Pathways


WELCOME TO PATHWAYS

Christians believe that God invites his Church to be involved in his mission in the world. For some this calling will be to continue to serve by playing our part in the ministry and mission of our local churches. Around the south west we are blessed by so many people doing just that – volunteering their time, resources and gifts alongside their normal jobs and daily lives. We are all called to use the gifts and skills he has given us to serve him, each other and our local communities. Through the various stages in our lives, he calls us to explore different pathways of calling – to be willing to step out in faith and obedience and follow wherever he leads. Others are called to be ‘set aside’ to take on positions of special responsibility in our churches and communities. This could be as a volunteer or in a paid position, a full time role or just a few hours a week. It includes a range of positions and roles – from youth workers to chaplains to pastoral carers to church leaders. The process usually includes a time of discernment and recognition of that calling, either at a local or national level, as well as training and formation for the role. The SWBA Pathways programme is designed to help you explore how God might be calling you, as well as equip and support you in that calling. Whether you’re just looking for a short training course to help you in your volunteer role, or feel like God might be calling you to something new, we’d love to help you and walk with you every step of the way. Please keep reading for more details about the programme, the different resources we can currently offer, and some of the processes involved in discerning and recognising calling. Once you’re ready to take the next steps, or if you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

OCCASIONAL LEARNING

Everyone is welcome to sign up to any of our monthly training modules. This option is ideal if you want to dip in and out, are looking for some basic training in a particular area of ministry or just want to dig a bit deeper into a subject to help with your own walk with God.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Those wanting to engage more fully in being formed in discipleship and ministry can complete the full programme. This involves attending the learning modules as well as a process of character formation and spiritual reflection designed to help you grow and develop in your walk with God. The course starts each September and takes two years. By the end you’ll have received an overview of a number of different subjects which will provide an excellent foundation for ministry and mission in your local setting.

RECOGNISED LOCAL MINISTRY

Recognised Local Ministry is a new initiative designed to recognise and affirm those called to particular ministry positions. This might include local church leaders, children & youth workers, pastoral carers, pioneers, chaplains. It’s ideal for those who are called to ministry of some kind, but who feel that fully accredited Baptist ministry is either not for them or too difficult in their current circumstances.

FULLY RECOGNISED MINISTRY

Some are called to have their ministry recognised and accredited at a national level, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for serving God across the country. This includes local church ministry, but also youth and children’s work, church planting and pioneering, chaplaincy and other more specialised ministries. As an Association we are delighted to work closely with Bristol Baptist College by hosting the Exeter Hub, which allows students to complete the ministerial formation part of that process with others right here in the south west.

FOR FULLY ACCREDITED MINISTRY CONTACT

Rev Nigel Manges

Regional Minister - Ministry

nigel@swbaptists.org.uk

FOR FULLY ACCREDITED MINISTRY CONTACT

Rev Carl Smethurst

Regional Minister - Mission

carl@swbaptists.org.uk

FOR OCCASIONAL LEARNING AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Rev James Henley

Learning Co-ordinator

james@swbaptists.org.uk

FOR THE EXETER HUB AND BRISTOL BAPTIST COLLEGE:

Rev Eleanor Moffatt

Exeter Hub Coordinator

moffatte@bristol-baptist.ac.uk