This week I was part of the BOM Mid Quad Training Event in Denver. After some reflection, I want to share some possible next steps for me and for our Board of Ordained Ministry. Here goes…
Next Steps for the Board of Ordained Ministry
Have God’s eyes for big possibilities
Consider process changes to encourage and identify highly motivated, self-starting, creative and entrepreneurial leaders.
Be steady in purpose, but flexible in strategy. -Gil Rendle
Continue commitment to change and diversify
Be intentional in language used around the candidacy process – What do we do? Why do we do it?
Focus on telling the story of the Great Plains Board of Ordained Ministry – not the stories of the Board from our former conferences.
Explore ways to recruit before self-selection as a candidate
Identify the small changes which would make the biggest difference in changing the dynamics of the Board.
Next Steps for Me
Have God’s eyes for big possibilities
Actively engage as a lifelong learner, i.e. D. Min, conferences, reading, etc.
Be part of addressing the challenges and capitalizing on the opportunities of being a global denomination with a democratic polity.
Consider additional opportunities to serve at the annual, jurisdictional and general conferences
Look for ways to further develop my:
understanding of systems theory
Continuously look for the gifts in others, name and cultivate those gifts, and unleash these gifts and people into the ministry and community.
Seek out those who would mentor me and those who could be mentored by me.
Recognize that deep change means surrendering control.
Identify the small changes which would make the biggest difference in my leadership in the local church
Seek both mastery and originality
Will you please share your thoughts, feelings and opinions about these lists? What changes could be most helpful for the Great Plains Board of Ordained Ministry? How might I best improve my work as an Elder in the United Methodist Church?
Fred Allen, National Director, Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century
Ted Campbell, Associate Professor of Church History, Perkins School of Theology
Gail Ford Smith, Director, Center for Clergy Excellence, Texas Annual Conference
Panel 2: The Role of Supervision in Developing Effective Leaders
Bishop Cynthia Harvey, Louisiana Episcopal Area
Rev. Dr. Tom Choi, District Superintendent, California-Pacific Annual Conference
Rev. Dr. Candace Lansberry, District Superintendent, Desert Southwest Annual Conference
In the afternoon we were divided among table groups with a mix of people both geographically and in role (Board Chair, Vice-Chair, DS, etc.). We were given case studies of situations which a Board of Ordained Ministry may face and engage in conversation and reflection about what actions, motivations and next steps. In the evening, we went out to eat as a Great Plains team with one of our Iliff seminary students.
Here are some of my takeaways from the day:
Many early Methodist leaders would likely have faced significant challenges moving through the process with a Board of Ordained Ministry today.
Regarding the divide / friction / boundary between cabinet and Board of Ordained Ministry:
It is common across many annual conferences.
The Judicial Council decisions around this matter center around fair / due process.
Agreement around a common goal can significantly dissolve anxiety and build trust
Systems, processes and strategies are bound by time and place. They are not effective forever.
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.
Tonight is the clergy session of the Kansas West Annual Conference. This is where I hope to be elected as a full member of the Annual Conference and approved for Elder’s ordination. I decided to look up officially the process for which I will be ordained and want to share a few of the applicable paragraphs in the 2008 Book of Discipline.
“Questions relating to matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy shall be the business of the clergy session. The actions of the clergy session shall be for and on behalf of the annual conference” (2008 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, ¶605.6).
“Provisional members who are candidates for full connection and ordination as elders and have been provisional members for at least two years may be admitted into membership in full connection in an annual conference and approved for elder’s ordination by two-thirds vote of the clergy members in full connection of the annual conference, upon recommendation by two-thirds vote of the Board of Ordained Ministry…” (2008 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, ¶335).
I have already been recommended by the Board of Ordained Ministry, so am looking to the vote of the clergy session to move forward.
Several weeks ago, I interviewed with the Board of Ordained Ministry in Kansas West and was continued as a provisional member of the conference. This is good news. It means that next year I will be eligible to be fully ordained and have all the rights and responsibilities of a clergy person within the United Methodist Church. I interviewed with a team of three persons – two clergy and one lay. I recognize that I am just starting out this ministry thing and always seek to learn from others. My final question for them was, “What advice would you have to offer me, as someone just starting out in ministry?” There responses are excellent.
Love the people.
Don’t denigrate what is happening when you first arrive in an appointment.
There are hands on practical things to do as a pastor – call when someone is not in worship, call when they come back to worship, make rounds like a doctor.
I appreciate all the wisdom that those who have gone before me in the path of ministry. I hope to always continue to learn from others.
What is some advice that you have received or that you have to offer for somone just starting out in ministry?
This month it has been an adventure to go to conferences, retreats and workshops. Throughout the month I attended:
Kansas Area Professional Seminar for Ministry
Kansas Area Self-Care Workshop
Congregational Care Team Retreat
Kansas West Board of Ordained Ministry Provisional Members Retreat
Kansas East Residency Retreat
All of these events have been good, but it has been a lot of time out of the office. It has been an adventure trying to stay on top of the responsibilities for the N-R pastorate and also having the opportunity to network and stay in connection with other United Methodist Clergy.