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  • Resources for Pastors

    In Victorian Society, Pastoral Leadership is a highly privileged, complex and demanding role. The Pastoral Leadership Support & Development team provide a variety of resources - both through relationships and processes - to support and develop healthy pastoral leaders and empowering them to effectively lead their churches in mission.

    • Stipends & Statements of Understanding

      Resources and information on Pastoral Stipends available through our BUV Finance Team on the link below:

      Stipend Guidelines

    • Clusters & Networks

      The Baptist Union of Victoria believes that it is not healthy for pastors to be “lone rangers”. Amidst the many privileges and complexities of our vocation, we all need good people alongside us to support us spiritually, emotionally and in maintaining healthy balance and perspective. One of the most helpful ways to do this is to be part of a small group of pastors who commit to meeting together regularly, providing mutual support, encouragement and solidarity. The Baptist Union of Victoria is not prescriptive as to how pastors do this; there are many different effective models. However we do believe that healthy pastoral peer groups usually have the following 5 features:

      • A group that is a “safe place” where trust can grow
      • A group where participants make a reliable commitment to meeting together on a regular basis
      • A group where expectations are clear to all members
      • A group that provides for breadth and inclusivity
      • A group that works through simple, effective organisation

      The BUV’s Pastoral Leadership Support and Development team including its Regional Pastors, and Generations and Emerging Leadership Pastor are all active in initiating and supporting pastoral peer groups. If you would like to talk to one of us about this, please contact the PLS&D Administrative Assistant, Lisa Isaacs on 9880 6150 or email lisa.isaacs@buv.com.au.

    • Mentors, Supervisors, Coaches and Spiritual Directors

      Pastoral Leadership is a highly relational vocation. Pastoral Leaders are constantly working with people and communities who express great gift and vulnerability. Of course, the Pastoral Leader also carries his or her own unique capacities and vulnerabilities. Unless there is a high commitment to conscious processing of a Pastoral Leader’s own vulnerabilities, there is potential for a Pastoral Leader to be projecting their own needs rather than supporting the needs of others.

      With this in mind, one of the goals of the Pastoral Leadership, Support and Development team is for all Pastoral Leaders within Baptist ministry to have a committed relationship with someone who has the skill and care to help them to process and grow through these relational realities. Mostly such a person will be a trained and accredited mentor, coach, supervisor or spiritual director.

      If you would like assistance in finding such a relationship, please contact any member of the Pastoral Leadership Support & Development Team by emailing Lisa Isaccs on lisa.isaacs@buv.com.au

    • Pastoral Care

      The BUV is committed to ensuring Pastors have access to counselling and other supports when particular needs arise in their lives. Please contact the Pastoral Leadership Support & Development Team if you require more information.

      Pastoral Care For Pastors
      Spiritual Health Victoria has provided a Credentialing Framework Document, for the purposes of helping church denominations meet the new standards to ensure that people appointed by churches – both paid and voluntary – have adequate qualifications, experience and competence to provide safe, high quality pastoral/spiritual care in a healthcare environment. Comprehensive templates are available in the “Spiritual Care Providers Credentialing Framework” on their website.

      Credentialing for Pastoral Carers

    • Pastoral Positions

      The call of God on our lives is not static; part of our life with God is seeking to be always open to the renewing call of God. There comes a time for most pastors when they sense that it is the right time to be open to the possibility of seeking a new pastoral position. The Advisory Board of the Baptist Union of Victoria provides a process for pastors who wish to enter such a process of discerning anew God’s leading.

      BUV’s Advisory Board is responsible for helping churches to find a new pastor when a vacancy occurs as well as working with pastors in identifying fresh possibilities for ministry in other places. In both instances the Advisory Board is a service group to pastors and churches.

      Members of BUV Advisory Board are appointed by the churches through Assembly. Half the membership are ordained pastors, the other half are lay people. At any given point of time, the Board will be cooperating with anywhere between twenty to forty churches, depending on the pastoral needs being experienced. In the past churches sought the assistance of the Board mainly for the purpose of appointing senior pastors (where there was a pastoral team) or solo pastors (where there was no team). In more recent times increasing numbers of churches are now asking for assistance in the appointment of additional team members.

