Theological Foundations for Collaborative Ministry (Explorations in Practical, Pastoral and Empirical Theology)

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9780754668299: Theological Foundations for Collaborative Ministry (Explorations in Practical, Pastoral and Empirical Theology)

This book examines the theological foundations of a collaborative approach to Christian ministry. The discovery that Christians are members 'one of another' creates energy and joy in ministry and empowers the Church in an age of mission. Outlining the present challenges for ministry, Stephen Pickard offers an historical perspective on ministry over the last century; develops a theory of collaborative ministry based on a dialogue between theology and science; and explores some implications of collaborative ministry for lay and ordained people of the Church. This book breaks new ground in its theory of collaborative ministry through a dialogue with the sciences of emergence. It also offers fresh insights on important texts in ministry; relationships between Christology, Pneumatology and ministry; a relational ontology of ministry; episcopacy, ecumenism, ordination vows; and wisdom for team ministry.

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About the Author:

In this book I draw upon my experience in ministries of various kinds and in different contexts. As priest in a team ministry in a large rural town in a new housing area in Australia; in a pit village daughter church of a city parish in the United Kingdom; in University chaplaincy in the UK; in theological education and ministerial formation in the Uniting Church and Anglican Churches in Australia; in a School of Theology of an Australian University; and more recently as an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Adelaide. Beside numerous chapters and journal articles, I have a book published in the Mission and Modern Culture series with Trinity Press International: Liberating Evangelism: Gospel, Theology and the Dynamics of Communication, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Trinity Press International, 1999.

Review:

'It is rare to find an academic who writes with such clarity, perception and depth in the field of ecclesiology. Stephen Pickard's work combines practical wisdom with theological acuity, and opens up new ways of re-conceiving the ministry of the church in our time. He is one of the very few writers today who can offer both grounded insight alongside nuanced and refreshing theological perspectives. In this exciting and timely new book, Pickard opens up new vistas on the nature of the church's ministry, with a wise and thought-provoking treatise that will undoubtedly make a substantial contribution to the field of ecclesiology. This is a wonderful, warm and wise theological enterprise. Full of richness, it will repay our careful and deep engagement.' Martyn Percy, Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford, UK. 'Erudite and beautifully written... a fascinating and erudite analysis of the challenges to Anglican expressions of church and ministry, and Australian Anglicanism in particular. It has wider currency too, including those of us who do not subscribe to Episcopalian ecclesial structures and polity... If this book results in more collaborative approaches to ministry, then it will have served its purpose.' Regent's Reviews 'Pickard recognises the fragile, passionate, "one-of-another" character of a church in which participants, in friendship, serve God's mission. Here is encouragement to be courageous - for bishops and all seriously engaged in evoking or leading reflective Christian ministry.' Church Times 'In our global, yet fragmented, world collaboration is the only way forward. Stephen Pickard's experiences gained in United Kingdom and Australia, and his immense knowledge in ecclesial management shine through this book. Readers who are familiar with the western ecclesial traditions, but do not yet know how to realize their desire for ministerial participation will find this book informative.' Theological Book Review 'This is a book that challenges expectations of collaborative ministry and takes readers into an in-depth examination of the collaboration that is inherent in ministry. ... This examination of collaborative ministry goes far beyond the limited understanding evident in the many 'how-to' books on the subject. For Pickard, collaboration in ministry is more than an affirmation of the cooperation of laity and ordained or the priesthood of all believers. It is a matter of the integration of God in Trinity, Christ and the church, ordination and baptism, episcopacy and episcope, and all examined within an ecumenical framework. For well-read ministry professionals and those involved in teaching theology and preparing people for a life of ministry this is a must.' St Mark's Review 'Pickard has provided a hugely valuable resource, couched in vibrant language, for engaging with pressing questions around the disjunctive relation between ordained and baptismal ministries. This is especially in recognizing the fragile, passionate, 'one of another' character of a church in which participants, in friendship, serve God's mission. Here is encouragement to be courageous for bishops and all seriously engaged in evoking or leading reflective Christian ministry.' Journal of Anglican Studies 'This important book by an Australian Anglican Bishop seeks to explore the theological foundations for collaborative ministry in dialogue with church history, ecclesiology, science, and contemporary church experience.' Practical Theology 'There is no doubt that the church needs some careful thinking about ecclesiology in the light of what is going on in the Anglican Communion and in local churches with their 'fresh expressions'. Stephen Pickard has written a thoughtful book which not only traces some of the major discussions on ministry over the last hundred years, but also seeks to use modern science as a framework for thinking about collaboration. It pursues a theology for the church that is integrated and interdependent. ... This scholarly and thoughtful book has been well worth reading.' Modern Believing

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