MARKS OF A FAITHFUL REGIONAL CHURCH
The purpose of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in regions is twofold: to extend the ministry of Christ in mission, witness and service among the people and social structures of the region and to establish, receive and nurture congregations in the region, providing help, counsel and pastoral care to members, ministers and congregations in their mutual relationships, and relating them to the worldwide mission and witness of the whole church.
(The Design, Paragraph 61)
A Faithful Regional Ministry Involves:
- Proclaiming the Gospel giving spiritual leadership and enabling the ministry of evangelization. The Region calls a Regional Minister who serves as a sign of the unity of the Church in sacrament and service.
- Caring for congregations as they strive towards greater faithfulness to God. The Region directs program services and consultations in such areas as problem-solving, conflict resolution and planning for the future, as well as celebrations of congregational life such as anniversaries, dedications, installations, and retirements.
- Enabling congregations to do together things that cannot be done alone. Regional ministries include programs and emphases such as camps and conferences, new congregational development, congregational vitalization, education for global mission and assemblies for nurture and worship.
- Calling out and developing leaders among laity and clergy. The Region defines needed roles, helps persons identify gifts for leadership, and sees that training for leaders is provided.
- Caring for ministers and the ministry. The Region assures that pastoral care is given to ministers and their families, gives oversight to the relationship of ministers and congregations, oversees the ministerial relocation process and strengthens the Order of Ministry.
- Teaching and defending the apostolic faith. The Region will actively work at faith formation, prophetic witness in the world and helping people to understand our roots and the direction in which we are led to grow.
- Gathering as a Regional congregation. In assemblies, training and educational events, ordinations, missional experiences, outdoor ministries, and at other times, the Region is Church, celebrating its life as a community faithful to God and Jesus Christ.
- Managing the Church’s resources. The Region calls and maintains a staff for its ministry and provides equitable employment, supervision and support; exercising good stewardship and responsible fiscal practices and uses new technologies appropriately to advance the church’s mission.
- Encouraging new forms of mission and ministry that are responsive both to faith traditions and a rapidly changing world.
- Teaching stewardship, particularly as it involves interpreting the global mission of the church. The Region is a primary voice to congregations and members of the various ways in which God calls us to share resources with God’s people across the whole world.
- Advancing the priorities of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The Region has a primary role in advocating and supporting the ministries of the church.
- Leading in ecumenical involvement. The Region is a major voice with congregations for our historical ecumenical commitment. Significant points of ecumenical work for most will include our partnerships with the United Church of Christ and member churches of the Consultation on Church Union.