European Theology Teachers Convention
The bi-annual meeting of adventist european teachers...
Conference Theme and rationale
In a changing world, it is natural and necessary for pastoral ministry to evolve. However, expectations regarding the profile of a pastor is also changing. In some respects, pastoral ministry is losing momentum quantitatively through a loss of vocations and qualitatively through a decline in pastoral recognition from both church members and the public arena. Moreover, many pastors are uncertain and wonder about the meaning of their mission and the role that is fundamentally theirs.
A number of mutations also contribute to modify certain conceptions of ministry. Sociologists believe that we have moved beyond the characterization of the pastor as a "doctor preacher" to the portrayal of the pastor as a "listener animator" (Willaime), but is this new characterization congruent with biblical principles and the ideal of ecclesial leadership?
On the one hand, pastoral collaboration with lay people is simultaneously desirable and complex. Some pastors may feel their influence and authority is threatened as a result of delegated authority. On the other hand, the power associated to pastoral leadership can be an asset in the service of the Gospel and its influence but can also generate a number of problems, tensions or misunderstandings.
Finally, the rise of the Internet and social networks broadens horizons and modifies the ways of relating to the Church and ecclesial authority. Consequently, this has the potential of reinforcing a form of pastoral crisis. This is even truer in a secularized context where speaking of God is not self-evident. Dialogues on faith and religion are often out of step with the secular in contemporary references and vocabulary. In this sense, pastoral performance can be questioned.
With all these issues and perspectives in view, pastoral ministry and ecclesial leadership should be theologically explored in order to offer an enhanced understanding of the following: improved pastoral identity, a renewed biblical foundation, an efficient and reinforced mission and relevant training. Overall, here are some potential questions to be considered from a theological point of view: What biblical, historical and theological springs can revive the meaning of ministry? What are the key functions of pastoral ministry? How to envision a collegial ministry, its limits, benefits and impacts? What is the legitimacy of specific pastoral ministries? What are some factors that allow or contribute to the recognition and usefulness of ministry? How is theological training serving the ministry while being in tune with current spiritual and secular needs? We may allow space in order to explore the theoretical and practical implications of these questions.
The European meeting of Adventist theologians intends to consider the Conference theme of pastoral ministry and ecclesial leadership from diverse angles within various theological disciplines. Therefore, a biblical exploration is welcome to contribute to the challenging view of ministry dealing with the fact that we do not find in the Bible any pastoral profile which corresponds to today’s realities. Nevertheless, we believe the Scriptures contain valid theological principles. Can we identify them? How to we flesh out these principles in a more relevant fashion today? A historical theological perspective is extremely important to analyze ecclesial leadership and conceptual evolutions and mutations. The systematic theological approach will be useful as it engages ecclesial leadership and pastoral ministry from an ecclesiological viewpoint. Lastly, practical theologians will most likely bring their contributions and reflections based on field realities, analyzing today’s challenges while relying on various disciplines including sociology, psychology, missiology, homiletics and spirituality. Each contribution is invaluable and each discipline may have something to say regarding pastoral initiatives and the importance of continuing education.
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
16:00 – 18:00 Arrival
19:30 – 21:30 Opening and academic session
Welcome, presentations, song and prayer
“A Theology of Pastoral Ministry from an Adventist perspective”
“In a new world, do we need a new conception of pastoral ministry?”
Thursday, April 25, 2019
8:30 – 9:00 Devotional
9:00 – 12:30 Academic session
“The priest as mediator in the OT and the challenge and potential of mediation today in pastoral ministry”
“Prophetic Versus Cultic Leadership: Moses and James Warren Jones Compared”
“To Israel and to the stranger: Missiological implication from 2 Kings 4.38-8.23”
“The Dilemma of the Pastor in a Post-Modern Society. A Biblical Reflection”
14:30 – 18:00 Academic session
“The relevance of the figure of Jesus as “Good Pastor” for today’s conception of pastoral ministry”
“The variety and complexity about ministry vocabulary and conception in Acts and Pauline epistles, and their implications about possible contemporary view of ministry”
“John as a pastor. Revelation as a pastoral message: principles and implications”
“Pastors and the pursuit of happiness” (Daniel Olariu)
20:00 – 21:30 EASTRS Meeting
Friday, April 26, 2019
8:30 – 9:00 Devotional
9:00 – 12:15 Academic session
“Leading without Power. Authority from Participation and Influence” (Bjorn Ottesen, Newbold)
"The freedom and influence of the pastor’ (Reinder Bruinsma (Holland)
Round table: “Pastoral ministry today and the challenges of pastoral training”
14:00 – 18:30 Geneva, Palais Wilson, United Nations office of the High Commissione for Human Rights : « Faith for rights” (Ambassador Ibrahim Salama, Geneva, ONU)
20:00 – 21:30 Sabbath opening
Sabbath, April 27, 2019
9:15 Meetings by theological fields
10:45 Worship (church)
Visit of the old Town and Reformation sites
Auditoire Calvin: “Pastoral ministry in Calvin’s thought”
18:30 Diner and ETTC Closing