At a recent Grand Rapids Metro Ministry pastors forum, I had the opportunity to share a vision for my ministry as a district superintendent and for the Grand Rapids District as a whole.
If you read about the responsibilities of a district superintendent in the Book of Discipline, you might think that the mission of the district superintendent is to supervise churches and clergy, help with conflict management, oversee the work of the district, manage clergy deployment, communicate and interpret conference programs, and raise ministry share money. In other words, keep churches happy and the money flowing!
I envision another mission for my ministry. I hope to create an environment of appropriate missional risk and resource congregational leaders in their task of making disciples for the transformation of the world. That includes:
- articulating a vision
- assessing readiness for transformation
- identifying leadership
- developing and deploying leadership
- supporting leadership
Sharing your mission statements at our church conferences this fall is a first step toward articulating a vision for our congregations that will enable both disciple-making and mission outreach.
Here are my hopes and dreams for you as pastors:
- I hope you will be bold and courageous.
- I hope you will dream big.
- I hope you will be willing to risk.
- I hope you will lead your congregations by trying new things and engaging your communities.
- I hope you will work collaboratively with each other, churches of other denominations, non-profits and businesses.
- I hope you will be able to separate strategic and operational issues.
- I hope you will think outside the box and feel free to challenge current ways of doing things.
- I hope you will set and maintain boundaries, for that is how you stay healthy and creativity and unleash imagination and passion in others.
- I hope you will ensure that everyone in your churches is stretching and growing into their God-given potential.
- I hope you will cultivate emotional intelligence, be a non-anxious presence, and see the both the intellectual and emotional sides of issues.
- I hope you will be self-differentiated.
- I hope you will take care of yourself: mind, body and spirit.
- I hope you will lead with your heart and be in touch with your soul.
The following are hopes for my ministry:
- I hope to be in constant communication with you.
- I hope to empower you to do great things in your churches.
- I hope to encourage you to nurture your creativity.
- I hope to help you focus on making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
- I hope I don’t get so caught up in the administrative side of being a district superintendent that I lose my spirit and fail to lead with my heart.
- I hope to be a pastor to you and your family.
As always, I welcome your responses and reflections. Please know that I am praying for each one of you and your churches as you prepare for the beginning of a new program year.