A research project by tim jacobson andrew lunau smith sponsored by sim canada
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Collaborative Equipping for Urban Ministry in the Greater Toronto Area: The Needs and the Prospects. A research project by Tim Jacobson Andrew Lunau Smith Sponsored by SIM Canada.

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Collaborative equipping for urban ministry in the greater toronto area the needs and the prospects

Collaborative Equipping for Urban Ministry in the Greater Toronto Area: The Needs and the Prospects

A research project by

Tim Jacobson

Andrew Lunau Smith

Sponsored by SIM Canada

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/ca/


Timeline

Timeline

  • We initially created a proposal for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada's Centre for Research on Canadian Evangelicalism to give some shape and structure to the project. That was back in January 2010.

  • We conducted interviews through to July 2010.


Who we interviewed

Who We Interviewed

6 Formal Theological Schools' Leaders

4 GTA "Large Church" Pastors

3 Focus Groups of Ethnic Pastors and Church Leaders

9 (EFC) Denomination Leaders

9 SUBS Host Church Pastors

3 Mission Agency Directors

3 Ethnic-Focused Network Leaders


Articles on website

Articles on Website

  • A Case Study: SUBS

  • The Kind of Leaders that the Canadian Church Needs

  • Implementing the Ephesians 4 Model of Equipping for Ministry

  • What are New Canadian Church Leaders Saying?

  • What Can Schools Learn from End Users?

  • How TIM Centre Achieved Part of the SUBS Vision

  • Excellence in Christian Education

  • Comparison between WIKINOMICS and C-BTE

  • Towards Healthy Church-Based Teaching and Training for Ministry


The subs case study

The SUBS Case Study

  • 31 courses since Fall 2008 + 3 pilot courses before then

  • 16 host churches + pilot locations

  • Co-promoting other training opportunities

  • 300 unique students, some taking more than one course, plus other enquirers

  • Students from 94 distinct GTA churches

  • Students from 18 denominations, plus those identifying themselves as non- or inter-denominational, “Christian”, “Evangelical”, or Roman Catholic


1 how are needs for equipping for ministry perceived by leaders of host churches in the gta

1) How are needs for equipping for ministry perceived by leaders of host churches in the GTA?


Host church 1

Host Church #1

  • The SUBS experience

    • Had a great experience

    • Most students came from host church; “our people didn’t go to other churches”

    • Appreciated SUBS taking the responsibility for this training

    • Even busy people were able to be involved

    • SUBS had high standards, but not out of reach

    • Was relevant

    • Three levels of training is appealing

  • Our church needs to prepare people to whom to pass the mantle

    • The idea of preparing leaders intentionally hasn’t been common.

    • People want higher level training

    • Pastor wants to teach

    • “Most of our elders are retirement age or older”

    • We have a good selection of younger people, but they need to grow

    • Older people need to keep growing, too

    • Don’t have capacity or ability to sustain training on our own.


Host church 2

Host Church #2

  • The SUBS experience

    • SUBS offered a good spectrum of training

    • There were courses that pastor was interested in

    • But only 2 students from host church in each course

  • Concerned about biblical illiteracy

    • Frustrated by training efforts

    • Hard to get urban people out during the week; Saturday events are better

    • Young people want hands-on experience and training, not sitting and reading

    • If we want to keep our young families, we need to invest in training

    • Pastor focused on laying Christian foundations, not on training and leadership development


Host church 3

Host Church #3

  • The SUBS experience

    • There is a need for SUBS

    • The idea of SUBS is fantastic

    • The approach of SUBS is biblical

    • The church should be the base for biblical studies

    • Many of our people are charismatic and SUBS needs to adjust some things in order to serve this audience

  • Biggest need is for training in the ethnic language

    • See SUBS as mainly for lay people

    • People want to learn, but they are busy surviving

    • Sundays are the best day for training

    • English-speaking youth need help to develop their leadership; 2nd generation

    • Offer training in area of felt need

    • The main work of ministry is by lay people and most of these people don’t have training


Host church 4

Host Church #4

  • The SUBS experience

    • SUBS offered good courses, but…

    • Nobody from this church came. People are interested in SUBS, but commuting is hard.

