How Do We Do Ministry in Bulgaria? (Part 2: Pastoral Teams)

March 15, 2005 by  
Filed under News

team-home_01The foundation of the Pastoral Teams ministry paradigm is the use of ministry teams in the parallel provision of pastoral care for a group of churches located in close proximity. The method has proven useful in situations with shortage of ministers, newly found churches or satellite church model. It is designed to dynamically accommodate the needs of all congregations included in the program and provide for the training of local ministers who can continue the work.

Cup & Cross Ministries first implemented the ministry model using pastoral teams in 1995 during the establishment of the Bulgarian Church of God in Chicago. A similar strategy was designed for our outreach team in Bulgaria, Mission Maranatha. The strategy has been in use with the churches in the Yambol region for over eight years.

In the beginning of the process, two separate teams provided pastoral care through 12 services per week to 5-6 local congregations. In less than six months, the work of the pastoral teams brought to existence two brand-new congregations.

Once the number of churches participating in the outreach passed ten, it was time for the implementation of the second phase of the strategy. The number of ministers in the pastoral teams was increased gradually. The newly included members were trained and then assigned to a group of churches. At the same time people within the local congregation were trained to participate in the ministry process.

Today, Cup & Cross Ministries’ teams provide pastoral care to 19 congregations through over 100 services per month. Since in the Bulgarian Church of God tradition, pastors do not receive salary, the model of pastoral teams has given an opportunity to enlarge the outreach of the church beyond the traditional scope into a larger vision for the future.