By: Sharon Vanpelt
Picture this: you are on your way home after another APCE Annual Event has ended and you realize it will be another year until you see many of these fellow Christian educators. Sure, you’ve connected through social media and emails over the previous year but you want to continue to build on the new relationships you began at tables and workshops. You wish you could just “pick the brain” of some of these inspiring and awesome Christian educators. What can you do?
Why not apply to serve on an APCE Ministry Team?
APCE Ministry teams are the workhorses of the organization. Four years ago APCE was organized to allow for greater participation of our members throughout the U.S. and even into other countries. This provided almost 90 opportunities for members to be an active part of APCE. It is through these nine teams that the work of the organization is done: Annual Events are planned, scholarships are given, certifications are honored, the organization communicates with our supporting denominations, and more. Most teams meet monthly or bi-monthly via video conference for 1-2 hours at a time. Members may use additional time outside the meetings as work is shared among everyone on the team.
In evaluating its effectiveness through a survey of the organization in 2016, the APCE Leadership Council was interested to find that the top two most important parts of Ministry Team meetings reported were the face-to-face connection through video conferencing and annual meetings, and regular personal check-ins that allow for support, fellowship, prayer, and sharing among the team members. Some current team members say that they serve because 1) they feel a need to give back to the organization that has supported them in their ministry; 2) they feel a need to support the vocation of Christian Education in general for current and future generations; 3) they have a passion for Christian Education; 4) they want to share their gifts and talents for the benefit of the members of APCE; and 5) they want to meet or reconnect with others with similar interests. This tells us that these teams are vital in building relationships within the Christian Education community.
So if I’ve convinced you to explore the possibilities of greater participation in APCE, which ministry team would be the best place for you? Use these brief descriptions of the teams to determine where you might best use your gifts.
- The Administrative Ministry Team provides for the financial, managerial, and official oversight of APCE.
- The Advocacy Ministry Team lifts up the educator’s significant role in the life of the church, promoting standards for ministry, and interpreting APCE’s mission.
- The Advocate Ministry Team prepares the weekly blog for the membership of APCE and functions as an editorial board.
- The Annual Events Ministry Team functions as the design team and steering committee to plan and coordinate details for presentation of an Annual Event.
- The Awards and Scholarship Ministry Team assists the Coordinating Council of APCE to offer awards and scholarships to recognize excellence within APCE and utilize scholarships to encourage attendance to the Annual Event.
- The Communications and Resource Ministry Team makes use of media and technology to promote the mission and vision of APCE.
- The Connecting Ministry Team is a group of regional connectors who connect persons serving in the field of Christian faith formation to sustain interest, passion, and focus of those involved in Christian faith formation.
- The Endowment Ministry Team oversees and administers the Endowment Fund in order to provide financial resources for future growth, advocacy and visions for ministry of the Association.
- The Governance Ministry Team serves as a nominating committee for officers and council members to provide for the work of APCE.
Where do you go from here? We currently have openings on all nine ministry teams for the class of 2021. To apply for a ministry team, go to www.apcenet.org and click on the tab “Apply for a Ministry Team.” Submit your application online and someone will be in touch with you.
Come on and try it! Maybe you will find a new friend to visit on your next vacation. Maybe you will find new gifts within yourself. Maybe you will feel like you are a part of APCE. Definitely, APCE will be better with your service.
Sharon Vanpelt is a certified Christian Educator and a member of Governance Ministry Team.