Christ Fellowship’s residency for future church leaders is designed to assist men who desire to grow in their understanding of the Bible and the church. The men who take part in this residency have either pastoring and/or missionary work as their aim for future ministry, and will be eager to learn Christ Fellowship’s model of church life and distinctives through reading, writing, discussion, and practical ministry, so as to aid future ministry.
The residency will typically span from early February through mid-November of each year (with a two week break at the beginning of July).
- Because the residency is designed for those who hope to serve as pastors or missionaries (those who will start churches), residents must be men.
- Complete the application process, which will include filling out the application and interviewing (via phone, online video, or in person) potentially multiple times with Christ Fellowship leadership (with at least the elder directing the residency).
- Facilitate the process of Christ Fellowship elders communicating with previous church leaders.
- Submit to a background check.
- If possible, visit the church before deciding to come.
- Become a member of Christ Fellowship (if not already a member). Once accepted into the residency, the resident will become a member soon upon arrival via the normal CFKC membership process. If for some reason a man is not able to complete the membership process, he will no longer be able to participate in the residency.
- Commit to fulfilling the residency expectations. This will include signing a “residency commitment” document.
A resident will be expected to do the following during their time in the residency:
- Attend and participate actively (especially verbally) in all meetings of the church and activities of his home congregation.
- Participate in “synagogue evangelism” (attend a liberal church for evangelism) or church revitalization (attend a dying church to help) on Sunday mornings.
- Attend a portion of the elders’ meeting most weeks (early Wednesday mornings).
- Attend an early morning meeting with the other residents once a week with one or more elders to discuss readings, writings, and church life.
- Meet at least one hour once per semester (semester one is February through June, semester two is mid-July to Mid-November) with each elder for discussion about pastoring and church life.
- Meet regularly (once every week or two) with his congregation’s elder for discussion and prayer.
- Follow a method of Bible study involving repetitive reading and marking larger sections of Scripture especially relevant to church leadership.
- Attend a two hour class with other residents, every other Thursday evening, with Christ Fellowship elders teaching.
- When possible, shadow his congregation’s elder as he engages in pastoral responsibilities (hospital visits, membership interviews, etc.).
- Complete all reading and writing assignments on time.
- Attend the annual elders’ retreat (usually starts on a Friday evening, and goes through Saturday evening or Sunday morning, in September or October).
- Attend at least one conference at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary recommended by the pastors (i.e., “For the church” or “Nine Marks”).
- Arrive early and leave late in order to help with the set-up and clean-up of whole-church meetings that occur about every six weeks. Depending on the number of residents, this may not be an expectation for every whole-church gathering.
- Be on time for all meetings (five minutes early).
- Participate in at least one local Bible intensive led by the ministry of Christian Communicators Worldwide (www.ccwtoday.org). Options will typically include a Spring or Fall two-day Bible intensive (all day Monday and Tuesday), or a Friday evening to all day Saturday Bible intensive (typically in the summer).
Each resident will be responsible for various reading and writing assignments, along with a method of Bible study involving repetitive reading and marking larger sections of Scripture, covering subjects that are best discussed in the context of a local church. Below is a sample of the kinds of subjects that will be studied and discussed.
- How should a church follow Jesus as the head of the church?
- What is God’s design for leadership in a local church?
- How does a church leader maintain spiritual health in his life and family?
- How do church leaders engender spiritual health in the church?
- How should a church train men and women?
- What is the gospel?
- How should a church engage in evangelism?
- How are preaching and teaching different?
- What should preparation for teaching the Bible look like?
- How should a church handle childhood conversion?
- What should a church do when it meets?
- How should a church practice baptism and the Lord’s Supper?
- How should a church practice church discipline?
- What does a missionary do?
- How should a church be involved with missions?
- How should decisions be made in the church?
- How should finances be dealt with in the church?
- What does the Bible teach about divorce and remarriage?
- What does the Bible teach about sexual purity?
- How do we discern the Lord’s will and guidance?
More on Christ Fellowship’s Church Leader Residency: