Partnering in Ministry

Lis Van Harten

(First appeared in the September 2009 issue of Ministry Reports to Classes and Councils.)

SPE has been working with a variety of folks in the writing of training tools which are valuable resources for pastors and congregations. Currently, SPE is partnering with the Office of Pastor Church Relations on a new training tool which will explore the evaluation of pastors and church staff.  This publication will be available early in 2010.

Every summer, Calvin Theological Seminary (CTS) offers a week-long course called “The Theology and Practice of Pastoral Ministry”. SPE has been partnering with CTS on this for the past seven years. Pastors, seminarians, and lay persons have benefited in a number of ways from the CTS faculty who teach it, the other students in the class, and the material studied. As the participants return to their ministry settings, the new learning can then impact others.

SPE and CTS are just beginning a new project together. The plan is to create a DVD to train leaders of Leadership Development Networks—training networks for pastors who don’t take the seminary route into ministry—to interpret Scripture well in their teaching, leading, and preaching. CTS has been in conversation with Home Missions concerning this project. The partnership between the three groups will benefit many.

Once a year, SPE holds a learning event for pastor couples. This time of refreshment and encouragement is enhanced by the participation of staff from Pastor Church Relations and their presentation on being healthy in the pastorate/parsonage. It is greatly appreciated by the attendees.