The Synod Standing Committee (SSC) has given the green light to the overarching design of the new mission and ministry unit of the Church. This was one of the recommendations of the Major Strategic Review adopted by Synod 2016 to enable an intentional, coordinated focus on mission. Synod resolved that this focus could be suppported by creating a new Mission & Capacity Building unit (working title).
The unit is one of four key areas the SSC was authorised to restructure within synod-based ministries and operations. It will bring together activities of the Centre for Theology & Ministry, the Commission for Mission and BOMAR (Board of Mission and Resourcing). The unit will also support the coordination of ministry placements.
Renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright once said, “I never design a building before I’ve seen the site and met the people who will be using it.” This was part of the approach of the Synod’s Implementation Team as it worked on creating the new Mission & Capacity Building Unit.
Dr Jason Talbot is the Synod’s Strategic Review Implementation Director. He believes the workshops held last November and in January were crucial to the design direction of the new unit.
“Our workshops brought together a range of people who represented various parts of the synod,” he said. “A lot of that input, as well as some excellent submissions and group discussions, helped us to confirm the approach.
“What I take away from architects is that designing an excellent structure is about talking to a wide cross-section of people, discerning the feedback, and being willing to adjust because of that feedback. In our case, it is not about a building, but about providing the structure that acknowledges the new and hopeful ways in which God is working.”
As a result, the March SSC meeting approved a high-level framework for the new Mission & Capacity Building Unit to comprise four main functional areas. The areas are Leadership, Education and Formation; Relationships and Connections; Priorities, Focus and Advocacy; Functions and Administration. At the same meeting the SSC approved the ministry description of the executive officer who will lead the new unit.
Synod general secretary, Rev Dr Mark Lawrence, believes the new Mission & Capacity Building unit offers a leader an exciting opportunity to inspire in a time of change.
“By bringing together operational areas that offer a range of resources and deep theological thinking, the new executive officer can nurture a culture of innovation that encourages the Church’s ongoing renewal,” Dr Lawrence said.
“The Vision and Mission Principles and the Statements of Intent are central to the functions of this unit and the new direction of the unit’s work will provide a focus for the Strategic Priorities approved by the Synod.”
The executive officer ministry position is currently being advertised and the person appointed will have a key role in shaping the change processes required to establish the new Mission & Capacity Building Unit.