Ministry development and support
Effective ministers have "the urge to grow." How are you growing?
When Better Isn't Enough: Evaluation Tools for the 21st Century
by Jill M. Hudson.
Available from the Alban Institute.
The same old ways of being church, the same old ways of getting things done no longer work very well, even when pastors and congregations work harder at them than ever before. This is true of the ways we deal with staff evaluations in congregations. Jill Hudson argues, We must identify new criteria for success, and perhaps even for faithfulness, and hold ourselves accountable to them. Hudson identifies 12 characteristics by which we can measure effective ministry for the early 21st century. Rather than do an annual evaluation of each individual staff person, Hudson suggests that congregations engage in an evaluation of the ministry in which the entire church is involved.
- Ministry Development Centers provide vocational testing and counseling for candidates and ministers.
- Assess your role during difficult discussions — Use an Instant Replay form with a trusted colleague. The form will help you identify ways to impact difficult discussions by changing your own behavior.
- Based on those 12 criteria, Hudson has created evaluation tools, an early measuring stick to help congregations evaluate their work in this new era. By faithfully listening for Gods guidance and carefully evaluating progress using Hudsons tools, looking at the ministry of the whole people of God as well as that of the professional staff, congregations can improve their ministry, help members and staff grow in effectiveness, deepen a sense of partnership, and add new richness to the dialogue about the congregations future.
Continuing— Lifelong Learning in Ministry
Faith and Wisdom
Faith and Wisdom is a cooperative project of seven North American Christian denominations, including the PC(USA). Its purpose is to serve leaders in church and society by assembling information about the best learning opportunities available. Its ecumenical database of lifelong learning events includes a wide variety of offerings at seminaries, colleges, lifelong learning centers, retreat centers and parachurch organizations throughout the world.
Today, 10 presbyterian seminaries as well as two theological institutions related to the denomination by covenant agreement, have been entrusted to provide the educational foundation pastors need to be able to preach, teach, pray and lead.
Interim Pastor Training
An interim pastor is a minister who works with a congregation during a transition time after one pastor leaves and before a new pastor is called.
A viable solution to the peculiar stresses and strains the clergy encounter is the sabbath leave, sometimes referred to as a sabbatical. This solution has its roots in Scripture and in church tradition.
Continuing Education Scholarship
Lilly Endowment, an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation, seeks to strengthen Christian congregations by providing an opportunity for pastors to step away briefly from the persistent obligations of daily parish life and to engage in a period of renewal and reflection.
The Louisville Institute
The Louisville Institute encourages a broad, collaborative conversation among academics, pastors, and other religious leaders about American religious life. Religious leaders need ready access to the findings of scholars that can help them address more adequately the complex challenges of contemporary ministry.
Need a refreshment break? Interested in a sabbatical or a study leave? Try a Sabbath Leave through Samford University's Resorce Center for Pastoral Excellence, tailored to fit your availability and your personal and professional needs.
Religious Worker Visas
The unity of believers in Christ is reflected in the rich diversity of the Church's membership" (F-1.0403) This rich diversity is apparent in all areas of church membership, including ordered ministry. The Office of Immigration Issues at PC (USA) provides advice and counsel to pastors and religious workers from other countries and the mid-councils who call them. Please see this "one pager" for general information about religious worker visas. Mid-councils and congregations needing advice about a specific case, should contact Teresa Waggener in the Office of Immigration Issues.
The Development Center
The Development Center works in the areas of leadership, organizational, and personal development."