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Think Spot: Ministers, Leaders and Disciplers

Leadership development is an extension of Christian discipleship. If making disciples in Matthew 28:18-20 is marked by baptising and by teaching obedience to Christ, then those with greater influence will clearly demonstrate the qualities of leadership. Of course, any influencer is a leader, but not all leadership is equally fruitful.

In churches, experienced leaders have become adept at tapping people on the shoulder to inspire them to grow as disciples, and therefore as leaders. While many are especially productive for the Kingdom in service roles, volunteerism, marketplace ministry, or creative impact, there is a point at which some also respond to a clear call of God to vocational ministry. In such cases, working with the movement helps to affirm and develop that call.

This call is locally recognised and developed in the context of a Christian community, but is affirmed by CCVT through an Accreditation process. Anyone regarded as a Minister (whether primarily in church leadership or beyond it) must be Accredited. Accredited ministers are ‘risk assessed’ as safe practitioners but are also committed to undertaking professional development inclusive of coaching, training and discernment so as to become quality-assessed Endorsed ministers ordained within the Churches of Christ. 

Accreditation must, of course, be maintained for any minister to continue to be deemed a verified and safe practitioner. A retired minister is no longer regarded as an active Minister unless they remain Accredited. Similarly, a person engaging in ministry who is not Accredited is not permitted to be referred to as a minister (or by any similar term). The possibility exists that any breaches here may result in reputational risk for the local church, for CCVT, and for other local churches and agencies within CCVT. Accreditation of Ministry practitioners is therefore a requirement of Affinity 2. Of course, the positive outcome of Accreditation is that churches, agencies, and the local community should be able to remain confident that what God has begun in a person’s life is appropriately recognised more widely. It will be inspiring to see even more people count it an ongoing privilege to take up the kind of leadership that makes more disciples and thus helps to further the Kingdom, hopefully for many years to come.

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