      BUV Advisory Board undertakes a number of tasks with pastoral search committees in particular:

      • Support is offered when an impending pastoral vacancy is notified.
      • A moderator is appointed upon request to assist the church through the interim period and to give easily accessed assistance to the pastoral search committee.
      • On the basis of information provided by pastors about themselves, the Board liaises with pastoral search committees of churches seeking new pastoral staff.
      • Gives particular attention to the vital task of shaping up a pastoral profile as well as identifying the needs of both church and community.

      BUV Advisory Board provides an advisory role only. Each local church committee is left to make its own decisions and, of course, the church membership itself has the final responsibility for the issue of a call.

      There is also assistance offered to pastors seeking fresh opportunities for ministry. While no guarantees can be offered with respect to outcomes, every effort is made to alert churches to the availability of pastors who have indicated their desire for such a move where their gifts and experience are seen to be appropriate to the needs of a given congregation. The Advisory Board depends heavily on information provided by pastors about themselves and makes comprehensive (and confidential) use of information provided by pastors.

      If you are a member of a pastoral search committee, be aware of the energy and enthusiasm of the Board to help you seek the Lord’s guidance as you ponder the best way forward for the filling of the pastoral vacancy in your congregation. If you are a pastor feeling that the time may be right to be open to other possibilities in ministry, remember that the Advisory Board is there to help you also. Hopefully, as often as is possible, the needs of both pastors and churches can be happily matched in order that the Kingdom may continue to be extended.

      Please email lyn.williams@buv.com.au or phone Lyn Williams on 9880 6188 if you require further assistance.

      Pastoral Positions

      For the current list of Pastoral Positions Click Here

      Job advertisements for pastoral positions are also posted in our weekly BUV Bulletin.

    • Pastoral Reviews

      The Baptist Union of Victoria has had more than 20 years of developing pastoral review processes and has facilitated hundreds of pastoral reviews in its churches. This strong history of learning is offered to Baptist Churches and pastors through the work of the Pastoral Leadership Support and Development team.

      Along the way we’ve discovered that Pastoral Reviews are unlike reviews in most workplaces:

      • While the pastor is a servant of the church, the church – i.e. the “employer” - is not the pastor’s master. God is. So the pastor’s role must always be discerned and negotiated between the pastor and the church.
      • Pastors do not have a single manager to define their priorities; they have a whole congregation of people with needs, desires and expectations. The fact that the people doing the review are the pastor’s congregation creates all sorts of unique dynamics.
      • Pastoral performance is often dependent on the church’s circumstances and constraints. For example, it is not unknown for churches to encourage goals for the pastor to achieve and then deny the pastor the resources and opportunities to achieve them.

      So… what we review in a pastoral review is the relationship between the church and the pastor. We ask:

      • What’s working well in the relationship between church and pastor that can be celebrated… and further enhanced and developed for the good of the Kingdom of God?
      • What’s causing some tension that can be put on the table and resolved together before it becomes the source of conflict?

      As part of the process, it is usually appropriate to do some evaluation of how the pastor is going about their job… but only evaluated in the context of an agreed pastoral job description/statement of pastoral priorities. Even here the purpose is to see how the relationship between church and pastor can be enhanced.

      The Pastoral Leadership Support and Development team has developed a variety of templates and approaches for Pastoral Reviews which can be accessed through your Regional Pastor:

      • A 12-month review (to gain an initial sense of how a new Church-Pastor Partnership is forming)
      • A more developed Pastoral Review Process
      • A Pastoral Review that involves more detailed review the Church’s ministries
      • A process of ongoing or formative review

      Pastoral review processes can involve:

      • Questionnaires filled in by the Pastor and an appointed Pastoral Review Group
      • Questionnaires filled in by the whole church
      • Interviews
      • Conversations between the Pastor and a Pastoral Review Group
      • Processes of prayer and discernment

      There is enormous value in a Pastoral Review being facilitated by someone from outside the church who is committed to the wellbeing of Church and Pastor without being a stakeholder in the recommendations that emerge. Such a person can facilitate a process that is fair, robust and gracious.
      Good Pastoral Reviews never subject a Pastor to unfair scrutiny. Managed by a good process, they can richly enhance the experience and fruitfulness of both Church and Pastor.

