top of page

Transitional Interim Ministry (TIM)

TIM Three Rivers Retreat – “Interim Ministry in 2024 and Beyond”

A small group of Transitional Interim Pastors enjoyed time together at St. Anthony’s Retreat in Three Rivers on January 15-17. We were especially blessed this year in that several of the wives in attendance also participated in discussions that were facilitated by our main presenter, Dr. Martin Lee. He shared many “Ministry Team” ideas from a draft of his forthcoming book, Paddling In Tandem. Other highlights were devotions, worship, and time together with our district presidents.

Transitional Interim Ministry FAQ

What is a Transitional Interim Ministry Practitioner?

Transitional Interim Ministry (TIM) Pastors are called LCMS pastors who have additional training and credentialing to guide a congregation through a season of transition. TIM Pastors typically serve a congregation for 12-24 months and may not be called as that congregation’s settled pastor. Besides Word and Sacrament ministry, TIM practitioners’ primary work is to prepare a congregation for its next chapter of ministry, often to receive its next settled pastor. TIM Practitioners work with congregational leaders toward spiritual, organizational, and missional unity and vitality, with clarity around what is needed in the next pastoral leader.

In what circumstances might a TIM Pastor be helpful?

TIM Practitioners serve LCMS congregations to work through issues of identity, mission, or organization to be well positioned for their next chapter of Kingdom ministry. For instance, congregations:

  • transitioning from a long-term pastor

  • needing to work through organizational/staffing issues before issuing a call

  • experiencing the abrupt departure of a pastor

  • that can no longer afford a full-time pastor and are looking for a new approach to spiritual leadership

  • considering closing their doors.

What is the process for calling a TIM Pastor?

Any congregation interested in exploring Transitional Interim Ministry should begin by contacting their District President who can verify if TIM would be a helpful path for the congregation to pursue.

TIM Pastor recommendations are made by the District President after consultation with congregation leaders and the Circuit Visitor.


Congregation leaders can meet with TIM Pastor candidates as part of their call process.


While each situation is negotiable, TIM Pastors are expected to serve all the regular duties of a called pastor as well as leading and coaching toward spiritual, organizational, and missional unity and vitality. As such, a TIM Pastor will normally be compensated at the level of the congregation’s next settled pastor.


For more information on Transitional Interim Ministry in the CNH District, contact Intentional Interim Ministry Director Rev. Allen Steinbeck.

The LCMS has a national organization dedicated to the support and promotion of Transitional Ministry, the Interim Ministry Conference. Discover more information on their website,

bottom of page