The Appointment ProcessPosted: March 5, 2021
This week, the Nashville Area Cabinet met to continue the work of the appointive cabinet for this conference year. We began by praying for each pastoral family and each congregation, seeking the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. We are far too mindful of our own human shortcomings as we do this work for we “see through a glass darkly.”
Still, it is the task for which we have been called and which we believe offers us the best opportunity to give the best leadership available to the congregations under our care. Over the last several weeks, District Superintendents have been in consultation with pastors and congregations seeking wisdom and understanding for the work that is before us. We ask for your prayers.
Perhaps you will recall reading the covenant around which we order our lives. The following exerpt relates to our appointive work:
Remember that we belong to the Annual Conference and, as so, our individual contribution to Cabinet Work is toward the economy of the whole. The mission of the Church is our first priority. In our appointive work, we hold these convictions in common and allow them to characterize our work:
- We cannot do enough consultation.
- It is better to make no appointment than to make the wrong appointment.
- We will only reward those who have been fruitful with the responsibility they have been given.
In all our work, we will maintain the practice and spirit of confidentiality by adopting the following practices:
- Hold all cabinet meeting conversations in strictest confidence unless/until permission is granted to share information with others.
- Hold all personal conversations between the bishop and cabinet members in strictest confidence unless/until permission is granted to share information with others.
- Ensure that Administrative Assistants hold conversations with the superintendents and communications between superintendents and episcopal office in strictest confidence.
- Embrace the most confidential use of technology for cabinet and district office communications.
Always during this season, I am reminded of God’s call to Abraham in Genesis 12.
Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great so that you will be a blessing.
From the beginning of the Methodist Movement, pastors have been sent. It is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of the United Methodist Church. Since 1746 when John Wesley appointed lay preachers whom he called “helpers” to definitive circuits, we have followed this practice. I suspect that sometime in the future, this practice will be modified to address the changes in life patterns of 21st-century people. Until then, we continue to practice the gift of itinerancy.
May each of you be a blessing in the places God has called you.