Balancing Health and Pastoral Excellence
Helping pastors achieve the hallmarks of faithful ministry – spirituality, connectedness, knowledge, leadership, vision, and personal health
What is SHAPE?
SHAPE — Sustaining Health And Pastoral Excellence — a gift of God to the Church of God, was born out of the passion of a group of visionary leaders who desired to transform the heart and soul of leadership within the Church of God and the broader Kingdom. In partnership with the Lilly Endowment, Inc., of Indianapolis, IN, and other significant leadersfrom across the country, the SHAPE ministry was launched in 2002. Since that time hundreds of pastors and leaders from the United States and Canada have experienced the principles and practices of SHAPE, are discovering the power of community,and helping build a stronger Kingdom perspective for the coming generations ofthe Church of God. SHAPE is a national and regional collaborative ministry initiative designed to facilitate Church of God pastors’ pursuit of proactive, planned, and sustained strategies to achieve and integrate the hallmarks of good and faithful ministry — spirituality, connectedness, knowledge, leadership, vision, and personal health—into their life and vocation. SHAPE is about leader development and leadership development. It is also about congregational health and church growth. SHAPE is rooted in the fundamental conviction that the underlying message of the Bible is found in the Great Commandment of Jesus Christ: “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest commandment and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandmentshang all the law and the prophets.” -Matthew 22:36-40 (NSRV) The ultimate goal of SHAPE is to provide a holistic, seamless cycle of self-directed and collaborative practices that will sustain and nourish Church of God pastors from the moment of their first calling through the culmination of their pastoral ministry. SHAPE exisFts to motivate and sustain pastors as they enhance their calling — a “good and faithful ministry”— by becoming more balanced as persons so that burnout andattrition can be avoided and multi-faceted growth can occur. SHAPE exists to build and sustain relational networks that enhance the relational health of pastors and congregations of the Church of God reformation movement, resulting in healthy interdependence. As the impact of SHAPE continues to be assessed, the overwhelming evidence supports the initial anticipated outcomes that this ministry is enabling participants to move:
From harmful autonomy to Biblical interdependency From pastoral isolation toconnectivity From fragmentation in the movement to common direction From crisis-oriented to purpose driven The opportunities that now lay before can lead us corporately into a future where these objectives find greater fulfillment in the broader constituencies of the Church of God and impact our congregations as they collectively fulfill the mission of Christ in the world.
What regions are involved with SHAPE?
S.H.A.P.E. Regional Contact Persons
For more information regarding S.H.A.P.E. in your regions, please contact these regional directors. If you would like S.H.A.P.E. to come to your area, please contact your State Minister or Assembly Chair.
National Office: Andy Stephenson – AStephenson@chog.org
|Mike Claypool – (704) 469-8585|
|Colorado / Kansas|
|Randy Huber – (717) 557-6928|
|Eric Livingston – (217) 864-3263|
Carl Addison – (317) 773-6477
|Ray Jones – (318) 325-4464|
|Bill Jones – (517) 393-7020|
|Howard Megill – (573) 265-8545|
|Ohio – Northeast|
|Shannon New-Spangler – (330) 984-6789 (Cell)|
|Joe Thompson – (580) 243-8635 (Cell)|
|Estella Milner – (405) 749-6774|
|Dwayne Pierce – (615) 893-4987|
|Bob Neace – (540) 268-2040|
Who is leading SHAPE?
SHAPE is a ministry initiative under the umbrella of Church of God Ministries, specifically housed with the US & Canada Strategy Team. It is a collaboratively led initiative in cooperation with regional leadership in designing, promoting, and carrying out the project.
How can SHAPE impact local congregations?
Sustaining Health And Relational Excellence
During the early days of SHAPE it became evident that to address issues of pastoral health at the exclusion of addressing issues of congregational health would ultimately lead to a failure to transform the life and ministry of the Church of God. The disparity between health and unhealth at that level of relationship would certainly prove to be a hindrance to the goals of SHAPE. The task then became to adapt the principles and practices of SHAPE for the lay leaders of local congregations. That task has reached its initial stage and SHARE—Sustaining Health And Relational Excellence—is being introduced to a limited number of congregations throughout the United States to assess it value and strengthen its ministry. SHARE will initially be provided to only pastors who have experienced SHAPE and understand the theology, practices and intent of the SHAPE journey. SHARE will be divided into two distinct experiences: 1) The Theology and Practices of SHARE. This initial phase will introduce congregational leaders to the same relational theology and practices of the SHAPE journey with only a few minor adjustments. The SHARE manual has added content that will more fully describe the intent of a relational theology for the life of the church. This new focus can be summarized in the following areas:
- The development of an intentionally focused community of growth and maturing into the fullness of Christ; -The development of a discipling environment;
- The experience of a common set of experiences, practices, and resources that help establish parameters for a healthy, effective leadership team;
- The development of a personal/corporate plan of growth and development. Healthy leaders and missionally effective congregations intentionally plan to be healthy.
2) An Intentional, Specific Health Plan for the Congregation. Beyond the common experiences of SHAPE/SHARE that lead to a healthy community, there are specific needs to be addressed in the life of every congregation. The intent of SHARE is to provide every pastor/leadership team with exercises, information, and resources that can enable each team to develop a training program that best fits their needs at any given time. Currently eight areas of congregational life have been identified and resources gathered. The resource list will most certainly expand prior to the launch of SHARE. SHARE continues to be developed and tested and will be made available as soon as all necessary steps have been taken to assure a smooth transition of the principles and practices of SHAPE to local congregational leadership. The SHAPE/SHARE Connection Central to the SHARE experience is the opportunity that SHAPE pastors have to journey together in the development of specific plans for the development of their leadership teams and ministry plans for their individual congregations within the SHAPE cluster community. Each pastor will lead their congregational leadership team in understanding the core values of SHAPE/SHARE and help establish a common foundation for the fulfillment of the mission of Christ within each congregation. Then, much like the development of the LAMP, each pastor will begin to develop a specific plan for their local congregation with their leadership team and enjoy the continuing support, insight, expertise and encouragement of the cluster. While SHAPE has provided opportunity for us to share life together in transformative ways, SHARE will lead us to do the same as we serve our local congregations.