Equipping Priests In Charge (EPIC) is a two year leadership development and networking program conducted by the Diocese of Melbourne. It is designed for clergy who have been issued with a license as PIC under the direction of their regional bishop.

The aim is to provide participants with an opportunity to interact with peers and trainers on some of the challenges and complexities experienced in the role of PIC in a local church community. The curriculum is cyclic. This enables people to commence at the time of taking up their new appointment.

The EPIC team partners with a range of experienced leadership practitioners, ministry consultants and mentors. If you are a participant in EPIC, we are committed to investing in your growth as a leader of the people of God. Our hope is that your journey throughout EPIC will build upon previous experience and learning, and serve to equip, inspire, support and encourage you.

EPIC is a two year leadership development and networking program conducted by the diocese of Melbourne. It is designed for clergy who have been issued with a licence as PIC under the direction of their regional bishop.

EPIC program

Themes and learning outcomes

Building healthy leaders and leading healthy churches

  • Mentoring and spiritual direction
  • Accountability
  • Investing in your growth as a leader
  • Strategies to manage stress and prevent burnout in ministry.
Leadership style and leading teams
  • Understanding leadership style, roles and expectations as you explore the challenge to build healthy, dynamic, effective teams
  • Individual coaching
  • Considerations when employing ministry staff - budgeting, contracts, position descriptions, diocesan and government requirements
  • Interview strategies for new staff appointments
  • Ministry staff supervision and development.
Engaging with the local community
  • Connecting with the local community
  • The challenge of growing an ‘externally focussed church’
  • Partnership and collaboration
  • Practical tools to understand the values of the church you lead and the climate and context of the wider community.
  • Understanding diocesan legislation
  • Exploring governance principles, paradigms and practice
  • Developing structures, communication and processes that enhance rather than inhibit growth
  • Governance implications when exploring a parish partnership, merger, church plant or another innovative endeavour.
Leading meetings
  • Running effective meetings e.g. vestry, wardens
  • Planning for the Parish Annual Meeting, churches and change
  • Leading churches through change
  • Leading teams to manage change, (including the completion of the ‘Innovate with Teams’ online profile)
  • Panel presentation: ‘Leadership Insights from the Journey’ - vision, vestry decisions, building closure and amalgamation.
Leading building projects
  • ‘Building for Mission - Managing Major Projects’ ‚ so that they build momentum and do not consume the life and energy of the parish and derail mission and ministry
  • Envisioning the congregation
  • Deciding on the best plan
  • Understanding diocesan expectations in respect to presentations, processes and protocols
  • Negotiating with the local council
  • Managing the project
  • Handling tough challenges and overcoming resistance factors
  • Celebrating milestones and completion
  • Leadership Insights from the Journey’ - two perspectives of final completion
  • Resources.
Building and sustaining a volunteer culture
  • Identifying, recruiting, equipping and inspiring volunteers
  • The challenge of delegation, accountability and sustaining enthusiasm
  • ‘Leadership Insights and Strategies Learned from the Journey’ - in a small context and in a large multi-staff church
  • Passing on the baton - training and equipping leaders; creating a learning culture
  • Identifying the potential for leadership complexity & capacity in volunteers
  • Q & A with a ‘long term volunteer’ - designed to catch a glimpse into the attitudes and experience of those who have persevered, despite the challenges posed by a lack of resources and the disheartenment of working beside others who chose to give up.
Fresh expressions
  • Biblical mandate or survival driven? Being inspired afresh by God’ missional heart
  • The local church: mission shaped or mission flavoured?
  • Exploring insights from the experiences of Anglican churches around Australia
  • Practical strategies in transitioning a church
  • So what now? Developing a ‘Mission Action Plan’
  • Identifying and addressing obstacles, threats and resistant factors
  • Exploring partnerships, paradigm shifts and new possibilities
Vision, decisions and strategic action
  • Learning to Facilitate a Process that addresses the challenge to
  • Develop a corporately discerned and contextually appropriate vision (and suspend personal agendas)
  • Encourage teams to collaborate effectively in decision making
  • Generate high ownership and commitment
  • Develop practical strategies that transition vision into achievable reality
People, conflict and the church - three day conference
  • Strategies to prevent or transform the challenges and pain arising from conflict in the local church
  • Understanding how you operate as the senior leader and the factors in your leadership that can exacerbate or alleviate conflict
  • Understanding the whole congregation as a system - history, power plays, how it operates under conflict
  • Dealing wisely with difficult people
  • Interpersonal and communal conflict resolution
  • Keys to discern the level of conflict (1-5) and appropriate practical strategies to implement at particular stages.
Australian culture
  • Creating a missional culture in the Australian context
  • An opportunity to glimpse into the mindset of unchurched Australians
  • Exploring the challenges that emerge in the task of connecting.

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