The Center at a Glance "If ministry were that simple!"
When meeting with clergy in one of our current Centers for Pastoral Effectiveness, I was struck by just how complicated ministry is. During my tenure the expectations for clergy has seemed to expand, financial pressures seem to have grown, the anxieties of people have seemed to have gotten more enmeshed in the system. No longer does it seem that being "called to ministry" and wanting to be a "good and faithful servant" to our people is enough.
Members of the smallest of churches are far more aware of what is "out there" than when I began in a small church in Indiana. The feelings may be parochial but the attitude cosmopolitan. Sunday's worship expectations of the young are influenced by high tech, high energy, and high life, while many of the people in our churches still struggle to change the flashing 12:00 on the "VCR." Just how can a minister meet all the needs while remaining true to the high calling of being spiritually and emotionally present in times of trauma or the celebrations of life? Add to that the calling of clergy to "preach prophetically" which many times means bringing up very uncomfortable issues within the church as well as society. That all adds up to a lot of anxious people in the pews and a lot of reactivity within the system. So what do we do?
Well, it begins with YOU, the leader. Are you the non-anxious presence in the system we call the church?
When someone is complaining about the latest hymn, another about "those people no longer in church," and still others wanting you to be more "spiritual" or "dynamic" to get "those young families we want" but with no changes to "their" worship, it is very difficult to a non-anxious presence.
But this is the purpose of the Center, to assist you to be more healthy as a leader, to grow in your awareness of what raises your anxiety level, and to be more prepared to deal with the anxieties of others while continuing to follow your vision as minister.
As you plan your continuing education, I invite you to consider attending one of the new Centers that are announced above. Over 500 Center Alumni will agree that you will not regret the decision.
Review the rest of our website for more information regarding the Center for Clergy and Professional Coaching for Clergy along with our resources for churches including some powerful seminars as well as personal consultations. Peace,
Rev.Bill Selby,creator of theCenter for Pastoral Effectiveness of the Rockiesis the Center's Mentor.Bill's professional background includes engineering, higher education, and pastoral ministry. He has studied and used Family Systems theory since the 1970s.Ordained in 1974 in the South Indiana Conference of the UnitedMethodistChurch, he served a small country church and then a church in a county seat community. He became a member of the Rocky Mountain Conference (UMC) in 1983 and was appointed to 1st UMC in Casper, WY.
His last church assignment was a new church "re-start," St. Luke's UMC in Highlands Ranch, Colorado,in 1987.It was there that he integrated most fully "Family Systems" into his ministry as he worked to grow a church that was dealing with heavy financial debt, economic downturns, and church families under tremendous stress. In 1995, he left his first love, church pastoral ministry, with a vision to create an Extension Ministry of and for the church. This became known as Growth With Integrity Resources.The goal of this new ministry was to provide vital resources that clergy and churches need today - while keeping integrity in their ministry and mission. The Center for Pastoral Effectiveness of the Rockies is the cornerstone resource offered by Growth With Integrity Resources.Bill spent 4 years in intensive study and planning to develop the Center.After 3 successful years of leading Centers, The Center for Pastoral Effectiveness of the Rockiesbecame a separate non-profit corporation with the goal of widening its scope to include clergy and religious leaders of all denominations throughout the western United States. Since 1999, over 500 clergy have become Center "believers" and alumni or are presently enrolled. Center sites are or have been in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa with clergy from the United Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Episcopal, United Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and American Baptist denominations.
The Center also expanded to provide a variety of resources for the local church and leadership found on this web site.
Bill comes from the small town, Orion, Illinois. He married the girl across the street, Sherilee in 1965. They have created and acquired a unique "family" whom they cherish dearly.