FROM THE BISHOP
JAMES R. KING, JR.
Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia!
I give thanks to God for you. There are so many wonderful and blessed ministries occurring because of your faithfulness.
THANK YOU! For loving!
THANK YOU! For giving!
THANK YOU! For taking care of yourself!
THANK YOU! For making disciples of Jesus Christ!
All active clergy and many laity are aware that this is appointment-making season. Some of the moves that the cabinet and I will consider are sensible and understandable. However there are many more appointment moves under consideration that may appear to be premature due the lack of clear communication and the lack of poor decision making.
Below is a list of random suggestions regarding how pastors can be more effective and continue in their appointments if that is the desire of the pastor.
- Stay centered in your call. Frame your baptismal certificate or read the covenant in the hymnal.
- Establish a disciplined life of prayer, Bible study, and get in a weekly support group (CLU).
- Prayerfully seek at least one clergy person who will serve as a coach/mentor. This is a person (or a groups of persons) whom you process most of your decisions with and who knows you well.
- You must have someone you trust to speak the truth to you in love.
- If you make a mistake own it and ask for forgiveness.
- After listening to your people, communicate a vision, purpose and some sense of direction.
- Meet with your Pastor Parish Relations Committee often. Quarterly meetings are a minimum. Invite honest feedback and share your goals, plans, and your understanding of the status quo.
- Have regular staff meetings (including part-time staff). Be especially sensitive to staff related to youth and music ministry. Be patient and wise when relating to traditions and customs of a congregation.
- Make sure you have time for yourself, family, and preparation for Sunday sermons. On Sunday morning, generally speaking, members will not be concerned about how renewed you are and all the urgent matters that competed for your sermon preparation time.
- Empower the laity. The more you preach and teach the laity about their baptismal responsibility and invite them to serve, the more everyone benefits.
Love the people, build trust, and help grow a Christlike world. Stay in your appointment as long as you can. It takes five to seven years to really become the pastor of the people.
I hope these thoughts will help some of you bypass the frequently encountered traps that can cause premature moves.
As we move forward as disciples of Jesus Christ during this Lenten season, I encourage you to consider four things.
- Why fast? It is important to remember that the Ten Timeless Values we have highlighted includes fasting. All of the values are to help us draw closer to God as children of God. Fasting should hopefully help us rely on God rather than flesh as the true source of life.
- One reason we fast is due to the fact that Jesus fasted and taught how to fast. As his followers we want to be obedient to his teachings.
- Fasting gives us permission to cleanse ourselves of the habits that distract from living a holy and faith-filled life.
- Prayerfully identify the attitudes and habits blocking your desire to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and let them go.
Do not forget to go to our website, www.sgaumc.org, to keep up with what is going on around the conference. Our Connectional Ministries staff is ready to assist you in communicating more effectively.
You are also invited to join me as I share plans, ideas, photo experiences, and encouragement. Follow me as I tweet at www.twitter.com/BishopJamesKing, or visit my blog at www.bishopking.org.
For a faster response when communicating with me by email, use firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, remember – God’s will for us is good. We must do the rest.
Growing a Christlike world.
James R. King, Jr.