Missional appointment makingPosted: January 16, 2013
One of the interesting and unique things about being a United Methodist is that this time of year is the season when we love to talk, and do talk about appointments. It is a part of our heritage from our inception. Indeed, it is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of The United Methodist Church. The word we use is itinerancy, the practice instituted by John Wesley in 1746 when he appointed lay preachers whom he called helpers to definitive circuits.
Historically, before appointing helpers, Wesley asked three questions of those whom he would appoint:
Have they Faith? | Have they Gifts? | Have they Fruit?
These questions anchor us in scripture and in the Wesleyan tradition.
As we think together in this season between now and mid-April, these historic questions serve us well:
Have they Faith?
• Is the pastor’s call fresh and passionate?
• What is the pastor doing to intentionally deepen his or her relationship with Christ?
• What is the pastor doing to care for personal and family life?
Have they Gifts?
• Does the pastor have a sound understanding of and commitment to Wesleyan theology?
• Does the pastor effectively proclaim the Gospel?
• What are the pastor’s spiritual gifts and how is the pastor developing these gifts to serve the world for Christ?
Have they Fruit?
• How is our worship changing lives in Christ?
• What risks are we taking to reach new people for Christ?
• Is our church growing in mission and generosity?
Deeply rooted in Biblical theology we discover a God who not only calls, but also sends us. Throughout scripture God continually sends people to places where God needs leadership and transformation. Across the Nashville Area in the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences, districts are conducting Pastor Parish Relations Committee Training experiences. In the coming days, I will be offering information via this blog with regard to the process that is unfolding as it relates to the appointive process.