New Leadership Training

Date Posted: 10/27/2016

On Saturday October 15, about 300 newly elected leaders gathered at First United Methodist Church in Conroe for a day of learning and reflection.  Bishop Scott Jones began the day with a presentation on “Clarity of Purpose.” He reminded the group of TAC leaders that our mission as United Methodists is clearly stated in the Book of Discipline:
¶ 120. The Mission-The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Local churches and extension ministries of the Church provide the most significant arenas through which disciple-making occurs.
In 2010, the Council of Bishops/Connectional Table issued a call to action recognizing that disciple making occurs at the local church level. They challenged the church “To redirect the flow of attention, energy, and resources to an intense concentration on fostering and sustaining an increase in the number of vital congregations effective in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
Bishop Jones shared that this focus on congregational vitality must be accompanied by higher performance expectations at all levels especially worship, preaching, and lay/clergy leadership.

He also emphasized the need for accountability based on measurable outcomes including bishops. He warned that our current culture and practices are resulting in overall decline that is toxic and constricts our missional effectiveness.
Bishop Jones affirmed the TAC 3 areas of focus

  • Investing in the Young
  • Leadership Development
  • Developing Missional Congregations by New Churches and Revitalization
He committed to working on raising the additional $85,000 to meet a matching grant for the Emerging Leaders Endowment by February, 2017. 
Dr. Lovett Weems, Director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary continued the theme of the importance of remembering our purpose with his presentation, Leading into the Future: Aligning Our Energy and Efforts.
He told the leaders that their role is to be a steward of the United Methodist witness within the bounds of the Texas Conference. He stated that our leaders are often guilty of losing sight of our vision and mission and functioning on the task level to get done the task that are needed. He encouraged leaders in all levels and functions to put the goal of creating vital congregations in front of all that they do so that all resources are directed toward creating vital congregations to make disciples. He reminded the gathering that fruitfulness is a biblical concept and an expectation for results should be established.
The afternoon session by Dr. Weems was titled Collaborative Leadership for Innovation.
Collaboration is important because it:
  1. Gains wisdom
  2. Increases power
  3. Breaks down dividing walls
  4. Develops leaders
The process of collaboration should include those inside the group, across groups, key individuals and stakeholders. Using the experience and knowledge across all those inputs can create an” innovative approach far beyond what just you or your group could have imagined.”

Dr. Weems pointed out our Wesleyan understanding of salvation – that it is not an end static result but a dynamic process that is ongoing throughout our lives and beyond. The approach to work as a church should incorporate that same understanding of a dynamic process.

He encouraged the leaders to envision the goal that is sought and to be innovative and flexible to reach that intended goal. That may require a change in gears, “trying something new or untested and to correct the course as we learn and innovate.”

Presentation files from the event.