2013 Quadrennial Training of the UMC Focuses on Adaptive Leadership

Date Posted: 1/24/2013

John Wesley started a movement - not a church. How do we get moving again?


This is the adaptive challenge facing the United Methodist Church today. How do we become relevant again in a fast moving, changing world with a generation of young people who have no church? And yet, they seek meaning; they have a need to be part of something bigger; they yearn to serve.


It’s not just the young who need the connection with the movement - many older Christians express a desire to re-ignite the fire they once felt. They yearn for the Holy Spirit to fill their hearts, to be the hands and feet of Christ but don’t feel their churches are stoking that fire.



Adaptive leadership is not a program; it’s a way to lead that includes a lot of listening and collaboration. There are no instant answers to the challenges facing the United Methodist Church today and the way to re-ignite the spirit may be different from one church to another. It does call for leadership, both clergy and laity, to think differently about their own leadership skills and styles.



Once clergy and lay leaders learn the process of adaptive leadership, together they can identify the adaptive challenges facing churches across the connection.


Rev. Katy Ware shares her view of one challenge:



Rev. Lance Richards asks “What would it look like if the United Methodist Church was known as “the church that loves children?”



2013 Quadrennial Training Event of the United Methodist Church

A team of 18 members from the Texas Annual Conference including pastors, lay leaders and staff met in Nashville last week to learn more about adaptive leadership and how it can be used to further God’s kingdom. In many ways the TAC is further along in this learning process than other conferences, however, there is a lot of work to be done. The pastors in attendance became very aware that the climate in the TAC is much more supportive of risk taking. They experience an expectation to try new methods of reaching out into their communities and making disciples of Christ. They expressed appreciation for Bishop Huie’s leadership in creating that climate.


Bishop Huie is encouraged by the willingness of both clergy and laity to think outside the box. She states, “I am reminded of Romans 8: 18-19, In my opinion whatever we may have to go through now is less than nothing compared with the magnificent future God has planned for us. The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own.”