For a variety of reasons, the number of men and women who are graduating from seminaries and pursuing pastoral ministry positions has been decreasing. This trend has resulted in fewer candidates for pastoral openings throughout the Ohio Conference.

The Leadership Development Resource Team is currently exploring both new and traditional ways of identifying those whom God may be calling into pastoral ministry. There was a time in the Anabaptist/Mennonite tradition when pastors were called from within their congregations. Even when these individuals were not called to serve in their home congregation, many churches still played an important role in identifying, mentoring, and sending out pastoral leaders.

Over the next six months we are inviting each of our congregations to try to identify two or three individuals who they believe have the gifts for pastoral ministry. These persons might be a high school youth, or an adult of any age. There are programs available, both traditional and non-traditional, for people of all ages to explore and test their call to ministry. Please contact one of the members of the Leadership Development Resource Team (listed below) with the names of the people you have been able to identify.

Leadership Development Resource Team

Rebecca Kauffman, Pastor, Bethel Mennonite Church,

Joel Shenk, Pastor, Toledo Mennonite Church,

Danae King, ministry student and member of Orrville Mennonite Church,

Miriam Zehr, Associate Pastor, Oak Grove, Smithville,

Shawn Hilliard, Pastor, Martins Mennonite Church,

Tony Doehrmann, Regional Pastor – West,

Dick Barrett, Ohio Conference Minister,