Pray for Dr. Hunter

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As you know, Dr. Hunter has been assigned to succeed Dr. Chip Murray at First AME in Los Angeles. He and the congregation will need all the prayers of the saints as the transition begins. It is always a difficult task to follow a legend in any position. The Church seems to be even more difficult than secular institutions such as busineses. It even becomes more difficult when that legend is still alive and viable. First Baptist in Dallas had to go through at least 2 and perhaps 3 before they could replace Dr. Criswell. Dr. Criswell also replaced a legend but that legend died.

The AME Church will face some crisis in implement the 75 and out rule but it is a good rule and sorely needed.

Be Blessed

Al Paris

-- Anonymous, November 25, 2004

Answers

One of the things the AME clergy should adopt is a mentoring system. When the "legend" of Chicago, Rev. Clay Evans retired a few years ago (well, he actually hasn't really retired), prior to retiring he "mentored" Rev. Jenkins, a young 25 year old preacher. Mentoring meant bringing Rev. Jenkins on staff and training him for the position to come. The same thing occurred with Rev. Marcus Cosby, a prominent Baptist pastor in Texas. He was hired as the associate pastor of the church, mentored by the retiring pastor and then replaced the pastor after his retirement. There was then a smooth transition. Now, from what I understand, these pastors are not having the easiest time, primarily because the members often feel that there is nothing that can be done "like Rev. so and so used to do it". However, the mentoring process seems to have given the people the assurance that the new pastor has been "endorsed" by the retiring pastor. Now, I know that two Baptist churches who do not have an appointment system like the AME system are not good examples; however, it is something that should possibly be considered in the future--probably well after I am dead and gone. I am curious to know your thoughts about this issue. God bless. A.J.

-- Anonymous, November 30, 2004

I feel the same was about mentoring. I'm a Licentiate heading towards my third year of studies in the BOE. I recently experienced a change in Pastors (I was with my Pastor for 2 years) and many Pastors on the Board were moved to other churches outside of our district. I feel like I am starting all over again.

This past January, the Dean of our conference asked why an admissions class of 20 or more folks ended with a 4th year class with one or two. He says it's our responsibility to connect with our classmates. I say we need a mentoring program similar to the UMC's, where you are assigned a mentor from your conference that helps you through the process of ordination.

The AMEís like the UMC are really Lay led churches meaning the church is organized in a way that the Lay should be running the ministry and the Pastor is the overseer. This should ( I said should...) make it easier for the new Pastor to step in but the power has shifted to the Clergy. In a system of itinerancy thatís problematic because changes often leave folk behind and wondering what to do next.

TA

-- Anonymous, November 30, 2004


T.A.

Not trying to be difficult, but the AME Church is nothing like the United Methodist Church. The lay run the United Methodist Church much more than the AME lay. However, I do agree that the "mentoring" process that is occuring in the UMC appears to be quite beneficial to those pastors going through the process of ordination. The UMC even has mentoring programs for those pastors after they have completed the ordination process. It is something AME's should consider. But then, in order to seek mentorship, we need to admit that we need "assistance", which is difficult for some of us.

God bless.

A.J.

-- Anonymous, December 01, 2004


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