Top 13 Characteristics of Effective Clergy

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.

Top 8 Reasons to End Guaranteed Appointments in the UMC

If I could change one thing in the United Methodist Church today, I would end guaranteed clergy appointments. Here are the top 10 reasons to end this practice:

8. Ineffective clergy will be more easily removed from leading a United Methodist church.

7. Effective clergy will be responsible for a increasing number of churches.

6. The circumstances that called for guaranteed appointments have changed.

5. A guaranteed job can foster complacency.

4. Provisional clergy would not be refused ordination based on availability of an appointment.

3. Continuing to do things the same way will not bring different results.

2. It would put an end to the advice to “Be a pastor only if you can’t imagine yourself doing anything else.”

1. Over time, the overall effectiveness and competency of clergy in the United Methodist Church will increase thereby aiding the church in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.