Read Our Document: Vision for Member Care
We are gaining some momentum in providing a vision for pastoral health initiatives. We hope to provide some initiatives that will assist our pastors in finding a healthier way to conduct ministry in our current cultural context. Here are some of the concepts from initial discussions from the pastoral care team.
The goal of the pastoral health arm of the Ministerial Development Community is to develop and implement member care strategies which equip EC pastors toward caring for themselves, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
The term member care is borrowed from the world of global missions. The following definition, although broader in scope, expresses the values of member-care by the National Conference of the EC church for its pastors. The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) definition of member-care is “the ongoing investment of resources by mission agencies, churches and other mission organizations for the nurture and development of missionary personnel.”
Seeing as the itinerancy is defined by the Evangelical Congregational Church as a “self-disciplining body of ordained elders” (2016 EC Discipline paragraph 514), we see pastors (such as DFDs) helping local pastors to help themselves. Member-care encourages self-care. District Field Directors can be effective in this way by developing strategies that deliver member care services. The outcome of producing a culture of pastors, healthy enough and supported enough to care for themselves in their ministries is a connectional biproduct of member/self-care.
A Vision for Member Care of EC Pastors to Encourage their own Self Care
A possible revised view of member-care/self-care: The ongoing investment of resources shared denominationally through the District Field Directors (DFD’s) and driven by the Evangelical Congregational Church for the pastoral development of self-care, and toward a movement of healthy pastors, churches, and their varied ministries.