Resources for District Superintendents

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.

A District Superintendent’s First Year

A District Superintendent's First YearThis invaluable audio resource shares best practices and strategies for new District Superintendents. Topics include:

  • Opportunities and Challenges before Moving Day
  • Making the Most of the Summer Months
  • The Charge Conference Season
  • The Appointment Making Season
  • Findings and Recommendations

Staff-Parish Relations Committee Resources

A District Superintendent's First YearClergy 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.

Clergy EvaluationImage of the word "Accountability" written on a typewriter

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.

LPLI, the Lewis Pastoral Leadership Inventory™Logo for LPLI

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

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Right Questions for District Superintendents

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.

Keeping Our Sacred TrustLogo for Keeping Our Sacred Trust

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.

Clergy MentoringTaking Clergy Mentoring to the Next Level: Group Training cover

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.

These free resources can help clergy and congregations make good transitions.Picture of a brick church with open doors

Clergy Age ReportsCover of the Clergy Age Trends Report

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.

Pastoral  and Congregational Vitality MatrixPicture of four color squares arranged in a matrix
Sometimes it helps to have a framework to differentiate pastors and congregations to get insights for good pastor/congregation matches. The Pastoral Vitality Matrix and the Congregational Vitality Matrix provides such a framework and may offer valuable clues and insights.

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