The Transitional Specialists Podcast

The Transitional Specialists Podcast provides continuing education, resources and tools for trained transitional leaders who serve as interim ministers in United Methodist congregations. We interview people who have a story to tell about going through wilderness times and emerging as stronger people of faith. We also discuss the nuts and bolts of how to be a modern day Moses, guiding your congregation through a “liminal” or wilderness season. TIIMSA (Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialists Association) of The United Methodist Church produces this podcast.

Our Host is Rev. Bill Kemp, a United Methodist retired elder in the Western Pennsylvania Conference, a longtime member of the TIIMSA Board of Directors, a novelist, self-help author, web-content provider, and an unofficial instigator for change. He has written over a dozen books, many of them dealing with transition, including The Church Transition Workbook, and Going Home: Facing Life’s Final Moments without Fear (with Diane Kerner Arnett). He also provides a weekly lectionary-based blog at www.billkemp.info.


Our Production Coordinator is Rev. Keith L. Head, United Methodist retired elder in the North Texas Conference and TIIMS who serves as the Communications Coordinator on the TIIMSA Board of Directors. His 48+ years in ministry includes appointments in a variety of settings, from a local church pastor, to the Oklahoma Conference Council on Ministries, and nine years as associate editor/media specialist on the United Methodist Reporter.



Becoming a Nonanxious Presence

July 19, 2022 – The heat of this summer is breaking historic weather records around our nation. We are also feeling the rising temperature of political/social friction within our nation and congregations. Isn’t summer supposed to be “Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer; those days of sodas, and pretzels, and…”? Well, you probably know the old Nat King Cole song and the need for a vacation and that slower summertime church schedule. But, how do we find a way to cool down in the midst of all this anxiety that seems never ending and share that attitude with our people? Perhaps a less than 8-minute inspirational podcast can help! 

Everyone who has been trained as a United Methodist transitional specialist has learned about managing their anxiety in a stressful situation. The congregational systems consultant, Peter Steinke, said In his book, Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times, “To be a nonanxious presence means to acknowledge anxiety, but not let it be the driver of behavior.” He also noted that “Of Jesus himself, it was said; ‘When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten’ (1 Peter 2:23).”

A cat in a boxIn this fourth episode of our podcast, Host Bill Kemp finds inspiration from a cat in a box and the eighth chapter of Luke to share a brief, yet powerful, message about becoming a nonanxious presence. It is central to the work of leading a congregation through these anxious times of change and stress.



What We Learned from Susan Beaumont”

June 9, 2022 – In this third episode presented by, for, and with United Methodist pastors serving in interim ministry, our host and a panel of three veteran intentional interim ministers review “What We Learned from Susan Beaumont” at the May 10-11, 2022 TIIMSA Virtual Gathering from her Keynote presentations using her book, How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going: Leading in a Liminal Season. Whether you attended this Gathering or not, you will find some valuable concepts to use as a transitional specialist leading congregations through a liminal season! Please note that this is the second of a two-part series. Our first podcast at the end of April was, “Looking at Liminal Time,” when we introduced our panelists and defined “liminality.” This second part was recorded on June 2 with the same panel host, Bill Kemp, and participants, Karen Dungan, Jane Sautter, and Keith Head. Listening to this podcast may just bring you some new learnings, as well!



Looking at Liminal Time

April 29, 2022 – In this second episode presented by, for, and with United Methodist pastors serving in interim ministry, our Host Bill Kemp is “Looking at Liminal Time” with a panel of veteran intentional interim ministers as they review the book, How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going: Leading in a Liminal Season by Susan Beaumont. This podcast also served as a preview to the 2022 TIIMSA Virtual Gathering, May 10-11, with the theme of “Leading Through a Liminal Season.” Susan was the keynote speaker at the event. She defined the term, liminality, as “a quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs during transition, when a person or group of people is in between something that has ended and something else that is not yet ready to begin.” The first of three panelists was TIIMSA Board of Directors President-Elect Karen Nichols Dungan, an Elder for 36 years in the Iowa Annual Conference who has pastored parishes of varying sizes, contexts and configurations, and served as a District Superintendent and Assistant to the Bishop and became an approved TIIMS in 2020. The second panelist was TIIMSA Board Secretary Jane Sautter, a Retired Elder in the Upper New York Annual Conference. She graduated from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio with a dual degree, MDiv and MTS in Church History. For part of her career, Jane served in a missionary appointment on the Yakama Reservation in White Swan, Washington. Jane has served in two Interim appointments since her retirement and is a Lead Trainer for TIIMS. The third panelist was Keith Head, “The Transitional Specialists Podcast” Production Coordinator. Whether or not you attended the Gathering, you just might find some key learnings about transitions from this conversation!


What Do Interim Ministers Need Podcasts For?

Mar 25, 2022 — In this inaugural episode of The Transitional Specialists Podcast, Keith and Bill discuss the rising popularity of podcasts and what that means for church leaders, especially those serving in a transitional setting. COVID-19 has forced us to use Zoom and other online tech for worship and committee meetings, as well as for our continuing education and denominational gatherings. Podcasting is mass communication; half of our lay people already enjoy listening to podcasts. Having moved to a Zoom format for the TIIMSA (Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialists Association) annual gatherings in 2021 and 2022, we are now adding podcasts as a resource to help interims “sharpen the saw” of their transitional skill set. Bill and Keith offer practical suggestions on the use of podcasts in the local church setting. They also look ahead to upcoming podcasts for interim ministers, or “transitional specialists.”