Clergy--Appointment, call

RENEWING THE PRESBYTERY: LISTENING TO COMMISSIONED RULING ELDERS

Author
Samuel Lapsley Pendergrast D.Min.
Abstract
In Utica Presbytery we have eleven Commissioned Ruling Elders (CREs) serving twelve congregations out of thirty in the presbytery. I interviewed twelve CREs who are currently serving or who have served as pastors to learn about their experience and how they evaluate their work, training, and relationship with colleagues in the presbytery. The interview results were categorized, then the group of CREs discussed the results. We developed recommendations for the presbytery in a variety of areas. In the report I interpret the results in light of pastoral theology and the history of ordination. Questions for further study emerge concerning the difference between seminary-trained pastors and commissioned elders, presbytery mission strategy for using CREs, and contextual theological education.

Navigating organizational and leadership challenges as an assistant pastor, serving in an interim pastoral role

Author
Joel David Hathaway
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how assistant pastors navigate challenges of adaptive leadership when the church loses its senior pastor, and the assistant pastor is expected to lead through the transition. A qualitative research methodology was employed to explore the scope of this topic. This study found that the exiting senior pastor, existing assistant/interim pastor, incoming senior pastor, and congregation all play active roles in guaranteeing success during pastoral transitions. This sh1dy also identified steps churches and pastors can take to retire outdated leadership models while integrating collaborative leadership methods that prepare congregations for periods of transition.

"There's a gift in it" transplanted vocational ministers and the quest for belonging to Vancouver, British Columbia

Author
Michael N Hsu
Abstract
Vancouver, British Columbia has a reputation as one of the most desirable cities in the world to live, yet a recent study revealed it to be a city where people struggle to develop belonging. The purpose of this study was to explore how transplanted vocational ministers developed a sense of belonging to the city. The study utilized a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews and the data was analyzed using the constant comparative method. The study revealed the importance of taking initiative in a place like Vancouver and that the difficult experience of dislocation offered a relational gift and opportunity for mission and service.

An account of our stewardship: assessing Christian character from a Wesleyan perspective in ministry candidates in the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church

Author
Joseph T Burkhardt
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to discover the extent to which the interview process of District Committees on Ordained Ministry (dCOMs) in the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church integrates historical Wesleyan marks of Christian character in the assessment of ministry candidates. The project design was to distribute an online survey to all East Ohio Conference dCOM members in February 2015. The project revealed that dCOMs regularly inquire of ministry candidates about their experience of conversion, and tend to prefer more subjective expressions of personal faith journeys over more traditional Wesleyan understandings of justification.

Last Call: A New Practice of Receiving a Pastor in the Baptist Church Based Upon a Biblical Paradigm that Challenges the Call System

Author
Harold Eugene Vann II
Abstract
Baptist polity operationalizes the call system, a process that congregational churches use to select, elect and deselect pastors. An aspect of that polity is autonomy that declares each local Baptist church is a self-governing entity. In this context, lay authority has the potential to be misused and the laity can deselect a pastor at their will. This project, a case study is the presentation of a church to show how the call system works from candidacy to deselection. This study calls for an additional layer of pastoral oversight and recommends that pastors lead Baptist laity in securing pastors. The problem addressed by this project is imbalance in power and authority held by Baptist laity and manifested in the call system. Finally, a new plan is presented for receiving a pastor that is led by a Board of Pastors, which restores balance, and is built on a theological/biblical paradigm that indicates that God gives and sends pastors that are received by a congregation.

"Go...to the land I will show you:" discerning the gradual call to ministry at First Baptist Church Concord Knoxville, Tennessee

Author
Mike Watson
Abstract
Those who experience a call to ministry in church leadership over a protracted period of time can experience a sense of isolation and confusion in their calling, deeming it less valid. The praxis director recruited four such individuals to pursue clarity in their callings. He does so by having them utilize a clarified vocabulary, an examination of biblical and historical examples of those called of God, and an assessment of spiritual gifting within the context of a small group. As a result, each of the participants was able to identify future steps for pursuing continued clarity in their calling.

"Prophet, priest, or pastor: reflecting on the call to ordained ministry"

Author
Don C Simpson
Abstract
As an ordained minister, the pastor is "set apart." The role is commonly referred to as pastor, shepherd or teacher. Ordained ministry often comes at the cost of emotional and physical turmoil in the life of a pastor. This can result in ordained ministers questioning their abilities, their own personal success and even their call into ordained ministry. In this project seven ministers are interviewed. They reflect on their decisions to leave or remain in the role as an ordained minister. The methodology incorporates the use of ethnographic and auto-ethnographic input to reflect on their understanding of their call.

Calling, affinity, and personal growth: key factors in long-term ministries

Author
Robert A Sizemore
Abstract
This project was designed to discern key factors to effective long-term pastorates. It included three main components: Biblical research on longevity in ministry, using as a model the life, ministry, and leadership of Moses; contemporary literature research on issues influential to longevity, in particular, the pastor's sense of "calling"; and conducted field research with 48 pastors in the Christian Reformed Church in North America, the great majority of whom served long-term (15 years and more) in their current ministry leadership pastoral capacities. The research uncovered important insights into issues that affect a pastor's sense of belonging, partnership, and long-term sustainability of fruitful ministry.

A local church plan for helping a person recognize and confirm their call to ministry

Author
Carlos J Sibley
Abstract
This project aims to develop a plan for how a local church can help a person recognize and confirm their call to vocational ministry. This discernment process for determining a person's call to ministry involves both inward/private and outward/public activity. The plan is developed primarily from information gleaned from interviews with twenty-five vocational ministers. Answers that describe ways outside influence helped them discern their call to ministry is organized into a process labeled Discerning Ministry as a Vocation which includes four specific actions on behalf of influencers in a person's community of faith: intentionality, opportunities, accessibility, and affirmation.

Identifying and developing the call to ministry in a holistic approach for the Upstate New York District Ministry Board

Author
David C Cramer
Abstract
The Church of the Nazarene sets out specifics for a more official and public work of ministry. The church has chosen to define the vocational call more in terms of function rather than its nature. Ministry that does not include a preaching element fits into the accepted categories of service in the church. However, this functional position undercuts the power of God's call to all and elevates clergy-related leadership as the more desired calling. Hence there is a need to ably and holistically evaluate the nature and not merely the function of the call. The focus of this project was to design a framework of Scripture, reason, experience, and tradition to clarify this process better assist those working through their sense of calling. It is hoped that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they will apply and exercise their calling to some aspect of full-time clergy or called laity ministry. The results of this study indicated a strong desire for a system to be in place that evaluates the call, in particular leadership not leading to ordination.
Subscribe to Clergy--Appointment, call