I'm back at work this week and have just completed 3 days helping train rural ministers in 'resource ministry'. A team of five of us led the event, and we had about 20 participants, both lay and ordained, from across the state. it was a very worthwhile time, and the start of some more intentional work here.
with more rural ministers working with multiple congregations, and some new people in regional rural resourcing roles, our synod (and most of the Western world) has a need to retrain and reorient ministers to equip others for ministry rather than simply provide ministry. that is stating the obvious, as we all know that the church has been training ministers to be self-sufficient in single congregations for decades.
and while we might think that 'the priesthood of all believers' is a given biblically, we also know that it is rarely the reality.
we did a number of things over the three days. the two that I'll post here are the quotes about 'equipping ministry' that I put around the room as a 'read and discuss in pairs' activity, along with a table on ministry resourcing styles. I wasn't entirely happy with the range and content of quotes, and the table on ministry needs more work. I also did a session on adult learning and may post some of that here too.
I really enjoyed sharing the event with our rural ministry team and plan to post a fuller summary on our synod website. it is quite bizarre that when several of our synods are equipping 'resource ministers' we have so little sharing of what we are doing.
as part of my study leave in the second half of next year I'm hoping to check out rural resourcing approaches overseas.