Category Archives: vocation

2015 Year End Ministry Update

ivm Mailchimp card12015 was a year filled with rewarding ministry, meaningful accomplishments, and major transitions. Thanks for your support along the way.
_______________________

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! As we continue to journey together through the Christmas season, I want to share a brief update on my ministry during 2015.

The year began with me completing my research and the first draft of my doctoral thesis. You can read the abstract and introduction here: kengcrawford.com/online-journal/transforming-vocations/. The research focuses on the relationship between faith and vocation, and in particular how clergy are creating sustainable and faithful ministries that are multifaceted and include income from multiple sources. This will be increasingly important as the cost of education rises, the ability of congregations to support fulltime pastors decreases, and a higher percentage of the population remain outside of traditional faith communities. These three factors necessitate increasing emphasis on ministry outside the walls of the church, requiring new ways of training, conducting, and funding such ministries.

I took another step in response to this need by formally launching the Institute for Vital Ministry (iVM – iVitalMinistry.org) through a three year agreement with the Missional Wisdom Foundation (MWF – MissionalWisdom.com) as my fiscal sponsor for my 501c3 status. The goal of iVM is to serve as a platform that supports clergy and laity who are leading congregations and community organizations. We will do this through training, education, retreats, coaching, spiritual direction and pastoral care, along with the production of print, audio, video and digital resources for these activities. I am joined by a small and growing team of collaborators and partners. We are scheduling speaking events, workshops and retreats for 2016, so if you would like to host or participate, please let me know.

In May of 2015 I earned Doctor of Ministry with Honors from SMU. Since that time I have been primarily focused on conducting research and laying the groundwork for this new ministry. My own multivocal ministry includes serving part time as pastor of St. Paul’s E&R Church UCC (StPaulUCCDallas.org) and helping to launch a social entrepreneurship coworking space with MWF (TheMixCoworking.org). My hope is that iVM can provide an increasing percentage of my family income, freeing me up for this most important and underserved work.

2016 will include two new projects along with continuing the current work:

  • AltrCall …. A gathering and exploration of stories of calling that include but go way beyond the norm and the expected. Clergy and Laity who are finding new ways to live out their call to ministry. Some will bear a family resemblance to things you already know. Others will be as if seeing ministry for the first time.
  • MultiVocal …. Discover how vocation is manifest through the six domains of human flourising, and how you can become more fully yourself, more fully whole, by discovering, developing and deploying your vocational identity in each part of your life.

You have already provides support in one or multiple ways – through collaboration, encouragement, prayers, or financial gifts. My hope is that you will continue and expand your support as 2015 ends and 2016 begins. To receive a 2015 contribution letter gifts must received by December 31st – you can send a check or contribute online. You can accelerate the pace at which this work grows and serves more leaders and organizations by making a sustaining pledge of a monthly gift in 2016. However you give, I thank you. Please tell the story of the work being done and invite others to come along on the journey – and remember, “Wherever your road leads… you don’t have to travel alone.”

Yours in Christ,
Ken

Rev. Dr. Ken G. Crawford
Pastor, St. Paul’s E&R Church (UCC)
Executive Director, Institute for Vital Ministry
iVM: Companions on your journey.
“Wherever your road leads… you don’t have to travel alone.”

iVM Summer 2015 Announcement

The Institute for Vital Ministry – Companions for your journey.

Summer 2015

Dear Friend in Faith,

I am writing to ask you to become an early adopter and supporter as I launch my new nonprofit – The Institute for Vital Ministry. Our primary goal is to support and strengthen the work of leaders in congregations and community nonprofits.

Leadership is difficult – particularly in the ministry and nonprofit sectors. Whether staff, volunteer or board member, the turnover and burnout rates are remarkably high. We can change that by giving these leaders the support they need for sustainable vitality in their work.

COMPANIONSHIP IS KEY!

The Institute for Vital Ministry is a platform for transformation.

We are gathering a community of collaborative partners and building a platform of resources to provide leadership and life coaching, individually and in groups, through The Institute for Vital Ministry. Specifically, we provide:

  • Individual, Peer to Peer, and Group Coaching that is self-replicating and self-sustaining – leaders learn to support one another collaboratively.
  • Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Care for those who are under the heaviest burdens or seeking additional clarity.
  • Resources for leaders, including shared stories of struggle, change and transformation, so people don’t feel alone or helpless.

The Institute for Vital Ministry offers all of this and more, to any leader, any person of peace, who promotes individual and community health, well-being and flourishing.

Every $50 raised provides a coaching session or a day of conference, workshop or retreat for a nonprofit leader.

How can you help?

  • I invite you to join me in this work by doing the following:
  • Pray for this ministry and the leaders we seek to serve.
  • Spread the word to others who would be interested in supporting our efforts.
  • Contribute financially with a one time or recurring gift.
  • Contribute online: http://www.iVitalMinistry.com/Support. OR send a check to: Institute for Vital Ministry, c/o Missional Wisdom Fndn, 185 S. Whites Chapel Blvd., Southlake, TX 76092.

Thank you for joining with us in supporting the ministry and mission of Christ in the world. We also want to join with you to support your ministry and mission. Please share your story with us so that together we might discover new ways to serve and thus spread the good news.
Yours in Christ –
Ken
Rev. Dr. Ken G. Crawford

Vocation – Fredrick Buechner

Fredrick Buechner wrote the following about vocation…

IT COMES FROM the Latin vocare, to call, and means the work a man is called to by God. There are all different kinds of voices calling you to all different kinds of work, and the problem is to find out which is the voice of God rather than of Society, say, or the Super-ego, or Self-interest. By and large a good rule for finding out is this. The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done. If you really get a kick out of your work, you’ve presumably met requirement (a), but if your work is writing TV deodorant commercials, the chances are you’ve missed requirement (b). On the other hand, if your work is being a doctor in a leper colony, you have probably met requirement (b), but if most of the time you’re bored and depressed by it, the chances are you have not only bypassed (a) but probably aren’t helping your patients much either.

Neither the hair shirt nor the soft berth will do.
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.

– Originally published in Wishful Thinking

From FredrickBuechner.com