Pastor in Training Program
It is the purpose of the Pastor in Training Program (PTP) to give men called into ministry intensive on-the-job training in preparation for the ministry of church planting. This program is not a substitute for traditional bible college or seminary training for young men. It is specifically designed for men who have demonstrated strong work ethics and advancement within their own career path and now sense God’s calling into the ministry.
To be considered a candidate for the PTP, a man must demonstrate God’s call on his life to the ministry of church planting. He must have served as a deacon and/or elder with Grace Church.
It is the belief of the Elders that men who enter the PTP must prepare for the ministry of church planting, which by its very nature is a faith ministry. While every effort will be made by the church to establish each new church with a strong support base, we recognize this is in the end the work of the Holy Spirit and He will determine who is called to join a new pastor as he works to start a new church. Therefore, we believe a man who enters this program must learn to live a simple life dependent on a minimum income or be willing to serve as a “tent maker” and work a second job if necessary. The salary for a pastor in training candidate will be established by the Elders, but will not exceed $30,000 – $35,000 per year. If a candidate requires health insurance, this must come from the total package. A candidate is expected to work a minimum of 40 hours per week and will receive at least two weeks of vacation each year. A candidate will also be compensated for the same holidays as the pastoral staff.
The Pastor in Training Program is a two to three-year program. Candidates must recognize this is a temporary program and begin with the end in mind. From their first day on the job they must begin planning for their new church plant and working to see this become a reality. The candidate must realize that Grace Church feels no obligation to a candidate or his family to continue this program beyond the two to three-year term or to offer permanent employment in any form at the end of the period.
Most candidates will have little formal Bible training. It is expected, therefore, that a candidate will complete a two-year associates degree through Moody Bible Institute, etc. To assist with this degree program, Grace Church agrees to reimburse a candidate for each class successfully completed with a grade of ‘B’ or better up to $1,000 per year. It is expected that a candidate will complete this associates degree with a 3.0 grade point average or better.
At the senior pastor’s discretion the candidate will be assigned to various associate pastors for intensive training in the ministries within the church. While under the supervision of an associate pastor, a candidate must develop a Philosophy of Ministry paper to be included with their church planting manual. This paper must outline in both broad and specific terms how a new church will accomplish the goals and objectives of the ministry outlined. This paper must be completed in cooperation with the senior pastor. A Philosophy of Ministry paper must be completed for the following areas: Preaching/Leadership Development/Missions/Education (Children through Adult), Praise & Worship, Student Ministry, Singles/Counseling, Church Administration. The candidate will also attend regular pastoral staff meetings and serve as a non-voting member of the body of Elders and attend regular Elder’s meetings.
CHURCH PLANTING MANUAL
Planting a church is a unique experience involving spiritual discernment, personal values, and proven methods. The primary objective for a candidate is to develop his own church planting manual during his two-year training period. This manual will encompass all facets of beginning a new ministry. The Philosophy of Ministry papers will serve as the initial outline for this manual as it evolves over the course of the training period. The Norwalk Church Plant will serve as a model for the candidate, but he is expected to develop his own model and incorporate his own values and philosophy into this church plant.