847 leaders of the United Methodist Church (UMC) gathered last weekend for 2½ days of meeting together. (see prior posts for more about this.) Will it make a difference for the future of the UMC?
That is one of the questions. But first and foremost, will it make a difference in me? That is the fundamental question. Will I do my work differently? Will I view my superintending with different goals in mind? Will I live my discipleship in a more focused manner?
Why is my own response the first issue? There are several reasons. First, ultimately there is only one person I can change, me. I have the ability to adapt, grow, adjust, mature, and grow into the person God made me to be. This is my first responsibility.
Secondly, as I have learned about human systems, I’ve learned that when one person changes it affects the entire system. What I do truly makes a difference. So my changing will help change everything. (This is not unique to me, it is just as true for you!)
So maybe I am beginning to get it. I will in the next days and weeks seriously contemplate and strategize the ways I wish to change myself and my leadership. I will look for ways to empower the pastors and churches I serve. I will seek greater openness to God’s Spirit at work in our midst. When doubt and fear arrive, I will not run away, but turn to the one who has conquered the worst the world can throw at us.
So let me invite you to begin a conversation. (The “you” are the two or so people who read this blog.) What do you imagine as ways superintendents could better support, equip, and nurture change in your setting? If you could design the role of DS what would it look like? Would you do away with superintendents? Would you remake the role?
And if you have suggestion for this specific superintendent, lets hear them as well.
Help me, help all of us, to “get it!”