Organizational Transformation: a key ministry challenge
We are privileged to work with ABC Ministers Council as they continue their work with Baptist clergy and beyond, promoting communities of learning in conjunction with Lilly Funding and their Together in Ministry (TIM) program. A recent survey led by their Acting Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Joe Kutter, let to the following report:
The Ministers Council sent an on-line survey to over 1,100 pastors who have participated in TIM groups in recent years asking them to score a variety of ministry challenges on a 7 point scale that ranged from 1—Strongly Disagree to 7—Strong Agree. The 5, 6, and 7 percentages were added in an effort to identify those ministry challenges which ranked higher. The following five challenges emerged from the list of a possible eleven (11) different challenges as assessed bythe feedback provided by 208 respondents.
1. Congregations Transitioning Their Ministries: Congregations now find themselves needing to change, but it is difficult to know how to transition a congregation so that it is able to engage its changing context. (76.7 %)
2. Money and Funding : Congregations have shrinking resources from which to draw to do ministry, which is putting more pressure on pastors to do more and more with less and less, with many finding it difficult to live on the financial package provided. (68.8 %)
3. Women in Ordained Ministry: Women are still under-represented in ABC ministry in terms of the overall number of ordained women and continue to face difficulties in having access to significant leadership roles. (68.3 %)
4. Pastoral Attrition: There appears to be a growing level of pastoral attrition (people leaving the ministry—especially in the first five years of ministry), which represents a significant challenge to the ABC. (56 %)
5. Technology: Pastors find it to be a challenge to keep up with technological developments and to fund the purchase of current tools that are available, which impacts their ability to communicate with the emerging generation. (55 %)
I am interested to hear how this reflects your own experience with ministry challenges.
-mark l vincent
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