By Camille Loomis Rehnborg
First Baptist Church, Greenville
Most ministry skills can’t be learned in a classroom. How do you plan and oversee a healthy church budget? What do you say when someone calls the church asking for prayer? How can churches full of disparate opinions survive a fraught political season? How do you find time to write a sermon with two hundred committee meetings a week?
Divinity school gave me frameworks and tools to examine and preach Scripture, lead a weekly study, and write effectively about church history, but much of the practical side of ministry can only be learned on the job.
Pastoral residency programs aim to fill the gap between seminary classrooms and young pastors’ first church jobs. Residents have the opportunity to put theoretical skills into practice and accumulate vocational experience under the guidance of an experienced staff.
As the Pastoral Resident at First Baptist Church in Greenville, I have the opportunity to apprentice under a phenomenal ministry staff for two years. I participate in the “behind the scenes” administrative part of church life, such as the budget process, property oversight, and long-term vision setting.
Later this year and into next year, I have the opportunity to work closely with pastoral care, worship and youth ministers to practice in those aspects of ministry. For example, I will learn more about planning funerals and weddings, preaching, writing liturgy, and come alongside the youth staff as they plan and facilitate curriculum and retreats.
By the end of the residency, I hope to have a robust set of ministry skills and experiences that better prepare me to holistically serve a congregation.
Camille Loomis Rehnborg is a 2020 graduate of Duke Divinity School. She serves as Pastoral Resident at First Baptist Church, Greenville, SC.
As a young woman in ministry, one of the best parts of joining FBG’s staff is getting to learn from other female pastors! FBG has a strong ethic of inclusion that extends from the leadership team to the back pew.
I’m grateful for the example these women in ministry set for me, and I’m looking forward to serving God and God’s people here in Greenville!