What Is Pastoral Training Year One
The CF Network Pastoral Training will occur each year from September through May. The individual being trained must recommit each year to the expectations and requirements, and they may remain in the program for no more than three years. If those receiving pastoral training repeatedly fail to meet the expectations and requirements, the CF Network may remove the individual at any time.
Each potential participant must complete the Pastoral Training Application. This application is due by August 16, 2023.
The Pastoral Training will consist of several components each year.
Each week the Pastor in Training will meet with an assigned Mentor. The specific aim of this meeting is spiritual formation and health. Both the Pastor in Training and the Mentor will commit to meeting 28 out of the 40 weeks. The 12 off weeks should be used strategically to account for weeks one or both are out of town, away from work, or in the midst of an extraordinarily busy season. While both should give every effort to meet in person, it would be acceptable to meet through video conference if distance is a hindrance to meeting in person.
Appropriate and helpful items and activities for the weekly meetup would include but are not limited to:
Personal Bible Study
Family Life and Health
Struggles with Sin
The Weekly Meetup is intentionally less structured and organized to provide freedom to the mentor to address and navigate the unique needs or interests of the Pastor in Training. However, Mentors should not use the freedom to give the Pastor in Training additional assignments or work in order to protect the individual's time and workload.
Bi-Weekly Writing Assignment
Each Pastor in Training will complete 20 writing assignments. Writing requires a level of thinking and intentional engagement with a subject that casual conversation does not. As others have said we “write to think.” Each year the writing assignments will vary but they will include at minimum the following:
Pastoral Prayers: Pastors in training will be assigned a current event or subject and ask the individual to write an example Pastoral Prayer that could be used during a church service. Example pastoral prayers can be found in the works of men such as H. B. Charles, Mark Dever, John Piper, Kevin DeYoung, and many more.
Articles: At minimum twice a year, the entire cohort of Pastors in Training and the Mentors will share a broad topic (such as “Mercy Ministries,” “Small Groups,” “Church Ordinances”). Within the assigned topic each individual will contribute an article discussing one aspect of the larger topic. When completed, the Pastors in Training and the Mentors will pull together all the articles to form a “Journal” type collection that could serve the local churches of the Network.
Sermons: The main task of pastors, especially those leading replant and planting teams is the preaching of God’s Word. Each year, the Pastor in Training will write 5 sermons. These sermons may be sermons they are writing as part of their current role within a church.
Positions Papers: Helping the church think clearly about different issues that may arise within the body is extremely important. How will the church respond to accusations of abuse? Will the church accept as a member one who divorced his/her spouse? How should the church go about baptizing children? These position papers should not be written for the Professor but for the potential congregation the pastor will be leading to make decisions that affect the body as a whole. Each participant will select on ethical issue from the Elder Exam used by the Christ Fellowship Network churches.
Book Reviews: One book will be assigned each month, and a short book review will be written and discussed with the Mentor. The book review should include
1-2 ideas or thoughts from the book that the Pastor in Training found helpful and/or encouraging,
1-2 questions the book caused the Pastor in Training to start asking or thinking about more deeply,
1-2 practical actions he can take as a pastor/pastor to be.
Once a month, with the exception of the month of December, the whole cohort along with as many mentors as possible will spend the day together. These days will include:
Preaching Reps with Time Set aside for Critique
Presentations by Mentors on Particular Pastoral Subjects
Fellowship over Meals
Seminars by Guest Speakers/Pastors
Each year the pastors in training will attend two conferences
The Feed My Sheep Conference in Greenville, SC (September).
One of the following conferences selected by the Pastor in Training
1. The Pillar Network Unite Conference (October).
2. Coram Deo Pastors Conference (March)
While the Network will certainly attempt to help with funds when possible, those being trained need to take responsibility for securing funds to attend the conferences. To join the training cohort is to commit to attending the two conferences which are an extremely crucial aspect of the training.
The individual cost ($1,000) include:
Books = $150
Conferences = $350
Hotel & Registration
Intensives = $200
Lunch and Program
Mentor Expenses = $350
Meals / coffee with individuals
Other costs incurred by Mentor
Thanks to the generosity of the Christ Fellowship Network churches, $650 of the costs are covered. This leaves $350 for the Pastor in Training to cover. This can be paid in a one time payment by August 16.