District Superintendents have immense opportunities to shape and guide the ministries of clergy and congregations in enhancing and expanding the United Methodist witness within the bounds of their districts. The Lewis Center for Church Leadership works closely with superintendents to assist them in accomplishing their important goals. These resources have emerged from this collaboration.
Staff-Parish Relations Committee Resources
Clergy want and need good feedback to improve their ministries, but many have not experienced evaluation as a positive growth experience. Laity as well want to be helpful, but sometimes feel ill-equipped to be as helpful as they might be for their pastors. The Lewis Center offers four free documents to help inform the review process and the work of staff-parish relations committees.
- Effective and Ineffective Staff-Parish Committees (PDF)
- Theological Foundations for Evaluation (PDF)
- Types of Evaluation (PDF)
- Giving and Receiving Feedback (PDF)
Most denominations and congregations provide for a committee that is responsible for clergy support and evaluation. Both pastors and these committees often have misgivings about the clergy review processes of such groups. Clergy want good feedback to improve their ministries, but many have not experienced evaluation as a positive growth experience. Laity as well come to the review process with hesitancy since they themselves have not functioned as pastors.
The LPLI is a 360-degree pastoral leadership inventory the Lewis Center developed through over two years of field testing with 1,500 clergy. It is used with pastors at all stages of their ministry, including by boards of ordained ministry with provisional clergy to help them grow from readiness to effectiveness as they move toward ordination.
Videos Suitable for Charge Conference Use
- Why Worship Attendance Matters and Clues for Improving It (10 minutes)
- Why Giving Matters and Clues for Improving It (8 minutes)
- Why Community Engagement Matters (5 minutes)
- The New Realities of Engaging Newcomers (5 minutes)
- Engaging Young Adults (5 minutes)
Having good questions is a mainstay of the Lewis Center’s approach to leadership. Right Questions for District Superintendents (PDF) gives examples of questions other superintendents have used productively.
This online training course to help prevent clergy sexual misconduct is offered to meet the need of conferences for an online training resource. Even with regular quadrennial training that most conferences provide, conferences have persons who need placement between the training sessions or have clergy who cannot attend the scheduled training. Keeping Our Sacred Trust is intended to supplement the range of live training opportunities offered. The cost is usually paid by the clergy, though that is a decision of the conference.
From Lewis Center research on best practices in clergy mentoring and years of training clergy mentors for conferences, we offer a video tool kit to conferences to train their clergy mentors.Taking Clergy Mentoring to the Next Level includes video segments and documents conferences can use to do their own training. Available in group training and individual study versions.
How clergy end and begin their ministries in their appointments makes a major difference in their effectiveness and the congregation’s fruitfulness. The Lewis Center resource The Right Start: Beginning Ministry in a New Setting grew out of extensive research followed by years of on-site training. Available in Group Training and Pastor’s versions.
- 50 Ways to Improve Pastoral Transitions
- 50 Ways to Welcome New Pastor
- To the Point: Suggestions for Churches with a Young Pastor
- To the Point: Suggestions for Churches with a Single Pastor
- To the Point: Suggestions for Churches with a Clergywoman
- To the Point:Why Women Are Clergy
Each fall the Lewis Center issues a free report on the age of clergy in the United Methodist Church. This report permits conferences to track what is happening in their conferences as well as to see the big picture. Read or download the latest and past reports.
The Lewis Center is able to do a limited number of research projects each year for districts, including the Strategic Churches Analysis that many superintendents have found helpful. If you would like more information, contact Joe Arnold, research manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 885-8560.