Hi fellow Pastors!
Welcome to the latest issue of MSD’s newsletters for pastors. We trust that you might find some articles or issues helpful in your own ministry. If there are any areas you would like us to touch on in future issues, please let us know and we’ll see what we can do.
CHARACTERISTICS for EFFECTIVE 21ST CENTURY MINISTRY
In a recent edition of Congregations I was taken by an article written by Jill Hudson from the Alban Institute in which she has developed a list of 12 characteristics that she sees of an effective 21st-century pastor, based on research and interviews of pastors. In summary these are:
1. The ability to maintain personal, professional and spiritual balance. As pastors we need to keep emotionally and spiritually fit as ministry is tough in today’s post-modern world.
2. The ability to guide a transformational faith experience in which pastors know how to introduce people to Jesus and not just the church. To be an evangelist.
3. The ability to motivate and develop a congregation to be a ‘mission outpost’; that is, equipping the whole congregation to be missional and by leading the way.
4. The ability to develop and communicate vision, believing that our best days are still ahead and that God can perform remarkable acts in our midst. The pastor needs to talk, act and lead as if the church’s vision can and will be real in their midst.
5. The ability to interpret and lead change, by creating an environment within the church culture that is ready, anticipates and embraces change.
6. The ability to promote and lead spiritual formation for church members as he/she understands the longing of members to know God in a deeper and more meaningful way and seeks to assist them engage in the Scriptures and prayer in a fresh way.
7.The ability to provide leadership for high-quality, culturally relevant worship experiences which focus on both head and heart.
8. The ability to identify, develop and support lay leaders. The church was actually a lay lead movement and the role of pastors is to coach congregational members in their ministry, particularly leaders.
9. The ability to build, inspire and lead a ‘team’ of both staff and volunteers. Healthy team leadership knows how to recruit, trust and support team and also know how to personally be team members and not just team leaders.
10. The ability to manage conflict, recognizing that if managed skillfully, conflict can be energizing and actually lead to highly creative moments in the life of the church.
11. The ability to successfully navigate the world of technology without it becoming our master. It is seeing how technology can be used effectively for the Kingdom in creative and life-giving ways.
12. The ability to be a life-long learner. Pastors need to know to run smarter, not faster. This includes learning from experience.
I found some of these characteristics challenging and helpful in identifying areas for my ongoing ministry development. While working on a sabbatical policy for pastors I’ve also come across this short article Staying Passionate from Keith Farmer from the Churches of Christ. It supports some of these issues above. You can find download it from http://msd.org.au/resources/
REVIVE 11 – HOPE
Planning is well under way for Revive 2011 and beyond. A new venue at the Sydney Showground (Homebush) has been secured for the next four years that will meet our needs more than the State Sports Centre where we previously held Revive.
Next year’s dates are August 26-27 with the theme of HOPE. A dinner for pastors and spouses will again be held on the Thursday evening the 25th. Secure these dates in your church’s diary. More details are to follow.
FROM STRUCTURE TO SPIRIT AND BACK
Whatever their size, small or large, all movements of the Spirit require structure, Rob Bell said.“My understanding of institutions is that there is an ever-flowing movement from structure to Spirit and back,” Bell said. “Spirit needs structure, and structure needs Spirit.” Even a small house Bible study or prayer group, for example — however spontaneous and informal it might appear — requires discipline and habits, he said. You can find the full article at www.faithandleadership.com/multimedia/rob-bell-structure-spirit-and-back
PASTORS STIPENDS REVIEW
Thanks to the 104 persons who responded to our survey o pastors’ stipends. It was most helpful and insightful to the varying circumstances in which many of you minister. MSD has analysed the responses and passed the details onto the Finance Board with some recommendations regarding the formatting of stipends.
There is still further work to do, including the way that superannuation is calculated, the financial situation for part-time pastors, etc which we will continue to explore.
What if Christian leaders cultivated relationships with people in their organizations who offer constructive and creative disagreement? Read the article by Nathan Kirkpatrick atwww.faithandleadership.com/content/the-leader-and-the-loyal-opposition.
BAPTIST WORLD AID ANNOUNCEMENT on SAO KENYA PROGRAM – POTENTIAL I PACT for CHILD SPONSORS
Last week at the Australian Baptist Ministries National Council, the State Leaders had the opportunity to meet with John Hickey, the new CEO of Baptist World Aid Australia. Amongst a number of positive discussions, John briefed us on the BWAA Board’s decision to cease funding of the development program under the umbrella of SAO Kenya. This has been due to an in-depth review of SAO Kenya’s performance and governance, after some concerns emerged in the past several months over the financial management program delivery and overall stewardship of the organisation.
There are approx. 700 children sponsored under SAO Kenya by Australian individual donors and churches. The relationship goes back to 1992. As John outlined to us, this has been a very difficult decision to withdraw funding given the long history and its potential impact on child partners. However, in BWAA’s professional opinion, as agreed by its Board, all viable options to maintain the development program had been explored, and no effective alternative could be reached to establish satisfactory governance, including financial control.
Your church or members of your church may have sponsored a SAO Child in Kenya. Donors will receive correspondence from BWAA some day this week, informing them of the situation. A key request will be to encourage sponsors to retain their financial support, and an offer of a child partner from another location will also be explained.
I would ask you to encourage the support of Baptist World Aid Australia among any of your church membership who may be impacted by this situation. Also, in the case of some churches, individuals may have informal links / relationships with some Kenyan Baptist leadership or staff, including with SAO Kenya. There is some potential for this decision to be misinterpreted in Kenya as the leadership of SAO Kenya may seek to deflect responsibility, so please be sure to let BWAA know if there is any feedback coming from anyone in Kenya. This will help BWAA manage this difficult situation as effectively as possible. If any of your church members approach you with questions or comments on this issue, could you please ask them to contact BWAA directly on 1300 789991, or (02) 9451 1199.
May you be richly blessed in your own ministry service and be a blessing to others.
Director of MSD