(440) 653-3476 krolenz@uuma.org

What Am I Looking For?

The Interim Search Process is one of match-making;
Where your needs and my skills meet.


Yet, there is something more required from both of us . . .

What Am I Looking for?

Dear Interim Search Committee:

You’ll look at dozens of websites, read or watch many sermons, follow up with references, weigh each candidate’s gifts carefully. It’s a truly herculean effort you have freely chosen to do, because you love your congregation and want to find the right leader for it. Let me just take a moment of your reading time to thank you, Search Committee members, for all your hard work and for considering this website.

Of course, I’m looking at you too!  I’m hoping to serve a congregation that will use well my almost thirty years of experience with seven different congregations, and my abundant enthusiasm and energy for the tasks at hand.

I’m looking a congregation who…

1. Is ready to engage with the tasks of Interim/Transitional Ministry;

2. Loves worship and expects high quality services to be offered every single week;

3. Expects the minister to be a visionary and inspiring leader and who encourages and supports that leadership.

4. Is committed to confronting racism and oppression within self, the church and the wider community;

5. Understands that navigating conflict in a healthy way can help transform the congregation’s culture;

6. Is comfortable with an inclusive and expansive use of religious language.

7. Is interested in spiritual depth and growing in spiritual maturity.

8. Is passionate about social justice and is willing to take some risks on behalf of those most at risk themselves.

9.  Understands the importance of good governance as part of institutional health,

10. Believes in the power of the institutional church to change and transform lives, and in so doing, change and transform the world.

How will we know we’re the right “match” for each other?  Although selecting an interim minister is different than finding your called minister, there is still some magic in finding just the right fit.  Most interims have beyond the basic skills to serve your congregation.  Many of us are specially trained and/or accredited.  All things being equal (skills, salary requirements are acceptable, etc.) it comes down to “can I see this person as my minister for a year?  or eighteen months?  or two?”  And, do we “click?  Does the interim minister’s personality and what we know of the culture of the congregation seem like a good match?”  When the match is right, ministers and congregations can fully engage with the transitional tasks of ministry, learn from one another and then, bid each other a fond farewell, knowing that they both have grown because of the interim time.

So, in your own discernment about finding an interim, don’t forget to take a minute after the interview to sit with not only what you’ve heard, but what you feel.  Did this person leave you feeling energized or exhausted?  Excited or just “meh?”  Comforted or agitated?  All of those feelings are just as important as whether you like the sermons or find their social justice credentials stellar or lacking.  There are a limited number of tasks that an interim can do in the time we have.  The personality of a minister is just as important – or even more important – as their resume.

I am minister because I believe in the power of liberal faith to transform lives, communities and in ways both great and small, the world. I know this to be true because I have witnessed it in my own life and in my years as a minister. When we are nourished by liturgy and worship; sustained by spiritual practice; emboldened to embody justice; and supported by the larger community, we – the church – can transform the world.

Best wishes, Interim Search Team!