¶ 404. Duties of Bishops and District Superintendents-Bishops and superintendents share in the full ministry as ordained elders. The body of Christ is one; yet many members with differing functions are all joined together in the one body (1 Corinthians 12:28).
1. Bishops are elders in full connection who are elected from the elders and set apart for a ministry of general oversight and supervision (¶ 401). As followers of Jesus Christ called to servant leadership, bishops are authorized to guard the faith, order, liturgy, doctrine, and discipline of the Church; to seek and be a sign of the unity of the faith; to exercise the discipline of the whole Church; to supervise and support the Church’s life, work, and mission throughout the world; and to lead all persons entrusted to their oversight in worship, in the celebration of the sacraments, and in their mission of witness and service in the world. Bishops carry a primary responsibility to support and encourage the ministry of all Christians. They share with other bishops in the supervision of the whole Church, encouraging and supporting all baptized people in the exercising of their gifts and ministries, praying for them, and proclaiming and interpreting to them the gospel of Christ. Bishops are to be prophetic voices and courageous leaders in the cause of justice for all people. Bishops are also authorized to appoint ordained clergy to their responsibilities, consecrate, ordain, and commission persons in ministry to the Church and world.
2. District superintendents are elders in full connection appointed by the bishop to the cabinet and assigned to responsibilities of oversight and supervision within a district and in the entire annual conference (¶ 401). A servant leader who serves as an extension of the oversight of the bishop, the district superintendent is authorized to fulfill those responsibilities designated in the Book of Discipline under the supervision of the resident bishop.