Leadership in Multi-Church Ministry in Rural Areas

‘Effective multi-church ministry is the greatest challenge facing rural churches’ – so argues the Arthur Rank Centre, the rural church resource centre based in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. This Trust-funded project aims to research and compare models of leadership and identify training priorities.
Effective multi-church ministry is the greatest challenge facing rural churches, according to the Arthur Rank Centre, the national churches’ rural resource unit based at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire. Yet there exists comparatively little research and relatively few resources on what good practice in multi-church ministry looks like.
In an eighteen month project funded by St Peter’s Saltley Trust, the Arthur Rank Centre is seeking to identify the benefits and disadvantages of different models of leadership in rural churches, identify they key factors in good practice, and make recommendations for the training and development of skills of congregations and clergy.
The project explores four key aspects of leading multi-church arrangements: leadership styles and approaches, organisational structures, approaches to developing discipleship, and ways of encouraging and developing lay ministry. A series of interviews with congregations and clergy is currently under way, with the project expected to report by the end of 2015.

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