    • Happy to offer facilities

  • Interested in Eph 4 model so they can reproduce, be healthy

    • Younger generation commute, work, only available weekends

    • Church would subsidize training

    • Interested in cluster model, but no functioning ministerial


Host church 5

Host Church #5

  • The SUBS experience

    • SUBS should be for people who are newer to Canada

    • Only people from host church attended this course; people are very location minded

    • Many people are interested in vocational ministry and education is important to them but want accredited training

  • It is the responsibility of the local church to train lay people

    • The local church has to present opportunities for lay people to be trained. Bring training to the church.

    • You need an interdenominational person to get churches to work together.

    • Pastor’s gifting is teaching and he provides some intentional equipping

    • Champion is needed in each church; pastor doesn’t have time to coordinate SUBS


Host church 6

Host Church #6

  • The SUBS experience

    • Sees special value of SUBS in equipping leaders, especially new immigrants

    • But include resourcing others for urban ministry

    • It would be disappointing to have to ‘outsource’ to SUBS. All SUBS is doing is saying to pastors, “Do the job God wants you to do.” If SUBS is a networker rather than an outsourcer, I resonate with that.

  • We are in an area where bringing churches together should work

    • It would be a bit scary to be audited on whether we are doing a good job of equipping people in our church.

    • Neighboring churches can work together, each pastor can do one thing

    • Our church would be willing to put training into the budget

    • There is energy to build on


Host church 7

Host Church #7

1.The SUBS experience

  • Range of participation from high to none

  • The idea is fabulous, costs reasonable, but people are crazy busy

  • The church is over-programmed

  • Fighting many things in the culture

  • There is a need to push through the passivity

    • The churches need to take ownership, but they have full plates

    • Easier to charge students than put cost into church budget

    • Local ministerial may be open

    • There is definitely a need and strategy is good


  • Host church 8

    Host Church #8

    • The SUBS experience

      • Very good reports about course

      • Most of the students were from host church

      • Mentoring worked well

      • Our facility is open for future use by SUBS

      • Don’t know about the demand – everyone is so busy

    • We do need to address leadership development – help would be tremendous

      • Leadership development takes time

      • Long range coaching is needed

      • I need to make this process a part of my schedule and prayer

      • People are transient

      • Historically have studied the Word seriously


    Host church 9

    Host Church #9

    • The SUBS experience

      • The course you did here was very well received. It helped our children’s ministry remarkably.

        2.This church sees the value of investing in development

      • Have affiliation with 10-12 other churches and could work together

      • English speakers in church do not have the same level of opportunity as Cantonese who have many resources

      • Our church relies on lay men and women who don’t have time for fulltime training but could do weekend training (preferred to weeknights)

      • Need academically credible training – this is a learning culture


    2 what has been the experience of subs host churches with respect to equipping for ministry

    2) What has been the experience of SUBS host churches with respect to equipping for ministry?


    Recent training history of host churches an incomplete listing

    Recent training history of host churches… an incomplete listing

    • Offered year long mentoring program for men

    • Offered a “Timothy” series – 5-6 attended

    • Small groups are not content-oriented

    • Leadership 101 offered; mentored

    • Series of Rick Warren 40 day material

    • Leadership training for small groups

    • Used Arrow “Growing Leaders” material

    • Destiny series, SEAN (Study by Extension for All Nations), variety of initial and ongoing

    • Small group facilitator training, discipleship

    • The majority of host churches we talked to recognize they are weak at equipping mature believers for ministry; all recognize more could be done and would value the right kind of help.


    3 what are models resources and suggestions to the church in the gta for equipping for ministry

    3) What are models, resources and suggestions to the Church in the GTA for equipping for ministry?


