Administration Responsibility Spotting and Bringing Up Leaders in Today's Church Term Paper

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Recruitment and Training of Religious Ministry

Theology, a definition. What does it take to recruit and train qualified members of the ministry today?

Description of Message: A hands-on approach that encourages growth of mind and spirit will provide lay people with a well-rounded vision and the knowledge absolutely necessary to be successful in the church. No two-year or four-year academic program alone can provide lay people with the insight they need to be successful ministers.

Academic Learning

Professional Learning

Interpretation of Results

Modern Day Society: Statistics Related to Religious Affinity

How to spot prospective church leaders

Criticism: How valid are such studies as mentioned above that measure the religious affiliation of the nation? It certainly seems a valid notion that the religious identity of the nation is certainly scattered, perhaps as scattered as the non-homogenous population. However, throughout time people were faced with cultural variety and managed to find truth in the spirit.

Need for Theology to be interpreted in a manner with societies consistently changing economic/dynamic social environment

Influences (terror) on theology and future religious leaders

THEOLOGY: from the Greek words theos, meaning deity, and logos or discourse means the study of GOD, the SACRED or divine and covers the entire range of issues concerning relationship of humans to God. Traditionally it refers to the CHRISTIAN enterprise of presenting a systematic, RATIONAL explanation and justification of FAITH through the use of CONCEPTS derived from PHILOSOPHY and LOGIC." Source: Hexham, Irving. (2000) "The Concise Dictionary of Religion."


What does it take to successfully raise and train today's lay people as ministers in the church? What responsibilities does the church have toward training their ministers? Recruiting and training of ministers is a complex process, one that often varies from place to place. While it is important when training any person for a profession to consider academic teaching, it is more important to consider professional training of ministers in the church. A hands-on approach that encourages growth of mind and spirit will provide lay people with a well-rounded vision and the knowledge absolutely necessary to be successful in the church. No two-year or four-year academic program alone can provide lay people with the insight they need to be successful ministers. Rather, a combination of scholarly and professional experience will prove most successful. The challenges faced in an increasingly secular society also bring to mind several important considerations necessary for the successful recruitment of lay people as ministry.

According to Capps in his work, "Ways of Understanding Religion" there are many ways of interpreting religion that must first be examined before one can successfully recruit lay people for the ministry.

Many people in today's changing times have adopted a secular outlook on life, resulting in disdain and misunderstanding of the role of the church in society. Young people in modern society, infused with divergent cultural values often look down upon church leaders as simply another group of organized dictators and rule makers attempting to make life difficult. It is important to consider this when discussing methods of recruiting and training lay-people, most importantly from a recruiting perspective. Recruiters must adopt their approach when recruiting to take into consideration these perspectives, and have answers for difficult questions such as "Why should I become a member of the church?"

Most recruiting of lay people will also occur from within a pre-set church community.

This is where the church has a responsibility to deliver an appropriate message to its members. Members of the church must take the standpoint that every prospective Sunday sermon attendee might be a prospective future member of the ministry. The church therefore, has a responsibility for offering educational opportunities for inquiring young people, and opening their doors to questions and inquisition from their members. Priests should encourage youths to stop by their office for more information about how the clergy works, and what it takes to get into the ministry. There are undoubtedly many lay people for whom the ministry and church is shrouded in mystery, people who might one day make exceptional members of the staff. By actively seeking out potential members and educating them, as well as acting as members, the church fulfills a portion of its role in the recruiting process.

One important quality to look for when recruiting lay people is a general pleasant personality and the ability to be "bold in public." Members of the ministry will ultimately be charged with the responsibility of standing before the community of their church, and delivering the message and the word of God. What that message is specifically, depends in part on the specific church.

Another means of recruiting strong prospective lay people for the ministry is seeking out candidates from local community hot-spots, such as volunteer based and non-profit organizations. Those people that have already volunteered their time toward helping the community are likely strong candidates for doing the same for their church.

People that grow up in an environment filled with support are likely too to offer the same to the church community. This is not to argue however, that someone growing up alone or independent will not be an equally fine representative of the church. What is most important when seeking out members of the ministry is a generous spirit, a calm and decisive nature, the ability to reach out and represent and speak in public. Potential lay people must be open and receptive, people that church members can look to and respect, people that aren't likely to be pointed out for mischievous behavior.

What of training? How does the church decide on appropriate methods and courses of training for the ministry? The training of lay people for the ministry should be a joint effort between academic institutions, the church and members of the church. There are many two and four-year programs that perspective clergy can attend to round out their academic education. These programs are important as they offer insight and knowledge regarding theological concepts and methodology, which are necessary for prospective church ministry.

There are currently thousands of academic institutions offering training programs for clergy. Which programs contain the truly important teaching methods and perspectives necessary to sustain future ministry? It is crucial when evaluating programs to assess the real-life professional or hands on training offered to lay people. Additionally, it is important to consider true to life situations that ministry may face when deciding on a professional career with the church. For example, as stated previous members of the ministry are often thought to be model citizens in the community. They are expected to uphold almost a "pristine" existence in the eyes of many. Members of the church might expect a "sinless" nature from their ministry. They also expect much support, strength and guidance from the clergy.

How is an ordinary person, a mortal man to deal with all of this "stress." Though members of the ministry will typically lead a spiritual existence, they are certainly subject to the same temptations that any person is, and certainly guilty of the occasional sin. It is important for academic institutions to discuss methods of dealing with and addressing the oft' conflicting feelings that members of the ministry might experience with professional service. Without such tools, it is foreseeable that members of the ministry, as in any other profession, will fail to succeed. Perhaps so many perpetrators of horrible acts within the ministry, publicized of late, are committed because members of these churches were never trained in how to deal with their emotions, internal desires and feelings. We often here of priests convicted of committing crimes of sexual abuse among the youths of the United States. This is an important issue that certainly must also be addressed in training!


Do the youth's and people of America today identify with religion? According to a study conducted on America's ability to identify with religion and religious leaders, when asked "What religion do you identify with if any" people responded with more than a hundred different answers, which could easily fit into more than sixty-five categories.

The study results indicated that between 1990 and 1981, feelings of religious affiliation and intensity declined more than 10% in the states. The number of people that would "not subscribe to any religious affiliation" has increased from 14.3 million ten years ago to more than 29.4 million today.

The results also indicate that many adults refuse to even answer such questions regarding their religious affiliation and inclination.

What does this mean for members of the church attempting to recruit and train lay people? They have a long and difficult road ahead of them. Much research has pointed to the increasingly "multi-layered" identity of the people of America. This should be interpreted as a sign that teaching methods must be structured to take into consideration this multi-level cultural personalities and make-up of potential ministry members. No one teaching method will adequately result in a well-trained ministry. No one recruiting method will help identify the most likely to succeed in the church.…[continue]

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