The Intentional Interim Ministry (IIM) Network has named Paul Atkinson as the 2021 recipient of the Maples, Williamson, Daehnert (MWD) Award. The IIM is a network of seasoned pastors who are equipped for interim ministry and can assist churches during interim periods. The MWD Award honors an intentional interim pastor each year who is dedicated to providing care and support for churches in transition.
On November 4th, a small group of family and friends gathered to celebrate Atkinson’s award. Jan Daehnert, one of the founders of the IIM in Texas Baptists and one of the award’s namesakes, was in attendance. He praised Atkinson’s leadership during his time as an intentional interim minister and his goal to lead people to Christ one by one.
Atkinson continues to prove the importance of simple, one on one discipleship, Daehnert explained.
Atkinson then spoke about his own passion for ministry.
“The core of who I am is about reaching the lost and developing the saved to reach the lost,” he said.
He explained that when he arrives at a church to be an intentional interim, he always draws a chart that says “reach the lost” and “develop the saved.” He invites church members to help him minister one-on-one to people, sharing the gospel with them and then equipping them to share the gospel with others.
Throughout his ten interim positions, Atkinson has held on to the importance of one-on-one ministry. He shared that, through discipling one person, they are reaching many more lives.
“Intentional ministry is about being responsible to reach the one, which makes us available to reach the many,” he said. “And I can’t think of how many people must be in the kingdom of heaven because of the work we do in the intentional interim ministry”.
Atkinson is the 15th recipient of this award. He joins previous recipients: Wallace Watkins, James McGlothlin, Nolan Duck, Les Robinson, Fred Meeks, Jim McLeod, Skip McNeal, Dwight Reagan, Levi Price, Rusty Walton and Dean Dickens.
The award reflects accumulative service, as all these men have helped multiple churches through difficult interim periods, excelled in peer reviews of their Intentional Interim Ministries, and provided additional leadership for the Interim Ministry Network of Texas Baptists.