New video resource highlights shared ministry model

By Nancy Sollenberger Heishman

The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Ministry has created an online video resource of six segments featuring congregations that are creatively practicing the priesthood of all believers and thereby meeting their needs for pastoral leadership.

At a time when congregations are struggling to find pastors to serve their needs, this series produced by videographer David Sollenberger is offered as a reminder that God places abundant spiritual gifts within congregations, just waiting to be discovered, affirmed, and nurtured.

Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, director of the Office of Ministry, begins the series by setting the context for rediscovering an historic Brethren model of calling a team of ministers as a response to a pastoral shortage.

The series features three congregations, Warrensburg and Cabool in Missouri and Arkansas District, and Clover Creek in Middle Pennsylvania District. Their pastoral teams consist of as few as two to as many as five people. The series is a testimony to the effectiveness of the Brethren practice of the priesthood of all believers in fostering a culture of calling set-apart ministers.

The ministry team at Warrensburg (Mo.) Church of the Brethren: (from left) Melody Irle, Barbara Curtis, Marie Christ, Barbara Siney, and Teresa Pearce. Photo courtesy of David Sollenberger.

Please pray… For the congregations whose ministry models are being shared with the denomination, and for all those who may benefit from learning about new ways of sharing pastoral leadership responsibilities in a congregation.

Retired bi-vocational minister Jerry Crouse, who served for many years on the team of ministers at Warrensburg, shares how this practice fosters a rich culture of calling when carried out with hospitality, patience, and loving affirmation of people exploring their spiritual gifts.

Janet Ober Lambert, director of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, rounds out the video series with a segment outlining Brethren ministry training options for people called into this locally based model for securing pastoral leadership.

Find the new resource at www.brethren.org/ministryoffice/shared-ministry-model. There are subtitles in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Arabic, Hausa, and Portuguese; after clicking the play button, click the “tool/settings” icon and choose a language from the middle subtitles option.

— Nancy Sollenberger Heishman is director of the Office of Ministry for the Church of the Brethren.


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