Training Team Newsletter

Issue 2  March 2016

Here are some links to articles and resources that you might find helpful in your work of training and equipping the people of God for those works of ministry that build up the Body of Christ.

We invite your suggestions as to content for the Newsletter. Send us links to articles, brief reviews of relevant books, information about websites and training activities, and schedules and brief summaries of training you have found helpful in your ministry. All items for the Newsletter should be sent to



What I Wish I’d Known: Reflections on Nearly 40 Years of Pastoral Ministry by Sam Storms. It can be quite helpful to learn from one another’s successes and failures in ministry. Pastor Sam Storms writes about 10 different things he wishes he knew entering pastoral ministry. Whether you’ve weathered 40 years or 4 in ministry, this article can help encourage you in your ministry.

Limitless Grace for Limited Leaders by Brad Andrews. It’s hard to admit we can’t do everything that needs to be done. We are afraid to admit that we have limits as pastors. Brad seeks to encourage you that while we are limited in our leadership, Jesus offers you limitless grace. A good word of comfort to the overburdened pastor.

In Defense of the Ass: Is the Sermon A “Relic of the Reformation?” by Mike Glodo. One of our EPC brethren writes on the importance of the sermon. He addresses the statement, “Given that contemporary communication studies show that people learn better with Q&A format, should we abandon the traditional form of the sermon?” His answer is unequivocally “no.” Read on to see why and the reason for his provocative blog title.


Additional Online Resources

RE Jonathan Gerber’s (Northpoint) offers helpful insights to worship, particularly in a small church setting, in his blog at


Pastor to Pastor is an outreach of The Fellowship of Ailbe (TE T. M. Moore) and offers a free monthly download for pastors. Each monthly resource provides 28 days of devotional readings and reflections, based in Scripture and works of pastoral theology from the past. February’s download featured writings from Calvin and Edwards on the work of pastoral ministry, and March’s resource draws from a wide range of preachers and theologians to outline a theology of worship.

  1. I. Packer’s online library of writings from the Puritans is now available for reading online, complete with instructions on how to use this valuable resource.


Following are the results of the Training Team’s POTE questionnaire, taken at the February meeting:

POTE Training Survey Results


As the Training Team begins its work, we want to narrow our focus on those training needs that will be most helpful to you.  So, please take a couple of minutes to answer the following questions.

  1. I am a… (check one)

__38___Ruling Elder    _30____Teaching Elder   _2 ____Candidate   _6___Visitor

  1. (For Teaching Elders & Candidates) As we plan Equipitry sessions for Presbytery meetings and schedule other training events, which of the following topics would be most helpful to you? (Circle 3)


Congregational Leadership                                             Development  (19)

Church Revitalization  (15)

Evangelism (11)

Spiritual Formation (11)

Discipleship (10)

Counseling (9)

Missional Praxis (7)

Preaching (5)

Conflict Resolution (5)

Personal Leadership Skills (5)

Church Planting (4)

Finances (2)

Polity (1)

Old Testament Exegesis


  1. (For Ruling Elders & Visitors) As we plan Equipitry sessions for Presbytery meetings and schedule other training events, which of the following topics would be most helpful to you? (Circle 3)

Discipleship (20)

Congregational Leadership

Development (19)

Church Revitalization (13)

Pastoral Care (12)

Conflict Resolution (12)

Evangelism (11)

Basics of Being an RE (11)

Spiritual Formation (10)

Preaching for REs (9)

Personal Leadership Skills (7)

Finances (2)

Polity (2)

  1. What other topics would you like to see us address?
    • Youth/Next generation ministry
    • mission to refugees
    • ministry to international around us
    • small group creation & facilitation
    • addictions
    • ethnic diversity w/in church
    • overseas mission involvement on church level
    • shepherding
    • self-care (avoid burnout)
    • cultural challenges/issues
    • witnessing to other faiths
    • Congregational role in world outreach
    • discipline in the church
    • train TE what role RE should play- (feels more like board of directors than shepherding session)
    • orientation of church coming into EPC over the past few years
    • cultural studies, ecumenism, ecclesiology
    • developing an effective vision & mission that is practical
    • confronting our culture
    • w/constant turnover of elders/deacons how can we present proper training (training

manual) on annual basis

    • diversity, urban missions
    • current trends in theology and scholarship (Biblical)
    • how to begin and develop mercy ministries
  1. In addition to Equiptry sessions at Presbytery meetings, which of these other training formats would be most attractive to you?  Rate from 1-5 with 1 being the most attractive to you and 5 being the least attractive.


__1__Pre-presbytery workshop (ie. Friday morning from 9 am-12 pm)

__2__Online workshop using Skype, Go to Meeting, etc.

__3__Saturday regional workshop

__4__Pre-presbytery retreat (ie. Thursday and Friday morning)

_____Other     web based training

town hall discussion

mentor pairing

co-sponsored conference & seminar

TE retreat outside POTE meeting