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History of the Course of Study

How did we get here?

In 2013 Melvin Rigsby – the AP Regional Education Coordinator, (REC) formed a new Regional Course Of Study Advisory Committee (RCOSAC).  He appointed Rev. Wm David Phillips as the Chairman and asked the new RCOSAC to work on developing a new Course of Study (COS) for the Asia Pacific Region Church of the Nazarene, (APR).

The APR covers the geographical area from Japan in the north, down to Australia / New Zealand in the south and as far west as Myanmar and as far east as Micronesian islands, Fiji and Samoa.  In other words an amazing range of cultures, educational levels and geographical areas.

The course was to be outcome based and activity focused.   This is to say that the aim was to create a COS that would give confidence to a beginning pastor that they could handle the day to day expectations of a local congregation in the context of the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene.  The idea was to focus on the regular daily and monthly activities of a pastor.

At the same time, Regional Director Mark Louw and the regional leadership wanted to emphasize church planting in the region.  A class on Church Planting Skills was included in the new COS to accommodate this regional priority.

The RCOSAC considered the activities that are commonly understood as the responsibility of a pastor. They restated them and then wrote definitions for each.   These definitions became the foundation for outcome statements that were placed into individual classes to make a core of 16 courses that will be used in the following years in every validated course of study for the region.

Here is the original list of activities.

Praying

  • Asking for specific needs
  • Developing a life of praise and thanksgiving
  • Modeling prayer and teaching others how to pray

Sacraments

  • Baptizing new believers
  • Leading the congregation in Communion

Preaching

  • Using constant study
  • Coming from the message of the Bible [Understanding and applying good interpretative methodologies]
  • Telling both Biblical stories and the testimony of Christians
  • Challenging listeners to respond with action

Corporate Worship

  • Leading in Music
  • Choir Music
  • Teaching Music to their members
  • Leading choir each Sunday
  • Altar prayer – leading people in prayer, especially for spiritual, emotional and physical needs.
  • Leading in Congregational Prayer and Fasting
  • Teaching and leading worship through giving
  • Reading Scripture Publicly
  • Leading in the Sacraments
  • Preaching
  • Praying the Pastoral Prayer

Vision Casting

  • Promoting the special ministry to which God has called this local congregation
  • Promoting ministry for every believer, i.e, helping every believer identify and develop his or her gifts for ministry
  • Promoting Church planting
  • Promoting missions
  • Promoting general church programs: Alabaster, WEF, VBS, etc

Teaching

  • Bible
  • Doctrine
  • Leadership Development
  • Methods
  • Modeling by example
  • Lead and train the educational ministry
  • Creating and/or translating teaching materials for Sunday school and VBS
  • Missions

Pastoral Care

  • Weddings
  • Comforting
    • Contacting members
    • Phone call / email / visit in home / text message
    • Visit sick
    • Visit in prison
    • Funerals
    • Casting out demons
    • Praying for the healing of the sick
    • Identifying, evaluating and linking needs to resources
  • Rebuke and correction
    • Mentoring
    • Counseling
    • Peacemaking / reconciliation
  • Build Community Relationships
    • Community needs and strengths assessments
    • Compassionate events
    • Offering to the community – educational opportunities
    • Join with community sponsored events
    • Knowing the community leadership personally
    • Business contacts such as Grand Openings and others

Discipling

  • Using visitation / Circuit riding / and any other means necessary to reach people
  • Through Evangelism
  • Confession / Repentance / Faith
  • Into Holiness / obedience / submission to Christ
  • Regeneration / Entire Sanctification / growth in love, knowledge and healing from lies
  • Using Small group formation and management
  • especially Accountability groups
  • Developing new congregations

Administration

  • Provide visioning
  • Leadership development
  • Transfer of responsibilities
  • Delegation of responsibilities
  • Facilitate organizational development
  • Create and lead teams and teach others to do the same
  • Board meetings
  • Board member training
  • Reports
  • Finances
  • Ministry progress
  • departments
  • Planning
  • Assess
  • Evaluate
  • refocus
  • Delegation of tasks
  • Event coordination
  • VBS, For house churches the pastors often coordinate, teach, host it in their homes, and in hostile areas they also deal with harassment and corrupt officials at every level.
  • Sorting through the endless stream of local language books and materials to make sure that they are doctrinally appropriate.

Vocational skills

  • Building maintenance, many of our churches are in homes
  • Digital technology
  • Driving license
  • Knowledge of the law

As we discussed these we realized that all these tasks were the responsibility of the whole body of Christ.   That it is physically impossible for a pastor to do all these things all the time for the whole congregation.   Rather, the pastor should be the one equipping the body for ministry both to the body and to the community.   As we examined the activities of a pastor we came to the following list.

Activities

You can click on each of the activities below for the definition of each term.

AccountabilityAdministrationContinuing EducationCounsel – ListenDealing Biblically with the Spirit WorldDiscipline – Personal and FamilyDiscipleEvangelizeFastingImpact CommunityIntercommunicationsInterpersonal RelationshipsMentoringMinistryModel ChristPrayerPreachRitualSabbathSmall groupsTeam BuildingVision.

Outcomes

The Definitions were used as the basis for the discussion over outcome statements. You can see the outcome statements for each activity by clicking on that activity below.   You will see that the outcome statements do not line up totally with the activities.  Several of the activities were combined under the title “Leadership.”  Personal Spiritual Development was added because it is a main activity for a pastor. For a full list of outcomes you can click here.

AccountabilityAdministrationContinuing EducationCounsel – ListenDealing Biblically with the Spirit WorldDiscipline – Personal and FamilyDiscipleEvangelizeFastingImpact CommunityLeadershipMinistryPersonal Spiritual Development (Holiness)PreachPrayerRitualSabbathSmall groupsOther outcomes.

The List of classes can be found here.

These are all still under development into complete modules.   We do not yet have a full set of writers for each class.


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