Discipline ¶432

Print this page
  ¶  432. Criteria-Appointments shall take into account the unique needs of a charge, the community context, and also the gifts and evidence of God’s grace of a particular pastor. To assist bishops, cabinets, pastors, and congregations to achieve an effective match of charges and pastors, criteria must be developed and analyzed in each instance and then shared with pastors and congregations.
1. Congregations-The district superintendent shall develop with the pastor and the committees on pastor-parish relations of all churches profiles that reflect the needs, characteristics, and opportunities for mission of the charge consistent with the Church’s statement of purpose (¶ 421.1). These profiles shall be reviewed annually and updated when appropriate to include:
    a) The general situation in which a congregation finds itself in a particular setting: size, financial condition, quality of lay leadership, special needs for pastoral ministry, and history.
b) The convictional stance of the congregation: theology; prejudices, if any; spiritual life.
c) The ministry of the congregation among its people for the sake of the community: service programs, basis for adding new members, reasons for losing members, mission to community and world, forms of witness.
d) The qualities and functions of pastoral ministry needed to fulfill the mission, goals, and special needs of the congregation.
  2. Pastors-The district superintendent annually shall develop with the pastor profiles reflecting the pastor’s gifts, evidence of God’s grace, professional experience and expectations, and also the needs and concerns of the pastor’s spouse and family. These profiles shall be reviewed annually and updated when appropriate to include:
    a) Spiritual and personal sensibility: personal faith, call and commitment to ordained ministry, work through the institutional church, integration of vocation with personal and family well-being, lifestyle.
b) Academic and career background: nature of theological stance, experience in continuing education, professional experience, record of performance.
c) Skills and abilities: in church administration, leadership development, worship and liturgy, preaching and evangelism, teaching and nurturing, counseling and group work, ability to work in cooperation, ability in self-evaluation, and other relational skills.
d) Community context: the ability of the pastor to relate effectively to his or her community setting, such as rural, town, urban, suburban, and so forth.
e) Family situation.  
  3. Community Context-The district superintendent may develop community profiles with the pastor and the committee on pastor-parish relations. Sources of information for these profiles could include: neighborhood surveys; local, state, and national census data; information from annual conference committees on parish and community development; and research data from the Connectional Table and other Church agencies. Profiles may be reviewed annually and updated when appropriate to include:
    a) General demographic data and trends including age, sex, and racial-ethnic composition of the community.
b) Economic trends, including the incidence of poverty.
c) Projected community changes.
d) Other sociological, economic, political, historical, and ecumenical aspects of the community surrounding the church.