From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
TCN: New trend highlights importance of teamwork in church leadership
"Lydia Ma" <email@example.com>
Mon, 6 Jul 2009 16:27:46 +0800
>Taiwan Church News
>June 29~July 5, 2009
New trend highlights importance of teamwork in church leadership
>Reported by Lin Yi-ying
>Written by Lydia Ma
Shortly after all Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) seminaries held their
convocation, the General Assembly Ministers Committee organized a training
seminar at Presbyterian Bible College in Hsinchu to prepare new graduates before
sending them out. The seminar on June 22~24 was followed by a draw to decide
where each graduate would serve. At the end of the draw, 7 out of 48 candidates
>did not have a church to serve.
According to committee leader Jou Shin-dian, the reason seven candidates did not
have a church to serve is due to insufficient number of churches who applied to hire
pastors as only 38 churches applied this year. The committee will call another
meeting and draw on July 28, but it is urging local presbyteries and churches that
don’t have pastors to promptly apply for and seek candidates in the meantime.
According to reports, the number of churches that had applied for pastors at the
beginning was as low as 19. This is in sharp contrast to the number of graduates
this year, which numbered 48 and included three couples that must be assigned to
the same church. After much effort, encouragement, and contact with local
churches, the number of applications rose to 38.
In view of this situation, the Ministers Committee sent notification letters to every
graduating student in all PCT seminaries. The letter laid down qualifications and
skills presbyteries were looking for so that students could begin filling up
applications and interviews were organized shortly after. According to Jou, the goal
of this application process is to promote teamwork among church leaders so that
new graduates can learn at the side of experienced pastors currently serving at
Jou pointed out that if local churches do not already envision having several pastors
minister as a team in their church ministries, these churches will rarely apply for new
pastors. Despite much effort by the committee, there are still 7 graduates left
without churches to serve this year. Jou is worried about what next year’s outlook as
there will be more graduates than this year. He fears that more new pastors will be
>left without a church to minister.
In response to these challenges, PCT’s Ministers Committee will hold discussion
meetings with PCT seminaries so that a balance can be reached between demand
>and supply of new pastors.
According to PCT statistics, there were 147 unemployed pastors as of February
10th this year though the number of churches that did not have pastors stood at 233.
However, many of these churches would rather wait for an experienced, retired
pastor to help them than seek a graduating seminarian who does not have any
experience pastoring a church. This trend compounds an already challenging task
>of assigning new graduates to local churches.
With regards to new graduates who are willing to serve at smaller or financially
strapped churches in remote areas through a mixed draw, Jou said such an attitude
is indeed encouraging. However, he also emphasized that whether graduates are
eventually sent to minister to small churches as pastors or sent as assistants to help
senior pastors at local churches, these opportunities are merely experiences or
stepping stones. The most important thing for new pastors is to concentrate on their
>life plan or goal.
Jou is grateful to all presbyteries who lent a helping hand and promises to do
everything necessary so that all new graduates will find a place to serve after the
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