Greetings from Our Intentional Interim Pastor: Gene Heacock

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I enjoyed meeting so many of you and I appreciated your responsiveness to God’s word this past Sunday. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. As I mentioned my wife Sandy was not able to be with me last week but will attend next week to meet you. My ministry history has been a pastor, a missionary, and a professor as well as an Intentional Interim pastor. This is my twelfth assignment as an Intentional Interim Pastor. I have provided a link that will give you more information about the purpose and the role of an Intentional Interim Pastor. (See below for document link)

My heart is pastoral with a special emphasis on renewal. Renewal focuses upon deepening and increasing God’s light of revelation (Ephesians 1:18:19); God’s heat of affection (Ephesians 2:5-8); and God’s love that overflows to create a deep intimacy in His family (Ephesians 3:14-19).

My hope is that West Church will become more united, become more spiritually passionate about Jesus and His purposes here on earth. I have a calling and history of working in leadership development, training and equipping others for ministry. The role of an Intentional Interim Pastor is like a home inspector in many ways. I will examine all the components of church health, church ministry and all systems and operations.  If you would like more information about my past ministry you may access this through my curriculum vitae.  (See below for document link)

Thank you for coming to the reception on Sunday. I sensed a coming together as a church body and increased hope that we are working together for the future. I connected with many of you Sunday and enjoyed hearing your stories of faith as well as your spiritual challenges. Please be patient with me in remembering all your names. Please take time to pray for me and for our church during this transition time.  I know that anything of eternal value that happens is God’s work not mine.

Transitional times can be challenging. Challenges often produce new growth in our lives. I have seen great spiritual growth in God’s people in the past intentional interim pastorates which I have served. I expect that God will surprise us and do some amazing things in our midst as we trust Him and seek His face together. I am honored to serve as your Intentional Interim Pastor.

I wanted to provide some of the most frequently asked questions that I encounter as an Intentional Interim Pastor. Here are some very common questions I encounter.

How long do you expect to serve as our Intentional Interim Pastor? I expect to be at West Church six to twelve months. The shortest Interim I have served was nine months and the longest was twenty seven months. I make a commitment to create mutual accountability, evaluation and communication. West Church has created a four month contract which can be extended as needed.

What does the term Intentional Interim Pastor mean? The title suggests a specific role beyond pulpit supply or maintaining the current status quo of ministry and strategy. The Intentional Interim Pastor will often be charged and empowered by the church leadership to work at improving areas of ministry and strategy to prepare the way for the next Senior Pastor.  You may review a punch list for Intentional Interim Pastors by using this link:  (See below for document link)

Will the Intentional Interim be considered as the next Senior Pastor? No, the contract requires the Intentional Interim Pastor to focus on his role of preparation by not being considered as a future candidate so he can approach his role without conflict of interest.

What are your basic roles and areas of responsibility? I have several roles.  They include preaching, church direction and unity, a leadership structure review, spiritual care for those who are hurting, spiritual development of the staff and pastoral emergencies, weddings and funerals. This is a full time position and I will maintain regular office hours.  Please let me know how I may serve you and equip you.

When will you be on site if I want to meet with you? I am available all day Sunday.  I am in the office Monday through Thursday and Fridays as needed.  I attend Deacons, Trustees and Pulpit Committee meetings and special meetings for prayer and leadership development as needed. I am here as a resource for you and your ministry as well.

How do you maintain your doctrinal core and distinctness as you serve within so many denominations? I have great respect for the variety of expression of polity and practice within the protestant traditions. I use two simple matrixes that help me sort out Biblical conviction from Biblical persuasion from my own personal persuasions. I also distinguish between what is core theology, what is normative practice and what is form of expression. I would love to share these with the congregation as we walk this journey together. (See below for document link)



Purpose of Interim Period

Curriculum Vitae for Pastor Heacock

Intentional Interim Punch List

Core, Form, Norm and Levels of Belief

November West Winds and Calendar for Posting