workings of a congregation. To that end, the first major task of intentional interim ministry is to: stop, look, and listen. As I do so,
I covenant with you:
- To take time to listen to you. I pray that you will share with me your hopes, dreams, questions, and inspirations for the ministry ahead.
- I covenant to keep you informed. I pray that you will take time to intentionally invest in staying informed by listening, participating, and trusting.
- I covenant to pray for you. I pray that you will do the same for me.
- I covenant to remind you that this congregation belongs to God. To remind you that God has, is, and always will lead and guide this congregation. I pray that you will rest secure in that knowledge.
Thanks be to God who has equipped us.
And who will direct us in all we do together!
I look forward to getting to know you and the ministries of Zion. I am always open to questions, comments, and suggestions along the way. May God keep us laughing and focused on God’s way while we are called together for ministry in God’s so loved world. See you at Zion!
Pastor Bahe began her ministry at Zion on September 20. Pastor Bahe and her husband live in Big Lake and she has experience with a variety of churches and roles. She has served small, medium, and large congregations including Mount Olivet. She also served in the Bishop’s office for the Eastern North Dakota Synod.