Disciples News Service

South Carolina opens search for new regional minister

Regional Profile

Beyond statistical information that can be secured from our Disciples of Christ Year Book, you will find in our South Carolina Disciples of Christ congregations, sincere women and men seeking to be faithful to Christ and the Church. Listen closely, and you will hear pastoral leaders faithfully preaching the Gospel, teaching the faith and calling all to serve God and neighbor. Look closely, and you will see gifted congregational leaders serving sacrificially to assure that the ministries that respond to the needs of youth, families and aging persons, remain strong and move forward. A closer look, will reveal Disciples serving beyond our local contexts as Regional and General Church leaders.

We are in discernment. As a regional expression of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), understanding the covenant relationship between our congregations, and cultivating it, is a priority need for us. We are committed to growing into a shared vision that will keep us faithful to the Gospel as we cultivate a ‘whole church’ mindset in our congregations.

The rich cultural expressions within our South Carolina Regional Church, as well as the relational challenges before us, cannot be understood apart from the historical impact of racism on our country. Our recent regional church history reveals admirable efforts to bring together, as one regional church, two distinct church movements shaped by slavery and segregation- two ecclesiastical universes with marked differences in cultures, worship styles, traditions and organizational approaches. Present within our regional church are African American congregations called “Convention congregations” and European American congregations called “Assembly congregations.” These two groups of congregations have taken collaborative actions to become one regional church, but there is still unfinished relational and organizational work necessary to achieve the unity envisioned.

As Disciples of Christ, we refuse to be prisoners of history. We, as African American “Convention congregations” and European American “Assembly congregations,” are committed to learning from our past in order to honor and celebrate what is worthy and to embrace our future as one regional church healed from racism, hate and bitterness.

The welcoming spirit of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has for years led our South Carolina Regional Church to receive Christians and Pastoral Leaders from a variety of denominational traditions. Our traditional Disciples commitment to Christ-centeredness, Biblical grounding, Free-Thinking and Christian Unity, allows for diverse theological perspectives as we do mission together. However, we are challenged in our work by pastoral and congregational leaders whose faith formation happened in other denominations and need to acquire a deepened understanding of our Disciples of Christ denominational tradition. Teaching the tradition and ways of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is a pressing need.

As a regional church, we have discerned a need for transformational thinking and leadership. Some areas of regional ministry need to be re-created and some need to be eliminated as we seek brand new ways to be regional church. Our expectations from a Regional Minister, a Regional Church Board, our Governance Documents and our Regional Church Gatherings, need to be evaluated and re-imagined. Together we need to welcome a spirit of compassionate accountability as we consider what we need from our Districts, our Commission on Ministry, our Camp Property and Programming, our Finance Team, our Fellowship Groups, etc.

As South Carolina Disciples of Christ we are grateful for the circle of leaders, past and present, that have brought us to this kairos moment – God’s moment – when everything is made new. We are listening for God and listening to each other seeking to discern what God is leading us to and how God will lead us there

Identity/Vision/Mission Statement

 The following is an identity/vision/mission statement will serve to affirm and define our relationship as Disciples of Christ congregations and to set direction for our shared ministry.

We are Disciples of Christ in South Carolina committed to the strengthening and development of our congregations so that we may serve our neighbors-  here…and everywhere.Mat. 22:36-40

UNDERSTANDING OUR IDENTITY/VISION/MISSION STATEMENT

 Agreeing on this Identity/Vision/mission Statement means that as Regional Church in South Carolina, our use of time, energy and money, will be driven by our commitment to the growth of our congregations.

WE ARE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST… (IDENTITY)

To be in covenant with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) means that:

  • you, through baptism, have said “yes” to God’s act of love to save humanity through Jesus, the Christ.
  • you are part of a movement that is Christ Centered, Biblical, Free-Thinking and committed to Christian Unity.
  • you are committed to life-long learning and service as part of The Church– which is ‘the continuation of the incarnation’– which is how God continues what he started through Christ. –John 1:14; -I Cor. 12:27; -Ephesians 4:15

…STRENTHENING AND DEVELOPMENT OUR CONGREGATIONS…  (MISSION)

This is our primary work as Regional Church. To strengthen and grow our congregations in every way, is to strengthen and grow THE WHOLE CHURCH – local – regional – general – ecumenical.

…SERVING OUR NEIGHBORS…HERE AND EVERYWHERE.  (VISION)

Imagine … a South Carolina Regional Church that makes it possible for each congregation to grow strong… and serve its neighbors…here and everywhere.

Regional Minister Job Description

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in South Carolina is seeking a pastoral leader to lead its congregations, as Regional Minister, in the hard work of building and maintaining the relationships necessary for it to be faithful in the strengthening and development of the ministry of its congregations.

Our expectation is that our Regional Minister will be “our pastor” as s/he leads us in all aspects of our regional church life.

As our pastoral leader, our Regional Minister, is expected to seek every opportunity to offer spiritual support to the ministry of our congregations, strengthen the covenant relationship between them and lead them in Continuous Consultation and Collaboration.

As our pastoral leader, our Regional Minister, will oversee the administrative matters and organizational needs of our Regional Church.

As our pastoral leader, our Regional Minister will cultivate a ‘whole church mindset’ that will keep us focused on our commitments to our General and Ecumenical expressions of Church.

Challenges, Needs, Concerns
  • Ongoing affirmation of the 2012 merger of “Convention” and “Assembly” Congregations and continual attention to the opportunities for witness and the unfinished relational and organizational tasks merger presents to us.
  • Pro-Reconciling Anti-Racism training for all congregational and Regional Church leaders and staff.
  • Teaching the history, tradition and ways of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is a pressing need.
  • As a regional church, we have discerned a need for transformational thinking and leadership.

We commit to surrounding our Regional Minister with a supportive circle of leaders that will respect his/her leadership, offer caring and creative counsel for the work required and be prayer partners focused on his/her spiritual wellbeing.

REQUIREMENTS and OUR HOPE

Ordained Disciples of Christ ministers who hold a Master of Divinity from an institution accredited by the Association of Theological Schools will be considered.

We will interview candidates for the position of Regional Minister who have a current profile and criminal background check available through our Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Search and Call System.

A “Letter of Interest,” written after reading the following documents, and submitted by September 15, 2019, is required in order to be considered:

The following documents can be found at scdisciples.org:

  • South Carolina Disciples of Christ: Identity, Vision, Mission
  • South Carolina Disciples of Christ: Our Strength, Our Need, Our Hope

Please send your “Letter of Interest” to:

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in South Carolina
Regional Minister Search and Transition Team
C/O Rev. Dr. Freddie Lawton
fredlaw@embarqmail.com
24 Pleasant Point Drive
Beaufort, SC 29907

Our hope is to secure a Regional Minister with abundant experience as a congregational pastor, trained in counseling, who has completed a unit or more of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and possesses solid administrative skills.

SALARY PACKAGE

We are committed to negotiating the best possible salary package we are able to with dignity and appreciation for the experience and education of the candidate.

May God guide our hearts and minds as we consider the opportunities before us.