Apostolic Faith Mission of South-Africa

Pastors Continuous Development

DEFINITION:

Pastors Continuous Development (PCD) is defined as the continuous development of the skills, abilities, and character of ordained pastors of the AFM of SA.

This provision includes pastors seconded to other ministries and institutions, as well as active emeriti.

PURPOSE:

To enable and assist regions in their responsibility to empower ordained pastors (and where possible and necessary, their spouses.) to maintain and improve the standard of their ministry performance. This will be done through the continuous development of their skills, abilities, and character, throughout their ministry life.

 PRINCIPLES AND VALUES:

The church is committed to fostering a positive climate for life-long learning amongst its ordained pastors. PCD is the means by which the church is able to motivate and develop this culture.

PCD processes will be designed to widen participation, maximize inclusion and minimize bureaucracy.

The church believes effective pastors should take ownership and give a high priority to their own continuous development. It believes that a coherent and progressive opportunity to develop professionally and personally, both improves standards of ministry and raises morale, through personal and professional fulfillment.

PCD processes will be designed to enable pastors to incorporate their own personal development plan within the national PCD programme.

The central emphasis of PCD will be on improving the standards and quality of ministry performance and personal skills. The ultimate aim is an improvement in the ministry practice of individuals and teams by creating learning communities in which supportive and collaborative cultures directly extend the capacity for continuous self-improvement.

Effective measures to audit the professional and personal needs of pastors and link this to the PCD content, as well as self-evaluation and performance management systems, will be put in place and reviewed from time to time.

The PCD content will address the needs identified by national, regional and local priorities, as well as individual needs and aspirations.

The focus will be on the incremental development of a simple, but effective PCD system within the AFM of SA.

This process will be as cost effective as possible and make use of existing opportunities and structures where possible.

PCD PROVISION:

PCD will:

Be provided on the basis of good practice – in development activity and in ministry;

Be provided with respect to the diversity in culture, language and assembly size in the church.

Be provided by those with the necessary practical experience, expertise, and skills;

Be planned systematically and follow the agreed program;

Be based, where appropriate, on relevant standards;

Be based on current ministry realities and research;

Have effective monitoring and evaluation systems, including seeking out and acting on user feedback to inform the quality of provision.

PCD OPTIONS:

In an effort to match the preferred learning styles of pastors and to maximize the impact on personal growth, a diversity of PCD approaches will be provided. These will include:

Attendance of compulsory national workshops or seminars (eg. During the GBM).

Attendance of compulsory and elective growth and training opportunities on a regional level.

Providing reflective feedback on prescribed books.

Attendance of accredited national or international seminars, conventions, or speakers (eg. Willowcreek’s GLS).

Personal tertiary academic studies, postgraduate Theological studies, or accredited distance learning and research opportunities. Where a pastor wishes to further his/ her academic qualification/s, this will have to be done in consultation with the local assembly governing body and/or institution where such a pastor is attached.

Coaching and mentoring: Receiving or acting in these roles according to the prescribed procedure.

Accessing an external consultant, adviser or relevant experts, such as advanced leadership skills- or communication teacher or leadership master classes.

Producing documentation for a personal development plan and following it.

ACCREDITATION AND REGISTRATION:

CPD will be linked to the four-year pastoral credential renewal cycle of the church.

All ordained pastors will have to accumulate a certain number of points in every four-year cycle to retain pastoral status. (For example 40 points per year over the four-year cycle as determined by the NLF on the recommendation of the E&T Governing Board from time to time.) Pastors ordained during the period of the four-year cycle will accumulate points on a pro-rata basis.

The point value of different options and the approved options available for a given cycle will be decided on by the NLF upon recommendation by the E&T governing body and made known to regions and pastors during the year preceding the next cycle.

Most PCD points will be accredited to AFM National and Regional PCD events.

