MINISTERIAL VOCATION COMMITTEE
The Ministerial Vocation Committee (MVC) report to the 42nd General Assembly of its work during 2021-2022, plus recommendations for consideration by the Assembly.
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TE, Presbytery of the West
SUMMARY OF WORK
1. The MVC worked with Presbytery Care of Candidates and Ministerial Committees to dialogue about and seek resolution for common issues.
2. The MVC worked to be the shepherd of the shepherds by helping with the needs of several EPC pastors and churches.
3. The MVC approved the deletion of the Turabian requirement of the Exegesis exams on Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Greek.
4. The MVC approved the MMPI-2 be required for all Transfer candidates coming into the EPC effective July 1, 2022.
5. The MVC commends the PRO-D assessment for Candidates under Care and for Pastors receiving new calls.
6. The MVC worked with the Effective Biblical Leadership Task Force to review the ordination process.
7. The MVC interviewed CEEP (Candidates Educational Equivalency Program) candidates who were seeking ordination.
8. The MVC received communication and updates from numerous pastoral resources.
9. The MVC continued dialogue on “separation ethics.”
42-24 The MVC moves that Pastor-In-Residence Ministries be recognized as an Approved Agency of the General Assembly and that the Standing Committee on Theology review this motion to ensure PIR Ministries meets the Approved standards of the General Assembly.
Rationale: The EPC has had a long-standing relationship with Pastors-In-Residence (PIR) and RE Roy Yanke, its Executive Director. Our motion seeks to elevate PIR Ministries to the highest official status as a resource of the EPC.
Note: The order of recommendations is (from lowest to highest): Commended, Committee-endorsed, and Approved.
WORK OF THE COMMITTEE
1. CARE OF CANDIDATES AND MINISTERIAL COMMITTEES
The MVC worked alongside the gathered Chairs of these Presbytery committees to dialogue about and seek resolution for common issues which have been arising in Presbyteries and build relationships across our Presbytery committees, especially in another year of the pandemic. We met both virtually and in person in March and in September.
2. MINISTERIAL WELL-BEING
The MVC worked to be the shepherd of the shepherds by helping with the needs of several EPC pastors or EPC churches requiring support, intervention, guidance, counseling, coaching, or help in crisis situations.
3. ORDINATION EXAMS
The MVC approved the deletion of the Turabian requirement of the Exegesis exams on Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Greek. Note: The Exegesis Exam will still ask for citations of resources in the exegetical part of the exam, but we are deleting the Turabian requirement for the manuscript.
4. TRANSFER CANDIDATES
The MVC approved the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) to be required for all Transfer candidates coming into the EPC, effective July 1, 2022.
Rationale: All candidates for ordination are required to undergo a psychological evaluation using the MMPI-2 or MMPI-3. Most often we do not have information from a Transfer into the EPC regarding their psychological health. This recommendation establishes equal standards for all who are seeking ordination in the EPC.
5. PRO-D ASSESSMENT
The MVC commends the PRO-D for Candidates under Care and for Pastors receiving new calls.
Rationale: It has been noted that too many pastors are exiting their call at a local church after a short period of time for a variety of reasons: the call was not right, the fit was not right, there were unfortunate conflicts due to leadership deficiency and/or personality conflict, neither the congregation nor the pastor were prepared for the kind of change(s) that needed to be made, as well as other reasons. No blame is being assigned; these are comments that have been shared with the MVC. The next several paragraphs are taken from PIR’s website.
The PRO-D Development© assessment is a state-of-the-art, professional development instrument for leaders that provides valuable insight into an individual’s: Motivations (Missions), Abilities (Competencies), and Behaviors (Styles). In use for over 12 years in the corporate world, and expanded into faith-based organizations (such as PIR Ministries), PRO-D draws a convergence analysis to help individuals understand how their unique set of missions, competencies, and styles contribute to their overall leadership effectiveness both as individuals and as members of a team. Completed online, the PRO-D assessment is reviewed with a trained consultant in a 1½- to 2-hour session. PRO-D has proven invaluable in helping pastors and church leaders better define their calling in light of their roles and responsibilities within the Church. PRO-D helps leaders:
1. Find the “best fit” within the role God has given them.
2. Maximize leadership effectiveness.
3. Create high performance teams within any business or ministry context.
4. Recast a future that better expresses the kind of leader God has built them to be.
6. ORDINATION PROCESS
The MVC worked with the Effective Biblical Leadership Task Force to review the ordination process to better prepare our candidates for future ministry. The emphasis in the past has been to prepare our candidates to pass the ordination exams. We are examining/evaluating the outcomes component of this process.
7. CEEP CANDIDATES
MVC interviewed 10 CEEP candidates (Candidates Educational Equivalency Program) who were seeking ordination and made appropriate study recommendations to the proper committee of their Presbytery.
8. PASTORAL RESOURCES
The MVC had communication and updates, via Zoom and in-person interviews, with PIR Ministries (RE Roy Yanke), The GO Center (TE David Zook), PastorServe (Jason Dye), and Memphis City Seminary (Administrative staff).
9. SEPARATION ETHICS
The MVC continued dialogue on “separation ethics:” What is/should be the relationship of a pastor who retires with the church from which he retires? What questions need to be asked? Should there be a policy created/recommended? What are the best practices for this stage of life transition for the pastor and for the church? This is an ongoing discussion.
The MVC moves that Pastor-In-Residence Ministries be recognized as an Approved Agency of the General Assembly and that the Standing Committee on Theology review this motion to ensure PIR Ministries meets the Approved standards of the General Assembly.
Rationale: Acts of Assembly 97-22: “The Ministerial Vocation Committee is instructed to evaluate the issue of pastoral vocational pressures from the perspective of identifying warning signs and seeking preventive measures for creating healthier church environments.”
It is the opinion of the MVC that the ministry resources that PIR Ministries offers enable Presbyteries, local churches, and pastors to address these issues in timely, healthy, and healing ways. The EPC has had a long-standing relationship with Pastors-In-Residence (PIR) and RE Roy Yanke, its Executive Director, and our motion seeks to elevate PIR Ministries to the highest official status as a resource of the EPC.
Note: The order of recommendations is (from lowest to highest): Commended, Committee-endorsed, and Approved. (02-08: The Assembly adopts an “Endorsement Policy” to evaluate approved resource organizations and committee-endorsed resources. [Minutes, 22-46]).
87-02: The General Assembly adopts the definition of Approved Mission Agency as follows:
1. Authentic evangelical confessional identity.
2. Historical integrity and explicit mission statement.
3. Mission objectives are compatible with the EPC mission statement.
4. Clarity in ministry goals and objectives.
5. Financial credibility as measured by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) or by comparable standards.
6. Membership in the Evangelical Foreign Missions Association (EFMA) or meet comparable standards. (Minutes, 7-30).
Fred Lian (Chairman)
TE, Presbytery of the West
TE, Presbytery of the East
RE, Presbytery of the East
RE, Presbytery of the Alleghenies
TE, Presbytery of the West
TE, Presbytery of the Pacific Northwest
September 8-10, 2021: Office of the General Assembly (Orlando, Florida)
January 26, 2022: Video Conference
February 11, 2022: Video Conference
March 9-11, 2022: Office of the General Assembly (Orlando, Florida)
April 26, 2022: Video Conference
Fred Lian, Chairman