Thursday, 7 November 2013

Settlement and NAMs

Regardless of whether or not a church is in receipt of a Home Mission grant, when a minister announces that they are leaving a church, it is a time of anxiety and change.

Some ministers leave due to retirement, others are called by God to move  elsewhere.   Thanks to your giving to Home Mission ministers who are seeking a church in which to minister, and churches seeking a minister, can call upon the services of the RegionalMinisters, who are funded from your Home Mission giving.

Ministers who are seeking God for their future, asking God if it is time to move or time to stay, speak with their Regional Minister who will advise them of how to go into the settlement system and will guide them through the system.

When churches are looking for ministers the Regional Minister will visit the church meeting and explain the process. This helps to lower anxiety levels and also lets the church have some awareness of the extra work that will be involved for deacons.

About 10 times a year the Regional Ministers prayerfully go through each profile of each minister who is in the Settlement System. They look for ministers for the churcheson their “patch” who are seeking ministers. They will also look out for suitable profiles for the ministers in their patch who are seeking churches.  Then, for two days, Paul goes along to the Settlement Team meetings with emails from the other EBA Regional Ministers asking for specific profiles for their churches.

All the Regional Minister time, and travel, and the accommodation for the Settlement Team meetings, are funded from your giving to Home Mission. So, when a church finds a new minister, other churches have been involved in making that possible through their giving to Home Mission.

How many churches do you know in the EBA who are looking for ministers? How many ministers do you know who have recently arrived in the Association, or moved churches within the EBA?  Home Mission made this possible.

When a new minister comes from College or is approved by our Residential Selection Conference, they come into ministry as a “NAM” (Newly Accredited Minister). It was called “probation” in the olden days! Each NAM is allocated a Mentor and will attend 4 Theological Reflection Days each year with the Regional Ministers. When they havecompleted their 3 year “NAM” phase the Association will interview them for transfer tofull accredited status. Your giving to Home Mission enables this to happen so that ministers are supported and encouraged.

Someone who is wrestling with God to discern whether God is calling them to a specific ministry or not will speak to their minister if they have one and then to their Regional Minister. The EBA has guidance notes on the website (under “Downloads”) for those who want to explore a call. BU accredit lay preachers, lay pastors, evangelists, youth specialists and pastoral ministers. The EBA also has locally ordained ministers who are ordained to specific posts. The whole process of ministerial recognition is carried out by the Regional Ministers and by volunteers from our EBA churches, some, like Brian Purton, putting hours and hours of work into the process. This is all funded from your Home Mission giving. 

Thank you for your partnership in this ministry.

This is part of a series called Partners in Mission from the EBA.