There are clear indicators of effective clergy that would ensure that she or he would receive an appointment regardless of whether her or his appointment is guaranteed in the United Methodist Church. There are also churches that are more and less healthy. In April, the Connectional Table of the United Methodist Church suggested that there are five areas to be measured in a church:
- worship attendance
- disciples engaged in mission
- professions of faith
- mission giving
- spiritual / discipleship formation groups.
Unhealthy churches are those that are not breaking even or growing in these areas. Other, less official indicators include:
- Requesting that 3 of the last 5 appointed pastors move in less than two years.
- No clear mission or vision.
- Unwelcoming to first time guests.
What would you add to this list?
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.