By Stan Friedman
MINNEAPOLIS, MN (May 2, 2013) – Two new part-time staff positions will enable the Northwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church to better serve its ministers and live out its broader mission priorities, says Superintendent Mark Stromberg.
Delegates to the conference annual meeting last week approved the positions of director and associate director of pastoral care and development. The director will serve the equivalent of roughly three days a week, and the associate will serve about one day a week, Stromberg says.
Stromberg told delegates, “It is our desire that we engage our pastors, not just when the bottom is falling out in their lives, but in an ongoing, intentional and proactive way. We want to provide the very best care and resourcing possible for those in ministry, to come alongside our pastors in both their ‘walk’ and their work.”
One of the positions will be filled by a male and the other a female, Stromberg said. The conference plans to fill the jobs by October first and introduce the new staff during the fall ministers’ retreat.
Stromberg said in an interview that he hoped that the two part-time positions could increase to the equivalent of one and a half full-time positions over the next several years. He added, “I could have two full-time people right now, and they would have enough to keep them busy.”
The superintendent emphasized, “These people will not be my eyes and ears and come back and tattle. They will provide a safe place for pastors to share.”
Stromberg added, “I don’t want the conference to offer symbolic help. I want us to offer real help.”
Stromberg noted that the positions also include “development” in their titles. This may include developing or finding resources as well as considering new ways of caring for ministers.
The new positions will benefit the conference as a whole as it seeks to live out its mission priorities, Stromberg says. “So much rises and falls on having healthy missional pastors.”