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.
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:
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
The United Methodist Church would benefit from more developmental appointments.
I recently read How to build great leaders from Fortune magazine which describes developmental assignments in the business world. This excerpt from the article provides an example of this type of assignment:
Consider what happened at General Electric back in 1989, when the company’s appliance division discovered it had sold a million refrigerators with faulty compressors.
The refrigerators would have to be returned — the largest appliance recall of all time. To manage such a crisis, most companies would turn to the most experienced “recall” executive on earth. GE did the opposite.
CEO Jack Welch and HR chief Bill Conaty decided to put a promising 33-year-old manager, future CEO Jeff Immelt, in charge of the situation, though he had zero experience with appliances — or recalls. Welch and Conaty saw an opportunity to build a leader. And while the experience was hellish, Immelt says, “I wouldn’t be CEO today if I hadn’t had that job.”
I believe that my appointment at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection is a developmental appointment. On July 1, 2006, I was 2 months out from graduating seminary – an unlikely candidate to be serving as an associate pastor at one of the largest churches in the denomination. The deep dive into pastoral care, guidance and leadership as a Pastor of Congregational Care was tremendously helpful in the development of my pastoral identity, skills and leadership.
I hope that there are more bishops and appointive cabinets that are willing to appoint inexperienced, yet promising leaders to unlikely charges. Over the long run, clergy leadership will be greatly improved and renewal of the church will be one of the outcomes.