Excellence in Ministry #umbom14 – Reflections and Next Steps

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:
    • emotional intelligence
    • 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?

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StrengthsFinder 2.0

Recently the Resurrection West staff all took the Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0 as part of team development. My top strengths are:

  • Analytical
  • Learner
  • Responsibility
  • Deliberative
  • Strategic

The assessment is designed to determine our talents – what we are naturally good at. It could be a secular way of looking at spiritual gifts. One of the valuable things that I learned from the training is that these talents are what we are born with and they can be developed into strengths. The idea is that it is more fruitful to improve our strengths than to try to bolster our weaknesses.

Have you taken this assessment? What did you find helpful or unhelpful about the results?

Ministry Iteration

While I believe that it is important to get ministry done right the first time, I am increasingly becoming a fan of iteration (or repetition) and learning by doing.

I recognize that some genius idea that I have may certainly turn out to only be genius in my head and not actually be helpful in helping people build relationships with God and with other people. I try to head these ideas off at the pass and keep them from consuming a great deal of my time or afflicting others with them.

But sometimes, I will go ahead and put an idea out there and see where it lands. Quick adaptation and repetition of the idea with a slightly different angle can quickly lead to an idea that is moving closer to perfection, that is, actually effective.

What do you think? Would you develop something before or after letting it out to the public?

Manifesto for Agile Church Development

While not a software development, I appreciate the agile software development methodology which they use. I recently discovered the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, which is:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

I appreciate these principles and believe that they just need a slight reworking to be applicable to the church:

  • People and interactions over processes and tools
  • Effective discipleship over comprehensive programming
  • Leadership collaboration over denominational negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

How do you respond? What would you add, change or delete?

Open Source Liturgy Project – Day 2

We have started Day 2 of the Open Source Liturgy Project and I am looking forward to learning more about the technical platform and what is going to be next after being here. You can check out a little bit of the technical platform at http://wikigbod.org/wiki/tiki-index.php We are spending some time this morning discussing the baptism core.

Do you enjoy writing liturgy? Would you like to be a part of a development team that would write liturgy for particular contexts in Kansas? This might be rural, urban, mid-size, etc. I will be gathering a team for a retreat in the fall of 2009 to work on writing liturgy tailored to our context in Kansas. If you are interested in being a part of this project, please send me an email at andrew (dot) conard (at) cor (dot) org with “Open Source Liturgy” in the subject line.

I am excited about the potential for this project in being a part of renewal of the church and helping to bring revival to the state.