PCD points obtained will be noted in an official PCD accreditation database held with the Education & Training Department for purposes of the issuing of a PCD compliance certificate at least six months prior to due date for the Pastoral Status renewal cycle.

The annual recording and validation submission to the ETD of PCD points will be the responsibility of regions via the regional secretary or secundus.

The ultimate responsibility rests with the pastor to ensure that PCD activities attended or participated in are recorded and validated at a regional level.

Non-compliance in obtaining the necessary points in a given cycle will result in a lapse of pastoral status and the following of due Constitutional process to restore it.

COORDINATION OF PCD:

PCD will be coordinated by a PCD coordinator with the ultimate purpose to strategize and facilitate the engagement of all pastors in a culture of lifelong learning.

The PCD coordinator will be appointed by and report to the E&T Governing Body.

PCD content and planning will follow a four-year curriculum cycle.

PCD content will be guided by the felt needs of pastors, personal and regional evaluation, feedback and consultation, as well as national, regional and local priorities and issues identified through other monitoring systems.

The curriculum inclusive of point values for every four-year cycle of PCD (based on 7.4) will be submitted by the PCD coordinator during the year preceding the next cycle to the E&T Governing Body for consideration and recommendation to the NLF.

The PCD coordinator will be responsible to annually discuss with the E&T Governing Body the main PCD priorities and the likely budgetary implications of addressing these needs.

PCD issues will be addressed at E&T Governing Body meetings and be included as part of the E&T directors report to the NLF.

The PCD coordinator shall provide and update details of the range of PCD opportunities available and be responsible for communicating relevant opportunities to the regional leadership.

The PCD coordinator will be responsible for ensuring the efficient organizing of national opportunities and remind regions of their responsibilities with regard to accreditation.

The PCD coordinator will organize guidance to pastors on producing and updating an appropriate personal development plan.

This PCD policy will be reviewed by the E&T Governing Body on a regular basis for presentation to the NLF for final approval.

EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF PCD:

Relevant feedback about the provision, content, and presentation of all PCD content will be obtained regularly from pastors and regions. This will be undertaken at a variety of levels including:

Immediate/short-term evaluation by participants;

Longer term follow up for a sample of PCD undertaken, usually at a period no less than 6 months following the provision;

Informal discussion with colleagues about improved practice.

The CPD coordinator will review annually whether any aspects of the PCD provision do not represent value for money and make appropriate recommendations to the E&T Governing Body.

The PCD coordinator shall be committed to ensuring that PCD systems and procedures conform to current research findings.

The CPD coordinator will also be responsible for ensuring whether any follow up is needed for the training, eg. feedback to the provider and be responsible for any such actions.

The PCD coordinator shall provide an annual report to the E&T Governing Body. This annual report on PCD shall form part of an annual report to the NLF, to raise the profile of continuous learning and could feature the following sections:

An outline of the PCD objectives for the year (perhaps including the rationale for this choice of objectives and how they fit into the wider national objectives of PCD).

Information about the scope of influence for PCD.

Detail about the PCD that has taken place and how it targeted professional learning opportunities.

A judgment about the extent to which the PCD learning objectives were met.

Thoughts for future objectives, informed by the lessons learned from the current year and cycle.

Feedback from a few pastors (so that their voice is heard on the issue).

PCD FINANCING:

The financing of PCD shall be a shared responsibility between the pastor, the local assembly, the region and the national church on the following basis:

The cost of national workshops and seminars during the GBM shall be subsidized by the NLF.

Regions carry the cost of regional break away and empowerment sessions for their pastor’s: By using all or some of the allotted time for PCD, extra costs would be kept to a minimum and be absorbed by the regional structures.

The attendance of other seminars, conferences, and speakers, as well as the procurement of books to read, or financing of further studies, should be taken care of by the pastors with Regions and Assemblies providing support as agreed between the parties.

Assemblies should apply the principle of budgeting at least one percent of their total annual payroll for the implementation of the PCD programme for their pastors and/or spouses.

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