A vision for Pastoral Formation for Nepali Churches
Introduction: Pastoral Formation (PF) is a training and equipping program, primarily designed for NRC pastors and leaders, but also with the scope of Nepali church’s leadership as a whole. It shall run as a 4-year intentional program in order to set patterns for a life-long pastoral vocation. Pastoral leaders is the greatest need of the Nepali church. Their formation has been the greatest concern of the recent past. This is also felt by NRC churches. (even as many of the churches are vacant due to lack of leaders). The need cannot be overstated. The program shall be designed to achieving the goals and objectives, keeping values at the center.
To grow and equip church leaders who are genuine students of the church.
Understand and work at best church as the body of Christ, with its core practices of the Sabbath seriously.
Goal: To prepare Christ-like pastoral leaders for Nepali Churches.
Key Values for Pastoral Formation (PF):
Rhythm. Pastoral formation must happen in the pace of the person’s life. It takes under consideration- one’s backgrounds, lifestyle, education, etc. which ultimately depends on one’s vision of the-good-life.
Disciplines are highly valued, above personal desires and feelings. However it must take place in the right measures with truth and grace. Spiritual Disciplines will be the core habits throughout the training. Life should not be bitter, or simply challenges to overcome while undertaking the training.
Vocational Learning: Pastoral work is a vocation, not just a career or job. Vocation is a calling in God’s kingdom service. Learning that is guided and consistent needs to be a set-pattern of life under training. Pastoral formation depends on learning in all aspects/parts of life. Learning happens, it must be guided.
Tempered Desire: Since pastoral work is a vocation, it must become a lifestyle. Lifestyle is structured by hearts desires at the core of life-habits and practices. Thus, while disciplines are required, they must not be coerced or manipulated over the long-term.
Spaces for Formation: Leaders are formed in context. Traditionally, pastoral formation has happened in academic institutions, away from ministry settings. One of the core principles of the program is that Pastoral Formation must take place in ministry context. Local churches are the centers for pastoral formation.
Mentoring & Coaching is the proper approach to pastoral formation, because it is covenantal (structured relationship), where people learn the best, by watching, learning at suitable-pace, guided (correction and instruction), encouraged, as well as evaluated. Mentoring will start in the second year, and continue throughout pastoral formation periods.
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