      To discuss Pastoral Reviews further, please contact your Regional Pastor. Their contact details can be found HERE

    • Pastoral Transitions

      The resources below may be helpful for those experiencing transitions

      Discerning Well

      When Is It Time to Move On

      Towards Healthy Transitions in Pastoral Ministry

    • Exit Interviews

      The Pastoral Leadership Support & Development team offers Exit Interviews to Pastoral Leaders as part of their process of leaving a pastoral role in a BUV church. These interviews have 3 purposes:

      1. To give pastors an opportunity to talk about their experience of pastoral leadership within the church they are leaving, and particularly to focus on its impact on them and their families. It asks questions like:

      • What are the aspects of your ministry that you look back on with real satisfaction and achievement?
      • In what ways do you feel you have grown over this period of ministry?
      • What have you learnt about yourself?
      • What are some of the disappointments/frustrations of this period of ministry?
      • What do you feel are some of your own areas of vulnerability and limitation in ministry?
      • What will you seek to change in the way you approach ministry as you move on?
      • How has the church cared for you and your family?
      • How would you summarise your feelings about leaving?
      • How do you plan to respond when people from the church contact you in future to ask your pastoral advice or to officiate at a wedding, funeral, baptism or infant dedication?

      An Exit Interview can identify emotional wounds an exiting pastor may be carrying and can offer a chance to work together on a strategy to address these through counselling, supervision or through the BUV’s Pastoral Recovery Process.

      2. To give an opportunity for Pastors to reflect on their sense of God’s call upon their lives as they approach a time of pastoral transition? An Exit Interview can explore:

      • What have you discovered about yourself and God’s call?
      • What do you now see as your gifts and strengths?
      • How might these insights be expressed in your next stage of life and ministry?

      3. To give the BUV office an opportunity to learn from the rich reservoir of a Pastor’s knowledge about the functioning of that church to enable us to wisely support it in the future. The Exit Interview may ask the following questions:

      • What do you see as the strengths of the church?
      • What brings the greatest inspiration and cohesion to the church?
      • What is the greatest threat to the well-being of the church?
      • What is the church most reluctant to face?
      • Have you experienced areas of inconsistency between what the church believes about itself and how it actually behaves?
      • What are the most important ministry opportunities currently available to the church?
      • If you could say anything to the leaders at the church as you move on, what would you want to say?
      • Is there anything else that you would want an incoming pastor to know?

      It is a core commitment of the Pastoral Leadership Support and Development team that a Pastor who participates in an Exit Interview is able to determine how the information they share is used.
      Exit interviews provide strong foundations for ongoing care of both the Pastoral Leader, their family and the church they are leaving as they embrace a time of transition.
      Please contact your Regional Pastor if you would like to arrange an exit interview or contact Lisa Isaacs, PLS&D Administrative Assistant on 9880 6150 or email lisa.isaacs@buv.com.au

    • Pastoral Recovery Program

      To those who are called to it, pastoral leadership is a vocation of unparalleled privilege. It is also an intensely relational vocation that exposes its practitioners to some of the most painful and damaged aspects of human life and community. As none of us are fully integrated, Pastoral Leaders almost inevitably find that their own vulnerability is exposed. While the BUV provides all sorts of resources for its Pastoral Leaders to maintain emotional, psychological and spiritual health, some Pastoral Leaders will find themselves carrying deeper wounds.

      The Pastoral Recovery Process may be activated in these circumstances. Usually following an exit interview, recommended by a member of the Pastoral Leadership Support and Development team and approved by the BUV’s Leadership team, the Pastoral Recovery Process provides some financial support, releasing a Pastoral Leader for the need to immediately take up another pastoral appointment. A Pastoral Recovery Support Group then works with the Pastor in processes of support, counselling, spiritual renewal and learning that are tailor made for the Pastoral Leader concerned. The process also involves active discernment in terms of future vocation.

      The Pastoral Recovery Process is available for BUV Accredited Pastoral Leaders, depending on what is discerned as best for the Pastoral Leader concerned and budget availability.

      To find out more, please contact your Regional Pastor

    Baptists On Mission Blog