Commitments and Understandings
The appointment process is based on the understanding that every pastor wants to serve and do well, and every congregation wants to faithfully serve God by making disciples for the transformation of the world. GNJ pastors have demonstrated their commitment and willingness to serve for the cause of Christ. Congregations have also demonstrated their passion to be the body of Christ. Given this set of understandings, the appointment process is based on these additional understandings:
Appointments are made to
- Serve God by building up the body of Christ and transforming the world.
- Spread scriptural holiness (personal faith and social change).
- Grow vital congregations.
- A calling based on an individual’s gifts, grace and demonstrated ability to lead and disciple a congregation as well as a congregation’s gifts, grace and demonstrated ability to receive a called leader and to be disciples of Jesus Christ who make new disciples.
- An opportunity for clergypersons and congregations to serve together to make and engage disciples in growing vital congregations.
- The Cabinet will consult with pastors and congregations and prayerfully consider the gifts and grace of each clergyperson and congregation individually.
- The Cabinet will work toward ensuring that urban, suburban and rural churches are given equal attention, and that clergywomen and clergy of color will be given equal opportunity to excel in all ministry settings.
- The Cabinet will consider appointments based on a pastor’s and a congregation’s track record for making and engaging disciples in ministry and mission.
- Pastors will be supported to excel in growing disciples and congregations where they are appointed.
- When a pastor is not bearing fruit, the conference will work with the clergyperson to develop her/his skills. If a pastor continues to demonstrate ineffectiveness, the conference will assist that clergyperson to identify and pursue a different ministry or calling.
- Most congregations respond well to clergy leadership by working with clergy to make and engage disciples. From time to time, a church will consistently be unable to effectively envision a new future based on current realities, work successfully with pastors, or effectively engage in faithful ministry and bear fruit. In these rare instances, congregations will be led through a comprehensive study about their future based on Paragraph 213 of the United Methodist Book of Discipline.