Weaving a ministry web : a case for collaborative proclamation
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As the church has moved into a new century, today's pastors have needed to ask themselves: If our ministries are going to be effective in this 21 st century context, what should those ministries look like? In other words, what shape should pastoral ministry take today? It's a necessary question to ask when pastors want to do more than simply 'do their jobs' (which traditionally includes preaching, teaching, pastoral care, administration, and, more recently, leadership) and thereby 'run' the church, but instead want those pastoral activities to make an increasingly transformative difference in people's lives. The fundamental issue in this project, in other words, is that of ascertaining what sort of shape pastoral ministry needs to take that will most likely lead to significant spiritual impact. The premise in this document is that effective pastoral ministry generally will not happen in church settings where a pastor does most of his or her work in isolation from the other members of a congregation, and where the congregation in turn sees the pastor's work as disconnected from what they are called to do. Instead, transformative pastoral ministry will happen within a congregational web, where pastors work collaboratively with members of the church, enlisting the power of relationships, maximizing the use of the spiritual gifts of each member, and harnessing the spiritual energy that is unleashed by the creation of ministry teams.