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'Creative' appointments in EMBA  

The East Midlands Baptist Association (EMBA) has strengthened its regional ministry team with a surprise joint appointment

Ellen and Steve Price Wife and husband Ellen and Steve Price will be joining the Assoication team later this year as Regional Ministers.

Ellen, currently minister of Oadby Baptist Church in Leicestershire, will be the full-time stipendiary Regional Minister. Steve, who has already been highly involved in moderating some of the Association’s churches, will serve in a part-time, non-stipendiary capacity.

Due to "cautious and prudent" budgeting EMBA has been among the least well resourced Association team in terms of number of churches and number of Regional Ministers, explained Regional Minister Team Leader the Revd Dianne Tidball. 

As Trustees, the Directors took the decision to carry a deficit budget and appoint a further full time Regional Minister.

'We prayed for wisdom and the guidance of the Holy Spirit and asked that we, as an appointing group, might be ready to be surprised by God’s leading,' she said.

'When Ellen and Steve applied, offering to serve together as Regional Ministers, without increasing the budget, we began to see that this might be God’s provision for us.

‘We are grateful to all those who applied and were interviewed and we are sorry that in such a discerning process some will be disappointed. However the appointing group were unanimous that Ellen and Steve offered a creative way forward for us as an Association.’

The joint appointment will enable the Association to benefit from a range of qualities and experience the couple brings, she continued. 

Ellen has “strong relational skills, mission vision and love for God’s people both in and outside of the community of the church”. Steve, formerly Human Resources Director for Barclays Kenya, brings “wide experience in the business world particularly in Human Resources, mediation, and project management alongside a desire for healthy churches and outward focussed congregations”.

Dianne hopes that having a full team the Association will be able to give more focus to church planting in the area. There are a number of innovative developments in Leicester, Peterborough, Nottingham and Scunthorpe “all of which offer models for others and enable us to pioneer new expressions of church”.
Ellen said, ‘I have come to believe that our calling as Christians is to serve, that we will live life to the full as we serve, knowing the presence of Jesus in serving others. The focus of this serving, our heartbeat, has to be mission, our calling to make disciples wherever we are.

‘I hope to listen to God, with churches and ministers, and for them, and listen to churches and ministers, supporting them in their journey of discipleship, to being those who make disciples, sharing ideas, encouraging churches to rethink their status, to ask questions about what they do and how they do it to reflect kingdom values.’

Steve added, ‘My conviction is that the Church is the answer and in its Baptist expression it is changing and evolving, retaining Truth at its core but it needs to be more pioneering.

‘People find faith one by one and the most fun I have had as a Christian is leading someone else to faith and discipling them in the early stages, and it has always been one to one and borne out of relationship but it is never the same twice. Each church is different and will find its own path if they allow the Holy Spirit to lead.

‘Pioneering means change and risk and I have built a career around facilitating change, working through problems and serving others. I can imagine that as a part time Regional Minister I can serve using my tactical skills and HR experience within the network of churches of the EMBA to help resolve problems and encourage pioneering missional communities.

'My experience in leadership and team development may also be of service in equipping and growing healthy leaders. I would love to help grow the next generation of leaders.’

EMBA has also requested prayer for Oadby Baptist Church as it faces its minister moving on.

Baptist Times, 15/02/2015
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