What resources can be brought to support individual and groups of congregations in their efforts to be vital and healthy? How does our work reflect and encourage formation in the ways that our anabaptist/radical pietist lens shapes our life and witness today?
Much of this will occur through paying attention to and holding in balance the principles which make the circle of support highlighted below. Further, this work may include district sponsored training or coaching, resourcing for local churches, training for lay leadership, conflict resolution assistance, etc. Resources will be a mix of staff, consultants, and finances.
Resource the local church for mission, education, worship, evangelism, health and vitality. Supporting congregations that are wrestling with the end of their ministry. Provide workshops and events that bring training to more than one congregation at a time.
Provide encouragement and active support for those congregations (or groups of congregations) that are looking to plant new church communities. Help to match those interested in beginning new expressions of the COB movement with supportive congregational partners.
Work includes the credentialing processes, training (through Seminary, TRIM, SeBAH and other paths), and ongoing affordable opportunities for professional growth and personal/family renewal.
Largely focused on pastoral transitions including: departure of current pastor, helping to secure good interim leadership (if needed), facilitating search process for new pastor, and helping undergird a good beginning of new ministry.
Inform and train on good stewardship of finances and facilities, risk management understandings and care, other business/legal concerns.
Opportunities to grow in faith, leadership, and connection with the breadth of the district, cultivating a commitment to Christ and leading out in moving the church into God’s future.
Enhance current work with Brethren Disaster Ministries, but also looking for a project or two that PSWD could come together around to be involved in mission/ministry together, not to replace the good ministry being done through the local church, but to supplement and provide ways to strengthen a shared sense of witness.
Instill strong foundations for mutual relationships as sisters and brothers in Christ across our predominantly mono-cultured congregations. Encourage and support congregations that are seeking to become intercultural faith communities.
Continue to focus DC as to its purpose in our life together and how it can be used to strengthen our preparation for local ministry, our sense of connection and unity, and connection to the larger Church of the Brethren community.