In 2009, the leadership of the Texas Annual Conference faced an alarming trend.
The percentage of clergy under the age of 35 in the United Methodist Church had declined from 15% to 5.25% over the last 25 years. The situation in the TAC was hardly better: only 5.9% of commissioned or ordained elders were under 35.
This circumstance was critical for a variety of reasons:
• Congregations tend to attract members who mirror their pastor
• In 2009, 34% of current full-time clergy were eligible for retirement
• The average age of clergy in the TAC was 58
With the establishment of the Emerging Leaders Endowment, this trend has begun to reverse.
What is the Emerging Leaders Endowment?
The Emerging Leaders Endowment serves to create and sustain programming that ensures the United Methodist witness to the Gospel will remain vital and dynamic.
The Emerging Leaders Endowment supports the theology and practice of the United Methodist Movement while developing a new generation of leaders.
• To identify and recruit young, gifted, diverse people for ordained ministry within the Texas Annual Conference
• To develop and nurture their ability to serve as transformational leaders
• To equip them with practices and tools to sustain them over a lifetime of ministry
Learn more about the programs of the Emerging Leaders Endowment.
Texas Youth Academy
Why an endowment?
The Emerging Leaders programs are critical to our mission to equip congregations to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world to the glory of God. Currently these programs are funded through a combination of grants, special gifts, and allocations from various sections of the Texas Annual Conference budget. We must have a more permanent funding model to sustain this essential initiative.
The Emerging Leaders Endowment will be fully funded when it reaches $12 million. This corpus will permanently underwrite the expenses of the Emerging Leaders programs, thus eliminating the need for financial support from the Annual Conference. The endowment is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of lay and clergy leaders who maintain financial oversight of its growth and work with the Bishop to ensure funds are spent for the benefit of its programs. The funds are invested in the Texas Methodist Foundation.
*totals as of February 28, 2018
For more information about the Emerging Leaders Endowment or ways in which to support it, please contact Mary Linda Portner, Director of Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713.533.3712.