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)

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.

Blog Reboot: An Ideal Target Person (2 of 4)

I have been using Lift as a tool to help restart this blog and I thought I would share with you some of that process. One of the steps is identifying an ideal target person – someone for whom this blog is written. So, here goes:

The ideal target person for this blog is Methodist clergy, church staff or committed layperson.

Q: What are they passionate about?

  • They are passionate about spiritual renewal in the people and congregations of the United Methodist Church.
  • They care deeply about introducing people to Jesus and helping others grow in their faith.

Q: What are their goals?

  • They want to be effective in their ministry in the local church.
  • They want to have a fulfilling personal and professional life

Q: What are their fears?

  • They are afraid that they have to be on the extreme right or left to find theological companions on their journey.
  • They are afraid they do not have the resources they need to be effective.
  • They are afraid that the United Methodist church is doomed.
  • They are afraid that they are the only ones that don’t have it all figured out

Q: Why should they care about your blog?

They should care about my blog because they will find:

  • resources which they may need for effectiveness
  • encouragement and guidance to be fruitful in ministry,
  • examples from someone who has gone before them in ministry
  • new ideas for day to day life

So, dear reader, does this describe you? What is on target? What is missing?

Perhaps, most importantly, what are your answers to some of these questions?

Perspective on Capacity from Ray Pitman (3 of 3)

Rockhurst University

Image via Wikipedia

I have had the privilege of spending time with Ray Pitman, a member of Resurrection, over the past several months. Several years ago, I officiated at the funeral for his wife, Betty, and we reconnected this summer when I lead worship at Leawood one Saturday night. I found his perspective on capacity to be particularly helpful as presented to an executive MBA class at the Helzberg School of Management at Rockhurst University.

As drinking glasses exist in different sizes, people have varying capacities in life and work. If you fill a glass to the point of overflowing it won’t do any good to keep putting water in it. When your own glass is overflowing you have to be able to recognize that and make sure that you are surrounded by other people who have some additional capacity.

Fruitfulness: Ministry Audits (1 of 4)

Frosted tree outside my local church

Image by jcoterhals via Flickr

It may be common practice to have the financial books of a local church to be regularly audited.

Does the leadership of your congregation ever conduct ministry audits for fruitfulness?

What would it look like to determine the fruitfulness of a particular ministry area in the church – small groups, UMW, a worship service?

Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results – Review

I recently just finished Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results by Lovett H. Weems, Jr. and Tom Berlin. Along with other members of the senior staff, I read this in preparation for our semi-annual retreat today. I have been considering what it fruitful and effective ministry is like, especially in response to Kevin Watson’s post, Further Thoughts on Measuring Effective Ministry. I appreciated many of the principles put forth in this book. Here is a brief summary:

  1. Fruitfulness is part of the character of God and the story told throughout scripture.
  2. There is a clear difference between business and fruitfulness.
  3. Always be clear about why you are doing anything in the life of the church, i.e. We have worship each week, so that
  4. Alignment between God’s vision and the vision of the leadership is essential for fruitfulness.
  5. Capturing a creation story for an existing congregation can catalyze fruitfulness.
  6. The entirety of God sized visions aren’t always revealed at the outset.
  7. Fruitfulness is enhanced by the governing board, church staff and the congregation being on the same page about vision
  8. As a church leader, paying attention to how you care for yourself is of utmost importance.
  9. God gives the growth

Perhaps most helpful, I found a clear way to consider fruitful leadership:

“Fruitful leaders care about results because results are ways to go beyond merely filling a pastoral role to active participation in seeking results that we are convinced emerge from the gospel we preach.” (xvi, Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results)

In the words of LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow, “But you don’t have to take my word for it…”