As the North Alabama Conference Cabinet approaches their series of meetings focusing on clergy appointments, Bishop Will Willimon and Central District Superintendent Rev. Ron Schultz paused for brief video-taped conversation about the approach the North Alabama Conference Cabinet is now taking in making clergy appointments.
Bishop Willimon explains, “North Alabama Conference is revolutionizing how clergy are appointed to our churches.”
He adds, “The purpose of this conversation is to let you in on the process that I and the Cabinet use to appoint leadership to our churches."
During the conversation they note the Cabinet begins the process by looking at each local church’s mission and ministry in its community. They then match pastoral leadership by looking at the fruit (results) of a clergy person’s ministry.
Rev. Shultz explains an innovation that has gotten positive feedback is the Triad process. This process has three District Superintendents consulting with pastors who may be moving to a new appointment. This is different than the historical approach when only one District Superintendent would meet with a pastor and then present that pastor and her or his ministry to the rest of the Cabinet. During this Triad consultation the Superintendents discuss the pastor’s ministry by looking at the benchmark statistics of his or her current appointment; the pastor’s strengths determined by the Strengths Finder test; the pastor’s spiritual gifts; and the pastor’s track record of ministry in past appointments.
Another important approach over the last few years is the First 90 Days training pastors and lay leadership attend in preparation of a new pastoral appointment. Following this training pastors are expected to write and follow a First 90 Days plan for their new appointments. District Superintendents use this plan to help supervise the pastors into a smoother transition at their new appointments.
Bishop Willimon and Rev. Schultz also note that to better help the appointment process, the Cabinet needs a clearer picture of each congregation’s mission and what each congregation is doing in its community in the name of Christ to make a difference.
Bishop Willimon adds, “You’ll note that you haven’t heard anything here about salaries, about all the possible criteria that one could appoint clergy on the basis of -- gender or seniority. We are really trying to focus upon the work that your congregation feels that God is calling you to do and how we can give you the pastoral leadership to enable you to do that work.”
Click the video link below to watch the entire conversation.