Through our Pastors’ Network we seek to commend individuals so that churches can be assured of their character and gifting.
In the New Testament, the Apostles commended good and reliable men to the churches – Epaphras (Colossians 1v7, 4v12-13); Tychicus (Colossians 4v7); John Mark (2 Timothy 4v11); Demetrius (3 John 12). Whilst we do not know the precise ministry of men like these, the Apostles appear to have had their own written or unwritten list of men they would commend.
Equally, they warned the churches against false teachers (Acts 20v29-30; Philippians 3v2; 2 Peter 2v1-3; 1 John 2v22; Jude 3-4), exposing some by name – for instance Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Timothy 2v17-18).
In the close-knit Christian community of the first century it was relatively easy to know those whose ministry was reliable - and therefore acceptable - and those who were to be avoided. We live in a larger and more complex world and local churches are faced with making decisions as to whose preaching and teaching is or is not acceptable. The only way this can be done meaningfully is for groups of churches to list their approved men and for these lists to be recognised by other churches and groups who have confidence in their standards of ‘accreditation’.
FIEC offers such accreditation through its Pastors’ Network. For such a list of accredited men to be relevant today, the standards of acceptance need to be seen to be as high and as definite as the Scriptures demand in terms of character, gifting and the ability to work with others.
The process of accreditation involves the completion of an application form and a brief theological paper, followed by an interview. Applicants must also agree with the FIEC Doctrinal Basis, as well as our statements on Gospel Unity and Women in Ministry. They must also abide by the Biblical standards for those in pastoral ministry.
If you are interested in joining the Pastors’ Network, or if you have questions about accreditation, then please contact us.
Our National Support team is made up of experienced pastors from across the country. The team works alongside Richard Underwood in strategic areas of Pastoral support.
Proverbs 27v17 can sometimes be overused, but it still remains true: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” We see an immense wealth of gifts and experiences amongst those who minister in our churches. If we can connect these people in meaningful ways – for support, inspiration and training – then our churches will greatly benefit. But how can we do that effectively?
We believe that women have been given all sorts of ministry gifts, and that our churches are poorer if these gifts are not developed and used.
The Lord Jesus loves local churches irrespective of their size. However, smaller churches can be vulnerable and stand in need of particular love and care.
When a church needs to employ new gospel workers, the ideal situation is for those people to be identified, trained and commissioned from amongst the church’s own congregation. But things aren’t always that simple. That’s why we have our Ministry Introductions service.