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Wesleyan Ecclesiology and the Bi-vocational Pastor Jeffrey T. Barker Friday, June 21, 2013 9:00-10:00am Jeffrey T. Barker Friday, June 21, 2013 9:00-10:00am.

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Presentation on theme: "Wesleyan Ecclesiology and the Bi-vocational Pastor Jeffrey T. Barker Friday, June 21, 2013 9:00-10:00am Jeffrey T. Barker Friday, June 21, 2013 9:00-10:00am."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wesleyan Ecclesiology and the Bi-vocational Pastor Jeffrey T. Barker Friday, June 21, :00-10:00am Jeffrey T. Barker Friday, June 21, :00-10:00am

2 Wesleyan Ecclesiology and the Bi-vocational Pastor This workshop will describe the current climate of bi-vocational pastors, articulate current assumptions about the pastor’s job, and offer a Wesleyan ecclesiological framework for reconsidering the relationship and roles of pastor and congregation.

3 Complexity of the Topic Absence of a standard model of bi-vocational An underdeveloped ecclesiology Economic realities (both church and personal) Rising health insurance costs Nazarene polity Other??

4 My Topic Says a lot about Me My father served as a bi-vocational pastor for nearly 25 years. I serve as a bi-vocational pastor. Student debt and prospect of bi-vocational ministry Numerous bi-vocational pastors have shared their struggles with me.

5 Current Climate of Bi- Vocational Pastors Nazarene Research Center has been tracking bi- vocational ministry through purposeful sampling over the last 15 years. The pattern has remained steady. About 33 percent of pastors identify as bi-vocational. A couple characteristics: The majority of bi-vocational pastors cite finances as the primary reason for their status. The vast majority of these bi-vocational pastors serve churches with a worship attendance under 100 persons.

6 Current Climate of Bi- Vocational Pastors Anecdotal evidence from my own district (New England) suggests that nearly 3 of 4 pastors serve in a bi-vocational model of ministry.

7 Current Climate of Bi- Vocational Pastors While the term bi-vocational is expressed through a myriad of ministry models the basic premise is clear: the congregation is unable to financially support a full-time pastor.

8 Is bi-vocational anything more than a “financial” marker placed upon the pastor?

9 Clergy Studies Most of the literature in the field of clergy studies and, in particular, studies exploring clergy burnout and attrition focus on the pastor.

10 Clergy Studies Pastor

11 Assumptions about the pastor’s “job” Core Pastoral Tasks Administrative Tasks

12 Assumptions about the pastor’s “job” Core duties of the pastor are: to pray; to preach the Word; to equip the saints for the work of ministry; to administer the sacraments; to care for the people by pastoral visitation, particularly the sick and needy; to comfort those who mourn; to correct, rebuke, and encourage [parishioners], with great patience and careful instruction; to seek, by all means, the conversions of sinners, the entire sanctification of the converted, and the upbuilding of God’s people in the most holy faith; to administer the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper at least once a quarter; to nurture the call that people feel toward Christian ministry and to mentor such persons as are called; to fulfill the expectations of God and the Church for a program of lifelong learning; to nurture his or her own call through the years of ministry, to maintain a life of personal devotion that enriches his or her own soul, and, if married, to guard the integrity and vitality of that marriage relationship. See Manual, Church of the Nazarene , Kansas City: Nazarene Publishing House, 2009, p

13 Wesley’s Church Article XIX of the Articles of Religion of the Church of England: “The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men [sic], in which the pure word of God is preached, and the sacraments are duly administered according to Christ’s ordinances in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.”

14 Wesleyan Ecclesiology Wesley spent very little time on the subject of ecclesiology, for he was not interested in setting up a new church.

15 Wesleyan Ecclesiology Early Methodism became a means of grace, a religious community in which people could experience the power and presence of God’s love, the part of the Church that was experiencing what the Church was intended to be. Heitzenrader notes that “the most basic element in Wesley’s ecclesiology was a focus on God’s grace.” The Church is because of God’s grace.

16 Wesleyan Ecclesiology Wesley’s ecclesiology, though on the one hand traditional, was also flexible, functional, and pragmatic. The point was that the church itself was to be a means of grace. If this wasn’t actually happening then the form needed to be adapted so that it does happen.

17 Wesleyan Ecclesiology The starting point for a Wesleyan ecclesiology is that the purpose of the church is to be an instrument of God’s grace -- that it must in actual fact serve God’s mission in the world by being a Spirit-filled community of God’s grace, visibly embodying Jesus Christ.

18 Church of the Nazarene -- Article XI We believe in the Church, the community that confesses Jesus Christ as Lord, the covenant people of God made new in Christ, the Body of Christ called together by the Holy Spirit through the Word. God calls the Church to express its life in the unity and fellowship of the Spirit; in worship through the preaching of the Word, observance of the sacraments, and ministry in His name; by obedience to Christ, holy living, and mutual accountability. The mission of the Church in the world is to share in the redemptive and reconciling ministry of Christ in the power of the Spirit. The Church fulfills its mission by making disciples through evangelism, education, showing compassion, working for justice, and bearing witness to the kingdom of God. The Church is a historical reality, which organizes itself in culturally conditioned forms; exists both as local congregations and as a universal body; sets apart persons called of God for specific ministries. God calls the Church to live under His rule in anticipation of the consummation at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

19 Contemporary Pastor/Church Relationship Pastor Congregation

20 New Way of Conceiving of Pastor/Church Relationship Pastor - Congregation Relationship exists in the arena of God’s grace

21 Pastor-Congregation Relationship exists in the arena of God’s grace The relationship between pastor and congregation is to mirror the relationship between Christ and the Church; a visible expression of God’s grace in the world. Bi-vocational isn’t just the pastor’s concern. Pastors and congregations must to the hard work of discerning what is the most faithful model of ministry for their context. The relationship between pastor and congregation is to mirror the relationship between Christ and the Church; a visible expression of God’s grace in the world. Bi-vocational isn’t just the pastor’s concern. Pastors and congregations must to the hard work of discerning what is the most faithful model of ministry for their context.

22 First Steps Both the joy and challenge of bi-vocational ministry must be shared throughout the denominational structure. Pastors and congregations need to establish more honest means of communicating without suspecting the worse in the other. Pastors and congregations need to conceive of their relationship through the lens of covenant. Both the joy and challenge of bi-vocational ministry must be shared throughout the denominational structure. Pastors and congregations need to establish more honest means of communicating without suspecting the worse in the other. Pastors and congregations need to conceive of their relationship through the lens of covenant.

23 Wesleyan Ecclesiology and the Bi-vocational Pastor Jeffrey T. Barker Jeffrey T. Barker


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