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THEO 116 DePaul University Domestic Violence Theology Pastoral Discussion

Introduction To Church Leadership (THEO 116)

Please respond to one of the following prompts. There are general prompts that apply to all four situations, but also sub-prompts that apply only to that specific situation.

(In terms of length, there is not necessarily any right answer for that. Length will vary based on the situation. I would recommend you focus on responding to each prompt to a degree that you find sufficient and that resolves the situation).

General prompts:

A.) Please describe how you would first assess the situation, including how this impacts your faith community, the external community, etc.

B.) Describe how your leadership structure at your church might relate to this (if applicable) this situation might be addressed within your leadership structure for your church.

C.) Discuss the “optics” issue of your options. If you follow a path, how could people in your community view your decision? How could people outside your church but within the local area view your decision?

D.) What is your process for making the decision: Describe who you would talk to, what questions you might ask, what information you might seek, and how you would deliver your response.

Situations: Choose one of the following:

1.) You are a pastor at a church. You get a call from a close friend who is in jail and asking you to bail him out. The pastor finds out Roger is in jail for domestic violence. The pastor also gets a call from Roger’s wife, Rachel, from the hospital where her minor injuries were being assessed, she is expected to be released soon. The wife tells the Pastor to bail her husband out of jail and that she didn’t mean for him to go to jail. The pastor knows it is wrong of Roger for doing that to Rachel and he is very hesitant on what to do in this situation. (There are no subprompts for this question).

2.) You are the pastor at a congregational church. Two members get in an argument at a liturgy committee meeting over whether Communion should or should not be offered to the faithful because of fears of spreading COVID-19. What should you do as pastor? (Subprompts: How does the pastor and the elected board relate to each other within this church? Who makes worship decisions like this? This is happening in a congregational structure, but if this were a Catholic or Reform hierarchical system, what would your process look like?)

3.) A family wins the lottery and offers the church to pay of its debt as well as the church members salaries. Should the church accept the money or deny it? (subprompts: What do you talk about with the family, in terms of how much they are wanting to give? What other options are available besides them giving away a large portion of money? What are the general upsides and downsides of taking large contributions for any church, and how do these weigh against each other?

4.) You are the director of religious education at a Catholic Church. The pastor of the church wants to have the kids who are receiving confirmation do more for the church so that they feel connected to the church. The way he wants to do that is by adding more service hours on, but the teachers don’t want to have the kids do that because they feel their system is already good enough for the kids. So instead of conversing with you or the teachers, the pastor announces at church and send a letter to families of the confirmation class that these hours are going to be added, and students need to complete the hours in order to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. How do you respond to the situation as director of religious education? (Subprompts: You are in the middle here: You have the pastor on one side, your teachers who volunteer for you, and the parents who look to you for guidance on this process. How do you communicate with each of these groups? Is there another group or individual you should be contacting, too?)


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