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1 Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee Practical Tips on Conferencing for Effective Ministry.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee Practical Tips on Conferencing for Effective Ministry."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee Practical Tips on Conferencing for Effective Ministry

2 2 Resources The Book of Discipline The Book of Discipline (Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 2008) Pastor-Parish Relations: Connecting the Pastor, Staff, and Congregation, Pastor-Parish Relations: Connecting the Pastor, Staff, and Congregation, Betsey Heavner (Cokesbury, 2008) A Survival Guide for Working with Humans: Dealing with Whiners, Back-Stabbers, Know-It-Alls and Other Difficult People, A Survival Guide for Working with Humans: Dealing with Whiners, Back-Stabbers, Know-It-Alls and Other Difficult People, Gini Graham Scott (New York: AMACOM, 2004) Managing the Non-Profit Organization, Managing the Non-Profit Organization, Peter Drucker (Butterworth-Heinemann, 2004) AMACOM is the publishing arm of The American Management Association.

3 3Agenda Reality Check Reality Check Christian Conferencing Christian Conferencing Unity and Mission Unity and Mission Human Resources 101: Managing and Nurturing Staff Human Resources 101: Managing and Nurturing Staff Human Resources 102: Managing Conflict with Integrity Human Resources 102: Managing Conflict with Integrity Sustainability Sustainability

4 4 Reality check S/PPR chair and members Will possess a broad and diverse set of gifts and graces May have little understanding of their responsibilities as outlined in The Book of Discipline Will be at very different places in their faith journey May not have fully internalized the mission and purpose of the church aka., The Great Commission

5 5 Reality check S/PPR chair and members S/PPR chair and members (continued...) May at times seem to view the church as a business, a community service organization or civic club May possess little or no organizational/business human resources/personnel management experience Will often tend to look to the past rather than toward the future Will often prefer to perpetuate the status quo until crisis forces change

6 6 Reality check S/PPR chair and members S/PPR chair and members (continued...) Will at times surprise you (and, perhaps, even themselves) with their spiritual ability to grasp how God may be moving in new ways within their congregation! There is a tremendous opportunity to promote mutual spiritual exploration and organizational development through engaging in Christian Conferencing

7 7 Christian Conferencing “While there are appropriate and useful business-like practices that apply to church life, Christian practices distinguish the church as the church. In the United Methodist tradition, how we meet and work together is important. “Christian Conferencing” involves listening not only to each other, but also listening intently for the will of God in any given task or conversation. This makes prayer essential in the midst of “business as usual.” As Christians, we are called to “speak the truth

8 8 Christian Conferencing in love.” This is a special way to speak in which we treat one another as if each of us were Christ among us. As a spiritual leader in your ministry area, you have the privilege and opportunity to teach and model these practices. By remembering that each of us is beloved of God and discerning the presence of God in all that the church does, every task becomes worshipful work.” - “Pastor-Parish Relations: Connecting the Pastor, Staff, and Congregation”

9 9 Unity & Mission The Church Council is responsible for establishing a vision for how the local church fulfills the mission of the church Carefully establish written goals and objectives with the S/PPR committee and Church Council that will support that vision and review progress toward those goals on a regularly scheduled basis Practical Tip 1: Often it would be best to do this in a work session with the S/PPR and Church Council chairs after they have been in consultation with other key committee chairs

10 10 Unity & Mission Practical Tip 2: Develop SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Resourced, Time-bound Practical Tip 3: Be careful to set realistic goals that don’t over-stretch the capabilities and resources of your staff, your chairs, your congregation and yourself Practical Tip 4: Covenant with the S/PPR chair and Council Chair to meet once a quarter for spiritual reflection and a formal progress review

11 11 Human Resources 101: Managing & Nurturing staff Once a clear set of organization goals and objectives have been established, spend time with the S/PPR chair reflecting how best to share those with staff based on the size, history and culture of the local congregation Practice Tip 1: Job descriptions should be established for all non-clergy positions and should be formally reviewed and approved by the S/PPR committee annually Practice Tip 2: It is important to set annual goals with – not for – your staff in consultation with the S/PPR chair and committee and ask key staff to submit an annual self evaluation prior to preparing their annual evaluation (in concert with the S/PPR chair and committee)

12 12 Human Resources 101: Managing & Nurturing staff Practice Tip 3: Encourage the chair to remind the committee members that their authority exists in committee and that it is inappropriate for individual members of the committee to engage staff on personnel/management issues on a one-on-one basis without formal authorization from the committee as a whole and consultation with the pastor. Staff issues identified by individual committee members should be directed to the pastor first and then, if further resolution is required to the S/PPR chair.

13 13 Human Resources 101: Managing & Nurturing staff Equally important is to prepare professional development plans for yourself and members of your staff Practice Tip: Identify training needs within yourself and your staff and work with your S/PPR chair and committee to identify cost effective workshops and seminars offered through the conference, local colleges, Wesley Institute, United Methodist colleges, online schools or professional organizations (e.g., Local Bar Association, AMA, SHRM)

14 14 Human Resources 102: Managing Conflict With Integrity Keep the focus on ministry goals and objectives – and not on personality - in all dealings with the S/PPR chair, committee and staff Encourage the S/SPPR committee and staff to model Christian community Act with integrity and transparency toward the S/PPR committee, congregation and staff even when the news is unfavorable, difficult or very bad – you’ll gain credibility in the long run Avoid “Management Override” – never, ever massage facts or figures to promote your own goals and ambitions even with the best of intentions

15 15 Human Resources 102: Managing Conflict With Integrity Make an agreement with the S/PPR chair that they will not permit staff “end runs” to the committee and commit in return that you will fully and timely disclose issues with staff (especially those with lengthy seniority and/or deep relationships within the congregation) Remember that you are directly or indirectly their spiritual leader – care for them as if they are God’s children - because they are! Finally, if professional separation is inevitable as a last resort - make absolutely certain that it is not a surprise to the S/PPR chair, committee and especially the affected staff member

16 16 Human Resources 102: Managing Conflict With Integrity Do your level best to develop a transition plan for an affected staff member with the S/PPR chair and committee well ahead of termination or resignation and be certain to clear actions with a reputable attorney experienced in employment law within the appropriate legal jurisdiction

17 17 Sustainability One measure of a congregation’s spiritual health is the number of members in pre-candidacy and candidacy Despite the current trend of oversupply (more provisional candidates than pastoral openings), demographic trends will eventually prevail and a shortage will occur This is also a common concern in many professions including medicine and business

18 18 Sustainability The majority of S/PPR committees are not aware of their responsibility to “enlist, interview, evaluate, review, and recommend annually to the charge conference lay preachers and persons for ordained ministry and to enlist and refer to the General Board of Global Ministry persons for candidacy for missionary service….” - The Book of Discipline(2008) ¶258.2g(9), (p.182)

19 19 Sustainability Practice Tip 1: Discuss ways that you and your S/PPR chair can challenge the S/PPR committee and congregation to identify inspired disciples with the gifts and graces to undertake the journey to apostleship Practice Tip 2: Remind your chair, the committee and congregation that the only way to insure high quality pastoral leadership in the future is to develop a robust enlistment process now!

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