lilly endowment grant faq
Calvary Church is the proud recipient of a $49,600 Lilly Endowment Grant through their Clergy Renewal Program. The grant is awarded annually by Lilly for the purpose of strengthening congregations in the United States by funding sabbaticals for Senior Pastors. Our Senior Pastor would like to recognize his late mentor, R. Garry Bradley, who quietly labored for two years to make this grant possible for our church community.
HOW WAS OUR CHURCH SELECTED?
Our Senior Pastor is celebrating 15 years of ministry with our congregation in 2012. During this time, Calvary Church has grown from a community of 300 worshippers to nearly 1,000 worshippers under his steady leadership. We have become more involved in our community and more connected to our world. Our Senior Pastor holds an undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies and Psychology, two graduate degrees (one in Theology and another in Church History) and is a PhD candidate at the University of Stirling (Scotland). He has also served as a professor in some of the poorest regions of the world including India, Kenya, and the Philippines. The growth and health of our church, along with the tenure, service, and education of our Senior Pastor were among the many factors considered.
WHAT WILL OUR PASTOR BE DOING?
Our pastor will spend some time living in Cambridge, England where he will be studying at one of the top research universities in the world – the University of Cambridge. He will be focusing his studies on the modern missionary movement in the changing world in which the church carries out her mission. This is an important component of his PhD studies. He will focus some of his research on the question of partnership between the Western church and the church in the global South where Christianity is now exploding in growth. This is complicated by the reality that most of the Christians in our world live in the global South, while most of the financial resources remain concentrated in the West. He is looking forward to worshipping at St. Andrews the Great in the city centre. Our pastor also has the opportunity to travel to Kenya with his family to visit the Mitaboni Children’s Home and spend time with our ministry partners in the developing world.
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF A SABBATICAL?
Senior Pastors are responsible for leading a wide-range of ministries, managing a diverse team of staff members, working with the board of elders, preaching and teaching, and are often involved in numerous community endeavors. A sabbatical enables ministers to step back from the daily demands of ministry life to study, plan, pray, and think about the future vision of their ministry. A sabbatical also gives pastors an opportunity to find renewal through an uninterrupted time of study and time with their family. The Lilly Foundation has discovered that sabbaticals strengthen the relationship between pastors and their congregations, and significantly lengthen the tenure of a pastor in his current ministry setting.
WHEN IS THE SABBATICAL?
The sabbatical will be taken during the summer of 2012. A special reunion gathering will be held when he returns at the end of the summer.
WHO WILL CARE FOR HIS RESPONSIBILITIES NEXT SUMMER?
Our congregation has been blessed with a very solid elder board, and a talented staff which includes 5 full-time pastors. Our elders and staff will team up to provide leadership in the Senior Pastor’s absence. In addition, an exciting aspect of the grant is that it provides funding for Calvary Church to bring in nationally-recognized speakers. This will give the congregation an opportunity to “hear God’s voice” through other competent ministers of the gospel.
HAS OUR SENIOR PASTOR EVER HAD A SABBATICAL?
Yes. In 2005, our Senior Pastor and his family lived in Nairobi, Kenya for four months while he taught church history at the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology.
CAN WE STAY IN TOUCH WITH PASTOR LIONEL?
Yes. You'll be able to obtain occasional updates through Pastor Lionel's blog or on his Facebook page.
For more information go to Clergy Renewal Program website.