Presbytery Central Clusters
There are five key aspects to the new Presbytery Central structure: Central Gatherings (twice yearly), Regional Moderators, the Coordinating Team, Task Groups and Cluster Groups.
Our Presbytery Framework states that Cluster Groups are “gatherings of members of presbytery to promote collegiality and to provide opportunities for mutual learning and support. Every minister who belongs to presbytery will be actively involved in a Cluster Group.”
Clusters can be local or regional and may meet as often as required. They can meet for mutual encouragement and learning or to address a common interest. They can be groups of ministers, elders, or both; or a number of parishes may like to meet together. Clusters can meet for a defined term to address an issue then dissolve, or be ongoing. People may belong to more than one Cluster.
The main vision for and focus of the new presbytery structure is to encourage and equip local churches and their leaders in their God-given missions; to resource churches in their missions.
A secondary goal is to do presbytery business more efficiently than having four or five different presbyteries replicating similar meetings and business every month. With no monthly presbytery meetings to attend, the invitation to every minister, presbytery elder and church council is -
1. How could we use the time we no longer spend on presbytery matters to better encourage, equip and resource ourselves to identify and engage in God’s mission in our location?
2. With whom might we meet together regularly, to provide encouragement and support, to explore missional ideas and to resource us in our mission, as we continue our journeys as local churches?
Examples of Clusters
1. A Ministers’ Cluster for fellowship, discussion of issues and equipping in their ministries.
2. A Cluster of those involved in the same ministry, meeting for fellowship, discussion and equipping.
.....These Clusters could apply to leaders involved with children, youth, women, men, internationals etc
3. A Cluster of church leaders from similar kinds of churches which face similar issues – rural, suburban, inner city, tourist towns, small churches, very large churches etc
4. A Book Cluster which reads and discusses theological, missional or leadership books together.
5. An Elder’s Cluster to provide eldership training; or a Cluster of churches who don’t have a minister.
6. A Regional Cluster comprised of the members of your original presbytery.
7. A Cluster that meets for worship, prayer, testimony and ministry to one another.
8. A Cluster of church leaders who share a common employment, ex lawyers, or coordinators of NGOs.
9. A Cluster of churches who are concerned about a community or political issue that they want to research and make submissions about like the Manawatu River, housing for the elderly, the lack of youth facilities in a town, or to set up a community meal for struggling families;
or to establish a holiday programme for young people, a Christian kindergarten, to organise Acts of Kindness in their community like painting, gardening, clearing up rubbish for local community institutions like schools, pre-schools, hospital, library, Drug Arm.
10. A Missional Cluster or Cohort of church leaders keen to read and share stories of trying new forms of mission and community outreach.
TO WHICH KIND OF CLUSTER WOULD YOU OR YOUR CHURCH LIKE TO BELONG?