Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the BOM Mid Quad Training Event in Denver. Bishop Hagiya of The Pacific Northwest Conference who shared his dissertation research results around the 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?”
From in-depth interviews in response to this question, Bishop Hagiya found:
12 Key Leadership Traits of Effective United Methodist Pastors
- Excel in Emotional Intelligence
- Excel in Transformational Leadership – They see the gifts in others, name & cultivate those gifts, and unleash these gifts and people into the ministry & community
- Possess a deep well of faith in a Triune God, from which spring their values, behaviors, attitudes and decisions.
- Have a passion for their work in ministry, and are engaged and focused in their work.
- Possess a deep humility that stems from their allegiance to a higher authority & calling.
- All have mentors who have shaped their formation, leadership in ministry and provided trust and counsel.
- Demonstrate entrepreneurial traits and behaviors.
- Excel in oral & written communications. They are some of the top preachers of their annual conferences.
- Demonstrate resiliency in their personal & professional set-backs, and attribute such resiliency to their faith life and practice.
- Have a personal vision, and that vision does have an impact on the larger vision of the church where they serve.
- Understand systems theory and organizational development.
- Adapt to and are impacted by the local church’s situation and context.
You can download a PDF of Bishop Hagiya’s full presentation here.
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
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)
I recognize there is debate about how to determine what makes a clergy person effective.
Whatever criteria is used, when a clergy person is determined to be ineffective she or he should find another job before the end of the appointive year.
This doesn’t mean being kicked out of the church or Christian community.
It means helping people find a different path for their employment. That’s all.
As a newly ordained elder (clergy) in the UMC, this is what I want for myself. If I am not effective, help me to recognize that and find some other way to support myself and my family.
Some of the hoopla around guaranteed appointments is around the question – How do you determine what makes for an effective clergy person? That’s easy. Straight from paragraph 340 of the Book of Discipline, an effective clergy person will…
- love God and love their neighbor.
- preach, teach, lead worship and engage people in witness.
- provide spiritual guidance.
- marry and bury.
- visit people in their homes to provide care.
- practice integrity in maintaining confidences.
- be responsible for sharing baptism and holy communion.
- provide administration for the local church, annual conference and general church.
- be inclusive.
- live as a servant leader.
- organize the church to live out their faith in the world.
- equip others in the care and spiritual formation of others.
- work for unity in the church.
If a clergy person is gifted and effective in these things, there will be clear evidence in the church.
A clergy person with evidence of gifts and effectiveness will continue to be appointed regardless of her or his appointment being guaranteed.
I was watching the Al Jazeera Listening Post – Video this week and saw the following as their web video of the week:
I laughed to myself and thought, “What kind of videos are people making these days?”
Then I remembered a clip that I first saw at annual conference:
Is one more effective than the other? Only one of the two videos above has a clear desired outcome and a call to action for the viewer.
What makes an effective video? How can the church produce the best media possible?
This quote from Bishop Jones came at the Kansas East Residency Retreat in response to a question about what characterizes an effective clergy person.
Effective clergy lead congregations to increasing missional effectiveness.
I really appreciated this answer. I believe it is the right answer for the renewal of the denomination and for encouraging pastors in ways that are helpful.