One of the realities of being a pastor in The United Methodist Church is that I am committed to ministry in which it is possible that I will travel from place to place. Each year all United Methodist pastors are appointed to a local church, with the hope to match the gifts of the pastor with the needs of the congregation and vice versa. Sometimes this involves a move and sometimes it does not. My candidacy mentor in the summer of 2008 what would equip me to lead in at various possible appointments after Resurrection. I was challenged by this question and will reflect on it here from time to time.
Let me be clear, I hope to continue to serve at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection for years. I am also clear that I am not called to be at Resurrection for my entire life in ministry. With that in mind, I want to think today about being an associate in a medium sized town after Resurrection.
In this appointment, I may work closely with the senior pastor and leaders of the church in all aspects of church life. I would also likely provide leadership for several ministry areas in the church. I would need to be flexible to respond to the needs of those ministry areas, even if they were not areas about which I was particularly passionate. Depending on the senior pastor, preaching on the weekend would be a more frequent occurrence and this skill would need to be developed. Involvement in the life of the community would be an important aspect of ministry.
For those of you who are currently serving as an associate in a medium sized town – what would you add?