June 5, 2010

Let's Talk Appointments Part III

I believe the implications of changing shall to may as it relates to "guaranteed appointments" will have a lot to with the way in which "good standing" is defined/measured and the relationship it has with effective ministry. John Meunier mentions on his blog that there has been conversation lately on using numbers as a way to measure clergy effectiveness. Some like it, some don't. I can almost guarantee that ineffective clergy do not like the idea of attendance, new members, confessions of faith, and baptisms as measuring sticks.

Maybe I'm way off on this but aren't those the signs of effective clergy and ministry? Numbers aren't everything but they certainly aren't nothing. I think numbers can be one of the easiest and most obvious signals of ministry impact and to disregard them with the mindset of "quality over quantity" is simply misguided. It seems difficult to me to read through the New Testament and not see how life changing discipleship is not related to the spread of the Gospel which in turn adds to the numbers.

If at least one of the measuring sticks for effective clergy is not tangible and there are not conferences/districts willing to address ineffective clergy then getting rid of "guaranteed appointments" is going to upset a lot of people for no reason.

And so I'm left wondering...Do "good standing" and effective mean the same thing?


Joe Garrison said...

I think numbers seems to be obviously ONE way to measure effectiveness. Obviously there are others. I look at it this way...

If you have a good (effective) ministry your numbers will grow and your church will be fruitful. If you are not effective, your numbers will shrink. (most of the time, I don't discount that there are some charismatic pastors that people just gravitate to that might be terribly opposite of the image of Christ to their congregation and therefore not effective).

I like using numbers as ONE way to measure effectiveness. It wouldn't be a bad idea to use other tools.

What if we had a "Rate Your Pastor" link on the UMC website. People could go anonymously and rate their pastor on different areas of his ministry (sermons, service, one on one ministry, biblical foundation etc). Kind of like "rate my prof" or "hot or not"...ok maybe not like "hot or not".

Maybe congregations should get more of a say in if they think their pastor is "effective".

"Effective" and "good standing" need to mean the same thing. Good Standing cannot simply mean that the pastor has not pissed of the UMC lately. It needs to mean that they are preaching the Word word of God and being Christ to their congregation and community. You can be a great Methodist and in "good standing" and still be terribly ineffective in preaching Christ to the people.

Ok, that was long...

Rev Craig Gommer said...

Matt, Thanks for your words and moving us into a discussion. I agree numbers are part of the equation but wonder what role continuing education plays. I know I did not learn all I needed in seminary. I was given a foundation but a lot of what I have come to know and learn has been "on-the-Job" training, testing, failing and trying something new. I think the UMC needs to develop con ed standards and offer them more regularly.
As a former paramedic, I had to keep up my con-ed and my skill level. If there was an area that needed attention each year, I was offered remedial training orsome other training to help in that area. I think that would go a long way to the idea of "effective" and "good standing."