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.