Developing Faithful Ministers aims to support the work of all those involved in supervision and training relationships within the Church. The Church recognising its call to serve God and the nation seeks to equip and develop its ministers to face the challenge of ministry in a society at the threshold of Christendom that is in a mission context. It is a context where both the general public and the institutional church have significant expectations of those in ministry. Indeed, there is now an expectation of demonstrable capability prior to being licensed to any form of permanent tenure. The demand for more professional, demonstrably capable, mission able and collaborative licensed ministers places particular weight on the efficacy of the initial training relationship. "Developing Faithful Ministers" seeks to support those who find themselves in these relationships by offering both models of good practice and sustained theological reflection on what these drivers mean for developing ministry.
Tim Ling is National Adviser for Continuing Ministerial Development in the Ministry Division, Archbishops' Council.
Lesley Bentley is Director of Ministry Development in the Lichfield diocese.
Combining the useful and practical with the reflective and theoretical, this book will prove to be an invaluable companion for those who find ministry means leadership and leadership means service. Like Roger Matthews excellent chapter on asking questions, this book seems to address all the right ones.
As the church continues to develop and grow new models of lay and ordained ministry that are able to respond to the changing context of mission, it is crucial that our ordained and lay ministers receive appropriate patterns of training and formation. Training and formation not only provide skills and opportunities for theological reflection, but helps people serve Christ better. When we neglect training the quality of discipleship suffers and the churches impact on the world decreases. This book has been written by leading practitioners in ministerial formation. It is a wonderful blend of theological, practical and prayerful reflection and guidance. It will serve as a useful tool to all those involved in the supervision and training of clergy and lay ministers at the start of their ministry and is essential reading for those who take that responsibility seriously.
Good contemporary resources crafted specifically for training incumbents and curates are in short supply, so Developing Faithful Ministers is most welcome. The chapters explore ordained ministry itself, enabling reflection and learning within training, and specific areas where ministers need knowledge, skills and insight. Useful tools for training are offered, but the book is much more than a how-to guide: its contributors urge ministers to seek not only competence but also wisdom and faithfulness, and root their proposals for good practice in scripture and theology. The book will enrich my thinking and practice as I work with curates and training incumbents.