the Baptismal Covenant, our Church’s members make the bold commitment to
reach out in ministry to serve the world in Christ’s name:
Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor
there is a major gap in how our Church helps its members live out this
commitment — how it supports its members in ministry. We have no broad-based system for lay ministry
training; there is no central “place” where people know they can go
for information and support. We
have no consistent way to know about — or share — the abundance
of ministry expertise and experience that our members have developed.
Here’s the Problem:
Great ministry is happening throughout the Church — but few
hear about it! Think of the hundreds of ministry leaders
out there — lay and ordained — who are doing powerful ministry
daily in the Church and the world.
But the diocesan newsletter may never get to hear of it or
cover it — let alone Episcopal Life. We have no systematic
way of communicating about our outreach and congregational ministries
on a church-wide basis. The right hand often doesn’t know
what the left hand is doing.
Sharing of Expertise
The ministry leaders of our Church have a lot to teach us, but most of us will
never get to learn it. Their expertise too often stops at
diocesan borders, and their experience, knowledge and skills get lost.
We have no centralized, consistent way for our ministry leaders to be
a resource for the whole Church. Congregations and dioceses
reinvent the wheel over and over again.
Our traditional training system has its limits. We still rely
mainly on in-person conferences that are costly in terms of time,
travel and expense — often beyond the reach of the average lay
person or small group within a congregation.
Or if a diocese trains its own consultants to work one-on-one with
congregations, finding and training them takes time and may be limited
by who’s available locally. It
can leave people dependent on who can come to them, delaying action
until the consultant arrives. And when the consultant leaves the
congregation — or the diocese — they take their knowledge with
And even if our members attend a conference, when they get home to
their congregations —what to do and where to start? Who helps
with the information overload? Who helps them take what
they’ve learned and move into active ministry?
They're on their own.
We could create a network that identifies ministry leaders — lay and
ordained — in every diocese and provides a forum where they can share
what they know with the whole Church?
We could provide practical, usable training and information for specific
areas of ministry, and make it accessible and affordable for the average person in the pew?
We could bring together people who have a desire to start or grow a
specific ministry, connecting them into a virtual community?
What ideas and innovations might get sparked? How many new
ministries might get started if people didn't have to depend solely on
their pastor or a diocesan consultant -- or wait till the next conference
is held -- to get them going?
The eMinistry Network
Our Strategy: The
eMinistry Network will design, develop, produce and promote practical,
and web-seminars on a wide range of outreach and congregational ministry
topics. We will create a ministry
information center on the internet — creating a central place to access the Church’s abundant
“people-resources” of expertise and experience.
and web-seminars ("webinars") are being used in all aspects of business these days — and are an
exciting, innovative way to help people gain the information and skills
they need to step out in ministry. They also appeal to younger
generations who are accustomed to accessing training and resources via the
internet. We can be more effective in our use of current
communication technology as a powerful tool to strengthen the Church’s
There is such a wealth of experience and knowledge out there! The
eMinistry Network will identify and make more accessible the vast
"people resources" of
our Church -- to support all of its members in faithful ministry in