Twenty Aspects of Ethical Concern for Interim Ministers

ABCUSA > Transition Ministries > Twenty Aspects of Ethical Concern for Interim Ministers
  1. Negotiation of contract
  2. Honoring terms of contract
  3. Honoring the Book of Order or Manual on Ministry, in particular not becoming a candidate
  4. Bad mouthing other ministers
  5. Seeking to extend the interim period unduly for personal gain or convenience
  6. Believing compliments of those who want you to stay
  7. Becoming impatient with the indecisive timing of the search process
  8. Taking control from the lay leadership of the congregation
  9. Selling out “going native;” disconnecting; losing professionalism
  10. Insisting on having the last word; abusing authority
  11. Sharing personal frustration about the congregation’s decisions
  12. “Fixing” rather than being a “non-anxious presence;” over-functioning
  13. Being a “Lone Ranger,” i.e. not consulting, acting unilaterally, not communicating
  14. Being overly apologetic about not knowing the territory, i.e. making excuses for non-performance
  15. Attempting to define role of successor, influencing the search committee
  16. Responding to questions about candidates; getting involved in the search (also, talking with candidates ex -cathedra )
  17. Relying unduly on previous preaching and teaching files; not keeping current
  18. “Jumping ship” prematurely; leaving one interim to take another before the interim process has been completed
  19. Dealing with former pastors who return in a forthright and fair way
  20. Dealing with staff who wish to remain, i.e. being pastorally supportive but also honest in evaluation; helping them consider their future options
Presented to Connecticut Association of Interim Pastors by Thomas Hughart, Presbyterian Interim Pastor and Ethics Consultant