Continuing Ministerial Development framework to launch
A new scheme to support the development and wellbeing of all in Baptist ministry is launching this autumn
Continuing Ministerial Development, or CMD, is a new framework developed by the Ministries Team which aims to enable all ministers to reflect on their experience and future vision, and ensure they are continuing to grow and develop in their knowledge and skills.
An outline of the scheme can be found in the insert included with the latest Baptists Together magazine and a full handbook will be available from October.
Most ministers can name the ways in which they sustain their relationship with God, learn new skills, grow in understanding of ministry and culture, and connect with the wider Baptist family. Yet the pattern of ongoing growth can falter surprisingly easily. When ministers stall in their learning, or struggle alone with a difficult season, both they and their ministry are diminished. This in turn affects the health of their churches and mission. To avoid this, staying connected and fresh is essential. CMD provides a guide for how this may be done.
CMD is often imagined to be about reading, academic learning and training. However, when the Ignite Report reviewed all aspects of ministry in 2016, it proposed that ministers require more than theological knowledge and learnt skills. An accredited minister is now defined by their demonstration of certain characteristics and behaviours, termed the ‘Marks of Ministry’, as much as by what they know or do. CMD therefore aims to sustain not only the capability of ministers, but their well-being too. It does this by asking each minister to practise five habits: learning, attentiveness, accountability, connection and review. Critically, it asks ministers to work together and support each other in their pursuit of these habits. Each minister is to share in the responsibility for the ongoing development of all ministers. This follows the successful model of CMD already introduced by the Baptist Union of Scotland.
Tim Fergusson, Ministerial Development Adviser, has helped to draw up the new framework. He said: “My vision is for CMD quickly to become the norm among all our ministers. This culture change will happen not because the Ministries Team demands it, but because ministers and churches see the benefits. Churches should expect their ministers to practise the CMD habits. And ministers should expect their churches to support them by offering time and a budget. Everyone is set to gain from this partnership.”
Andy Hughes, Ministries Team Leader added: “CMD is a very promising initiative. It has the potential to enhance ministry across the whole Baptist movement and protect ministers from isolation, mistakes and burn-out. I commend it to our ministers and their churches.”
The publication of the CMD handbook in October will be accompanied by a number of lunchtime webinars to help ministers explore the details of the framework. The first of these will be on Monday 12 October at 1pm.
Over the following 12 months, ministers will be encouraged to put in place any missing pieces from their practice of the five CMD habits. The first review of their CMD will take place in November 2021.