There are lots of conversations about ‘deployment’ and ‘team ministry’ around the churches in Scotland at the moment. The discussion is mostly driven by questions of money and the size of congregations and if pretty focused on where ministers are sent and how many there are and how congregations can be scoped and grouped so they can have a minister.
The current discussion assumes that ministry in its current form is a good thing and that every congregation benefits from having one.
I don’t think that’s a good place to begin.
No-one is really grappling seriously with the question ‘What are ministers for?’.
I worry that ‘training for ministry’ is really training to be a theologian. Those aren’t the same things.
I think theological education is vitally important in training for ministry but it doesn’t address most of the tasks ministers undertake. Community work, counselling, visiting, organising, encouraging, public speaking, marketing…
Until we answer the question “what are ministers for?’ then the conversation about where we put them is premature.