Project Documents

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Barry Gane

Second Advisor

Walton A. Williams

Third Advisor

Boubakar Sanou

Abstract

Problem. In an age of celebrities and power seeking, in an environment of child sex abuse and spiritual leaders bringing discredit upon the high calling position of pastoral ministry, at a time when TV evangelists seem to exercise greater influence through the impersonal medium of the mass media in contrast to the personable touch of faced-fact ministry, it is my contention that the Christian faith and its pastors stands in need of credibility in the form of its leaders living what they teach and preach. I call that Incarnational pastoring based on the ministry of Jesus and His methods of mentoring His disciples. Intern pastors seem to lack the self-confidence to give strong and confident leadership to the church of the twenty-first century.

Method. The research was conducted among 27 pastors of varying experience and length of service to gather data regarding the nature and benefit of the supervisory relationship to their development. From this survey, I proceeded to create a pilot model for which I recruited volunteers to participate in and allowed the pilot six months to be implemented. Before commencing the mentor-intern relationship, I organized a two-day training session for the volunteer pastors who were to serve as mentors. The pilot drew only three sets of volunteers even though there were eleven individuals who expressed interest in participating, but because of the pressures of their work load, only three attended the training and subsequently participated in the project. The strategy of this pilot project was designed to assist young interns to enter and mature in ministry with a better prospect of developing into confident and passionate pastors who emulate the example left for us by Jesus Christ.

Results and evaluation. The results of the pilot strategy revealed that for both the mentors and the interns, the mindset and attitudes were similar in that they treated the strategy as if the mentors were supervisors and the interns, to some extent, also viewed their mentors as if they were supervisors also. The observations from the feedback indicated that the mentors felt they wanted to have more ongoing training to facilitate a mentor-intern relationship. The desire to be mentored was evident from the remarks of the interns and one of the mentors actually understood what the project was aiming to achieve, but because of ongoing academic commitments, he could not give his full attention to facilitate a good relationship. Overall, the project positive feedback shows good prospects for its future in developing mentees. One weakness in the strategy is the need for ongoing training for both mentors and interns.

Conclusions. It is my belief that interns need someone to listen to and affirm them, develop them, encourage and point them in the direction of living and ministering in a world that is mixed up, someone who will facilitate a relationship of openness, honesty, and vulnerability, someone who is interested in their growth as an individual and not simply there to ensure that they can perform the tasks of ministry and report back to the administrators as to their readiness to undertake the running of a church, someone other than a supervisor. There is a divine imperative to live out the principles of God’s kingdom and there is no other group of individuals who ought to incarnate this but pastors. Therefore this model is one that more of us as pastors need to accept and live out daily. The model has a good future but does need ongoing intervention and training to bring the mentors up to a good level of competence and to make the healthy development of the interns a reality. I believe that once discussed further with the church leadership, they will want to embrace this strategy and experiment with the concept to become part of the induction of all interns as they enter ministry.

Subject Area

Mentoring in church work, Mentoring--Religious aspects, Clergy--Training of, Clergy--Study and teaching (Interns), Interns

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