VITAL PASTORS FOR VITAL CONGREGATIONS
1. Vital pastors give attention to developing, coaching, and mentoring lay leadership to enable laity to increase their ability to carry out ministry.
2. Vital pastors use their influence to increase the participation of others in order to accomplish changes in the church.
3. Vital pastors motivate the congregation to set and achieve significant goals through effective leadership.
4. Vital pastors inspire the congregation through preaching.
5. Vital pastors, when they are serving effectively, stay for a longer period of time. (Short-term appointments of effective pastors decrease the vitality of a congregation).
Call for Actions to Pastors:
1. Regularly practice and lead your congregation (s) to practice the means of grace.
As we look at the means of grace today, they can be divided into works of piety and the works of mercy.
Works of Piety
Individual Practices – reading, meditating and studying the scriptures, prayer, fasting, regularly attending worship, healthy living, and sharing our faith with others
Communal Practices – regularly share in the sacraments, Christian conferencing (accountability to one another), and Bible study
Works of Mercy
Individual Practices – doing good works, visiting the sick, visiting those in prison, feeding the hungry, and giving generously to the needs of others
Communal Practices – seeking justice, ending oppression and discrimination (for instance Wesley challenged Methodists to end slavery), and addressing the needs of the poor
2. Lead your congregation to become more vital, particularly leading your congregation to implement the 16 drivers of vitality and carry out the four areas of focus- end deaths by malaria, eliminate poverty, start new faith communities, and recruit younger clergy.
3. Develop and embrace metrics and goals that measure your and the congregation’s effectiveness for becoming a vital congregation and results min the four areas of focus. This includes but is not limited to the five denominational discipleship goals:
a. Disciples make a new disciples- professional;
b. Disciples worship- worship attendance;
c. Disciples grow and mature in their faith- number of small faith- development groups;
d. Disciples engage in mission- number of members engaged in community and worldwide mission;
e. Disciples give generously to mission- the amount of money given to mission.
4. Grow your leadership skills to lead the congregation to implement the 16 drivers of vitality and achieve the five denominational goals with increasing effectiveness.
5. Pray for and work with your laity, superintendent, and bishop to grow the unity within the congregation, conference and denomination; grow trust within the congregation and denomination; and engage in listening and conversation with non-and nominally religious people in the community.
6. Encourage and mentor turnaround leaders to serve within the congregation and the community and foster an environment in which others can hear and respond to the call to pastoral ministry.