    Towards a collaborative future

    Towards a collaborative future…

    • A champion for training in every church

    • Courses related to ministry and need

    • Areas: children, how to study the Bible, youth, theology, Bible, prayer, healing, evangelism, the church

    • Pastors want to teach

    • Weekends are generally preferred to weeknights; Sundays are best for some, morning and afternoon

    • Experience-based learning; hands-on

    • Training in ethnic language is a need for some; language clusters

    • Foundations (types of courses) are not enough

    • The church should be the base for training

    • Geographical clusters idea has potential


    Observation towards a collaborative future

    Observation: Towards a collaborative future…

    • Most churches say they would subsidize or cover the cost

    • In clusters, perhaps the barter system would contribute to sustainability

    • One church noted they’re not too interested in collaboration in lay training but in training new-to-Canada church leaders in centrally located churches (particular leaders’ interest influences participation)

    • An interdenominational person can best serve as a catalyst to get churches working together

    • On-going training in urban ministry helpful for all pastors

    • Good potential for organizing at the local church level, but remember that the Seminary is part of the Body

    • Willingness to share facilities

    • Standards of quality need to be maintained


    What kinds of church leaders do denominational leaders say are needed

    What kinds of church leaders do denominational leaders say are needed?


    The denominational visions for which leaders are needed

    The Denominational Visions for Which Leaders Are Needed

    • Resurgence of church planting in Canada with some ambitious objectives

    • Churches that multiply themselves

    • Churches that are missional communities, presenting an alternative society in our secular culture

    • Growing disciples

    • Growing congregations

    • Forming leaders

    • Sending workers as missionaries in Canada


    Challenges facing denominational leaders

    Challenges Facing Denominational Leaders

    • Creating a missional church culture

    • Creating church cultures of trust, family, and mutual care, as well as community engagement

    • Leadership development

    • Being responsive to social changes

    • Collaboration in order to change our communities

    • Funding – how to pay for the vision

    • Navigating the multicultural experience

    • Facing issues of urban dynamic

    • The process of producing Christ-like followers


    Why denominations say change is needed

    Why Denominations Say Change Is Needed

    • The process of producing Christ-like followers is weak

    • Mentoring is not happening

    • Biblical literacy is dropping

    • Smaller congregations face lack of pastoral leadership

    • The decline of the traditional church shows that something is not working

    • The second and third generations of ethnic congregations need special leadership development focus


    Why denominations say change is needed1

    Why Denominations Say Change Is Needed

    • Traditional theological education is unaffordable and otherwise inaccessible for many, especially some ethnic leaders

    • People need to be equipped for a different model of ministry

    • Some denominations are facing the crunch of retirements

    • Some leaders or potential leaders are not equipped to fit the changing ministry opportunities

    • Leaders need to be equipped so that they can enter the public forum


    The kinds of leaders that denominations say are needed

    The Kinds of Leaders* that Denominations Say Are Needed

    COMMUNITY - FOCUSED

    • “Broken by the needs of the community, but not overwhelmed”

    • Incarnational presence within the community

    • Partnered, connected, networked, collaborative

    • Engage social, political, economic and cultural issues

    • Gather people around redemptive purposes; influence community; community leadership

    • Volunteer in the community

      * Who is a “leader”?


    The kinds of leaders that denominations say are needed1

    The Kinds of Leaders that Denominations Say Are Needed

    SKILLED & CALLED

    • Effective in intercultural relationships

    • Sensitive to transitional issues for new Canadian communities

    • Training in cultural / contextual understanding and missiological practice

    • Skills to have spiritual conversations in the marketplace

    • Serve from a spiritual formation paradigm

    • Pastoral, not just academic

    • Called and faithful

    • Credentialed; preferably with accredited training


    The kinds of leaders that denominations say are needed2

    The Kinds of Leaders that Denominations Say Are Needed

    EQUIPPING - FOCUSED

    • Lead people to Christ, make disciples, multiply leaders = following the strategy of Jesus

