Excellence in Ministry #umbom14 – Reflections from Day 2

Yesterday was Day 2 of the BOM Mid Quad Training Event in Denver. The morning was a back and forth between presentation from Bishop Hagiya of The Pacific Northwest Conference and conversation in response at our tables with others from our annual conference. In the afternoon we self-selected into affinity groups for conversation and the evening brought jurisdiction meetings.

I found Bishop Hagiya’s presentations to be the most significant part of Day 2. Here are some of the highlights:

The Changing Context of Ministry – Download full presentation (PDF)

  • The world around us has changed.
  • Our United Methodist Church must change and diversify.
  • Expectations of Clergy
    • To create a culture of growth and outreach for the local church
    • To move from a culture of maintenance to transformation and discipleship making

A Systems Approach to Clergy Effectiveness – Download full presentation (PDF)

  • “Be steady in purpose, but flexible in strategy” – Gil Rendle Adage
  • We must foster a culture of innovation and risk taking.
  • What we must discover through experimentation and innovation are the new strategies that will fulfill our mission
  • Bishop/Cabinet must be aligned with the Board of Ordained Ministry
    • Bishop and Cabinet – Appoints and supervises; How many and what type of clergy are needed
    • Board of Ordained Ministry – Credentials, commissions, ordains; Determination and selection of gifts and graces

Leadership Traits 
of High Effective United Methodist Pastors – Download full presentation (PDF)

  • Research Question: “What traits, qualities, or characteristics, if any, do highly effective and successful United Methodist Church ministers exhibit specifically in regard to growth of their churches when compared to less effective United Methodist Church ministers?”
  • There was significant correlation between high effective clergy and
    • emotional intelligence
    • church size and vitality
    • self-ranking (humility)
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Excellence in Ministry #umbom14 – Reflections from Day 1

This week I am Denver for the BOM Mid Quad Training Event. The event is designed around the theme of Excellence in Ministry and is designed to help annual conferences make progress on the systems contribute to recruiting, supporting, nurturing, and holding clergy accountable. I am here in my role as Treasurer and member of the Call team of the Great Plains Board of Ordained Ministry.

I had to put my seminary brain back on to catch up with Randy Maddox as he began his talk yesterday. I appreciated the depth of his presentation about the historical and theological underpinning for excellence in ministry in the United Methodist Church. It is pretty incredible to be in the same room with Bishops, cabinets and BOM teams from across the nation.  I am looking forward to the rest of the event and bringing back new possibilities for sustaining and expanding excellence in ministry in the Great Plains.

The Biggest Bulldozer in the World (or I Can Do All Things)

At a recent bedtime, I read Bulldozers (Mighty Machines) to our children as one of our stories. After reading, my son stood up and said excitedly,

“One day, I going to drive the biggest bulldozer in the world!”

I replied with a smile, “You sure could.”

In those brief moments, I was struck at how wide the possibilities are for him at three years old. He really could drive the biggest bulldozer in the world one day. Then I considered this possibility for myself. Would I ever drive the biggest bulldozer in the world? It seems a bit little less likely that I would ever would. The reality is that the choices that we make open some possibilities in the future and close others.

Part of the amazing power of the gospel is that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Even, one day, drive the biggest bulldozer in the world.

A United Methodist Pastor’s Template for Premarital Appointments

As a pastor, I have the great honor of being part of some of the most significant events in the lives of people. One of these is when a couple is joined together in Christian marriage.

Premarital appointments with a couple are crucial as they create the opportunity to:

  • Get to know each other
  • Plan a service of Christian marriage that makes sense for them
  • Offer coaching or help around areas of concern for the couple
  • Share guidance from marrying and counseling couples

I am in my ninth year as an appointed pastor in the United Methodist Church and during that time I have officiated at  thirty-seven services of Christian marriage and currently have four scheduled in the next twelve months.  I have developed this template for four premarital appointments. While I will continue to develop it, I wanted to share my current version with you.

Feel free to use and adapt in whatever ways are helpful for you. I hope that this is helpful for you in ministry.

What have you found to be effective and helpful in meeting with a couple before they are married?

Blog Reboot: Influencers in My Niche (4 of 4)

One key to restarting this blog is to more actively listen to others who are writing to similar audiences. Since the death of Google Reader, I have not kept up with blogs. Last week I downloaded Leaf – The News Reader and have subscribed to the following blogs:

Great Plains Conference Bloggers
Around the Connection

I feel that this list is sorely inadequate, having been relatively inactive in the Methodist world online in the past few years. I am especially interested bloggers in the Great Plains Conference. What blogs do you recommend? Maybe yours?

Blog Reboot: Brain Dump of Titles (3 of 4)

I am in the process of rebooting my blog and want to share the process with you. I started with a tool that helps me succeed at anything, defined a target audience and now want to share a brain dump of some possible upcoming blog posts.

Which of these do you find interesting? Helpful? Ridiculous? Will you please share a comment with what you would like to read on this blog?

  1. How do I do a wedding?
  2. How do I do a funeral?
  3. What should I do if someone is going to commit suicide?
  4. How should I handle staffing problems?
  5. What was it like going from Resurrection to First UMC El Dorado?
  6. How have you sought to make change in the church?
  7. What does a facilities planning process look like for a 100 year old building?
  8. What value are community partnerships?
  9. What are sermon series’ that you have enjoyed preaching?
  10. How do start to turn the flywheel?
  11. How do you transition from fundraisers to generosity?
  12. How do I put together a website for our church?
  13. Do church bulletin boards do any good?
  14. How do you handle a funeral for a high-profile community member?
  15. What is the most critical staff role in the life of the church?
  16. Strategic Planning in the Small Church
  17. Worship Planning for 180
  18. Marketing Techniques for County Seat Towns
  19. Community Partnerships – Main Street
  20. How do you become active outside the walls?
  21. How do you speak prophetically to small town life?
  22. What are the effective ways to provide care for the congregation?
  23. What is essential in year one in a new appointment?
  24. How do you maintain connections with prior congregations?
  25. How do you build relationships with people your age?
  26. Word of Witness – Creating videos of life change
  27. Alpha – A course with the basics
  28. Introduction to the Bible – Introducing Love of Scripture
  29. How to respond to hair-brained ideas
  30. How to focus on the gap / what needs to change
  31. How to prioritize your time among committees
  32. Just Say Yes – Empowering People to do God’s Work
  33. Don’t worry about “stepping on toes”
  34. Parsonage and Congregation Care
  35. Planting grass and reviving congregations
  36. The Most Sacred of Tables – Communion and Fellowship Hall
  37. How to Bring New Life to Welcome Space
  38. Some People Will Never Change
  39. Creating a Discipleship Plan
  40. How to Follow Up with First Time Guests
  41. What are some principles for effectively managing endowment funds?
  42. How do you preach every week?
  43. How to work with cranky people
  44. How do you connect with other pastors in the area?
  45. What techniques do you have for self-care?
  46. How do you find someone to preach for you?
  47. Marketing / First Impressions / Follow Up – What’s most important?
  48. How to Use a Church Database Effectively
  49. Wishing Everyone Happy Birthday
  50. How to Support Community Events