Descriptions and Locations
by JAN MARSHALL
Effective leaders do not need to “know it all.” Competent leaders do need to know where to find information or answers when needed! In addition, staying connected with what’s happening in Community of Christ throughout the world helps congregations know they are part of a worldwide faith community engaged in Christ’s mission. That sense of connection is uplifting and encouraging, giving us a sense that our small part is linked with other efforts.
Effective leaders also stay current through resources available for the congregation, and for enriching their own ministry and spiritual growth. Congregations expect their leaders to be informed and equipped to lead. Leaders should give their best efforts in their roles. The church offers three types of resources to help pastors and leaders stay connected and informed:
- People resources
- Community of Christ website
- Printed or DVD resources
Your mission center president and financial officer are your primary “go to” people resources. Their role is to support you and your congregation. Don’t hesitate to seek them out. They want to help!
Take advantage of opportunities to attend events like mission center conferences, retreats, reunions, and priesthood training events. These are great places to connect with knowledgeable people who can help in a variety of ways. If possible, plan to attend World Church events such as World Conference or the annual Peace Colloquy. Introduce yourself to your apostle, apostolic assistant, and field missionary coordinator. Their ministry will enrich yours.
People resources are priceless, but printed, DVD, and online resources are also immensely valuable.
Community of Christ Website
You will find the most up-to-date information on the church’s website, www.CofChrist.org. Click “Tools for Ministry” and then “Online Resources” to find an alphabetical list. If you do not have a computer, use your local library or ask someone in your congregation to help you access the information. See the list of electronic forms available on the website at the end of this article.
Print and DVD Resources
Subscribing to the Herald (printed or electronic format) keeps you up-to-date with official information, thoughtful articles, and testimonial stories from around the world.
Pastors are automatically included in the distribution of the 10-Minute News, a short newsletter with brief updates on what’s happening in the church. Periodically International Headquarters mails a DVD to pastors for sharing with the congregation. An example is the highlights from World Conference DVD.
Printed books and other materials are available for purchase from Herald House, www.HeraldHouse.org. Some items are in more than one format (bound and printed, CD, DVD, or downloaded file).
Must-Haves for Every Pastor
The following Community of Christ resources are available in printed copy or as download files from the website. They are essential for every pastor.
- Church Administrator’s Handbook, 2005 edition—(order from www.HeraldHouse.org or download from www.CofChrist.org/policy). This resource contains answers to many of the administrative questions that arise in the life of the church.
- Sharing in Community of Christ: Exploring Identity, Mission, Message, and Beliefs, 2nd edition. This is a foundational “identity document” for the church. Contains the enduring principles; statements on Christology, scripture, history principles, and Basic Beliefs. Individual documents and related videos or DVDs on these sections can also be found at www.CofChrist.org/discernment/weshare/default.asp.
- The Priesthood Manual, 2004 edition—(order from www.HeraldHouse.org)
- Worship Resources (produced each year and available from Herald House at www.HeraldHouse.org)
- Daily Bread or other spiritual renewal resource—keeps you grounded in Christ, as a reminder of the importance of balancing time with God. Order from www.HeraldHouse.org.
Must-Haves for Disciple Formation
- Becoming a Generous Disciple booklet—(order from www.HeraldHouse.org)
- The online Disciple Formation Guide (www.CofChrist.org/dfg) provides practices, lessons, links to resources and other tools specific to Community of Christ’s identity, mission, message, and beliefs.
- Priesthood resources—www.CofChrist.org/priesthood/resources.asp
- Seasons of the Spirit (SeasonsENCORE)—a lectionary-based ecumenical Biblical literacy curriculum resource. Go to www.CofChrist.org/dfg/seasons.asp to learn more about this.
- Spiritual formation resources—www.CofChrist.org/spiritualformation/default.asp
Must-Haves for Congregational Mission
The May and June 2011 Herald issues contain President Veazey’s addresses to the church (information central to understanding the church’s mission, also available in video format www.CofChrist.org/presidency/sermons/default.asp#2011).
Witnessing Resources Subject Guide (Where can I find it?)—(www.CofChrist.org/seventy/resources.asp) includes Hospitality: Sharing God’s Welcome, Understanding the Way, A Witnessing Community. These are hands-on practical helps for the congregation in its witness.
Other articles in this field guide are designed to help, especially “Invitation, Witness, and Hospitality” and the following in the section on “Exploring Mission”:
- Sharing Leadership and Ministry
- Discovering Our Context for Mission
- Becoming Sacred Community: A Foundation for Mission
- Discerning God’s Call for Mission
- Orienting Mission around the Gifts of All Ages
Electronic Forms (available on the website)
- Aaronic Ministry Plan—www.CofChrist.org/aaronic
- Children and Youth Worker Registration www.CofChrist.org/legal/ChildProtection/default.asp
- Deacon Ministry Plan—www.CofChrist.org/aaronic
- Elder Ministry Plan—www.CofChrist.org/priesthood/resources.asp
- Evangelist Ministry Plan—www.CofChrist.org/priesthood/resources.asp
- Event Release Form (permissions, liability, track emergency notifications, and more)—www.CofChrist.org/child_youth/event-release.asp
- Legal Services (see their web page for many more helps plus these three frequently requested forms)—www.CofChrist.org/legal/default.asp
- Contract Information Form—www.CofChrist.org/legal/contract-info.asp
- Lease Request Form—www.CofChrist.org/legal/Lease_Request_info.pdf
- Houses of Worship Revolving Fund Loan Application (sample)—www.CofChrist.org/legal/building/sampleApplication.pdf
- Priest Ministry Plan—www.CofChrist.org/aaronic
- Risk Management (sample forms and guidelines)
- General Consent and Waiver Form—www.CofChrist.org/risk/forms/ConsentRelease.pdf
- Waiver of Liability—www.CofChrist.org/risk/forms/riskwaiver.pdf
- Shelby Access Request (for pastors, financial officers, and recorders or their designees to gain access to congregational membership data)— http://formrouter.net/forms@COFC/ShelbyOnlineAccessRequest.html
- Tangible Love (grants available to encourage outreach ministries)— www.CofChrist.org/tlove/apply.asp
- Teacher Ministry Plan—www.CofChrist.org/aaronic