    • Equip others to engage in mission

    • Establish mentoring ethos

    • Build community; develop learning & growth community

    • Develop a ‘deploy and debrief’ model of training

    • Empower lay leaders

    • Someone who has been mentored, coached and who mentors others

    • Life-long learners, continuing education

    • Trained on the job; learned by doing; has been apprenticed


    The kinds of leaders that denominations say are needed3

    The Kinds of Leaders that Denominations Say Are Needed

    ENTREPRENEURIAL, INNOVATIVE

    • Understand the heart of the gospel and its foundational role

    • Plant churches; willing to help plant churches

    • Well –developed ecclesiology and able to break out of traditional church mindset

    • Work in new models of church

    • Maybe bi-vocational or lay pastor

    • Respond to needs of the urban environment


    How leadership development should be modeled to produce this kind of leader

    How Leadership Development Should Be Modeled to Produce this Kind of Leader

    • Churches working together to develop leaders; working alone may lack longevity

    • Accessible – allows emerging leaders to be developed in their home areas and keep their jobs

    • Affordable

    • Leadership development is something that is ongoing over many years rather than something that is formalized and finishes

    • Being trained in a missional paradigm

    • Learning in the context of community

    • Learning from global mission contexts how to do leadership development in the Canadian mission field


    How leadership development should be modeled to produce this kind of leader1

    How Leadership Development Should Be Modeled to Produce this Kind of Leader

    • Allow for learning theology and witness in the context of dialogue among worldviews

    • Explore alternative models of doing leadership development, especially since in Canada distance is a big factor (e.g. BILD - Biblical Institute of Leadership Development, online programs, satellite )

    • Develop partnerships between the formal training institutions and local churches and denominations

    • Church planting not as a specialty but as the norm

    • Emerging leaders mentored by their pastors

    • Balance theory and practice


    Some observations

    Some Observations


    Observation there is a problem in the area of cooperation unity

    Observation: There is a problem in the area of cooperation / unity

    • There is a lack of unity between denominations

    • There is a lack of unity within denominations

    • There is a lack of unity between congregations within neighbourhoods

    • There is a lack of unity within ethnic communities

    • There is a lack of unity between schools and their constituent churches, denominations, and ministry agencies (Note, we do recognize that this is improving)


    Observation there is a problem in the area of biblical discipleship

    Observation: There is a problem in the area of biblical discipleship

    • There is a serious decline in biblical literacy in the churches

    • Adult education has almost slipped off the radar of most churches

    • The cultural agenda (e.g, consumerism, comfort, attraction-based, social-focused, self-sustaining church) has taken priority over the biblical agenda (for discipleship, mission, and witness) and has it squeezed out

    • Churches can be so concerned with the issues of early discipleship that they neglect to address bringing people to maturity and to invest in ministry and leadership development

    • Resources for leadership development are abundant but not being accessed; there are many barriers to access


    Observation there is a problem in the area of urban ministry

    Observation: There is a problem in the area of urban ministry

    • Churches are not reflecting their (urban) communities

    • Churches don’t have a missional agenda

    • Churches are not equipping their members to be effective missioners

    • Churches do not understand the urban dynamic

    • Churches are not equipped for intercultural or cross-worldview ministry

    • Many Christians are not equipped or motivated to engage their communities in the public forum


    Articles on website1

    Articles on Website

    • A Case Study: SUBS

    • The Kind of Leaders that the Canadian Church Needs

    • Implementing the Ephesians 4 Model of Equipping for Ministry

    • What are New Canadian Church Leaders Saying?

    • What Can Schools Learn from End Users?

    • How TIM Centre Achieved Part of the SUBS Vision

    • Excellence in Christian Education

    • Comparison between WIKINOMICS and C-BTE

    • Towards Healthy Church-Based Teaching and Training for Ministry


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