Keeping Tassie pastors sharp after College

A Tasmanian Bible College student wrote to me: 
I was wondering Mikey, how do we over the next several years keep this
new wave of ministers across several denominations, Anglican,
Presbyterian and Reformed sharp?  We'll all be beavering away in our
local areas and ministry with varying successes so there needs to be
something larger to keep us from straying theologically and encouraged
that even if there are local failures or setbacks.

This is a really important question for the Vision 100 movement down here in Tassie. In some ways, asking the question is the first step. Below are some of the things that I think will be especially helpful to us:
  1. Every leader personally valuing and investing in relationships with other leaders. It is a service to your local ministry to invest in relationships with other leaders. Ultimately this should not be managed from some episcopal head office, but initiated by local leaders. Pastors should think of this as a part of their job description.
  2. Every leader being willing to deepen these relationships by being honest and vulnerable to one another. Sadly, relationships between Christian leaders is so often defensive, we are not comfortable opening up to each other or asking advice of one another, for fear of interfering or treading on toes. We need to initiate situations where we ask for critique, accountability, advice. Why don't pastors invite their fellow pastors to come in to evaluate the state of their ministry? Why do we leave this up to denominational committees?
  3. Certain conferences here in Tassie should be in place to strengthen the movement by strengthening the network of leaders committed to the movement. Conferences often become a combination of resource-delivery and political courtesy. The whole time is spent running workshops and trying to win over new people to join the network. I would hope instead that a few of our conferences, like the MTS Challenge Conference and the Vison 100 Leaders' Conference will serve the purpose of encouragement and enrichment for our leaders. These conferences should give the platform to local movement leaders, not rockstar preachers. These conferences should give ample time for honest sharing, advising and networking between pastors.