Associates in Advocacy
Reconciliation and Restoration Where Possible
It is that season again, appointment season! This is the Cabinet’s time to shine, a time to remobilize to make Disciples, the time to place the best pastors available in the churches where their gifts and graces can help the most. Despite what Bishop Solomon implied with his Appointment Game, the larger number of assignments you all will make relate to experienced pastors who are not outside the main stream.
In this letter, I want to discuss how an appointment change is announced. In my years, I have seen it done several ways. The best is always when the superintendent made the announcement, in person, at the church where the change is to occur. There are three reasons for that.
One, who is making the change? The Cabinet, the ones who embody the episcopal office. If anyone else makes that announcement, it appears that they may be the authority to make a change instead of the Cabinet. As a bishop you surely do not want to give the impression that anyone but you set that change. The congregants can then be assured that you really are in charge and that the change is the result of a larger vision for the conference.
Two, all changes have a degree of emotion involved, everything from glee to rage to despair, on the part of the pastor, SPRC, and key church leaders (often the ones with the deepest pockets). Letting anyone but the superintendent announce the change opens the door to releasing those emotions in public. Avoid the potential of unnecessary conflict within the church and let the superintendent be the appropriate one bear the consequences.
Three, only the superintendent can speak with authority about the concern of the Cabinet to provide a new pastor. No one else can reassure the congregation that they will be getting a new pastor at the proper time of change and that the current pastor will be taken care of for his/her next appointment.
I have horror stories about situations where the superintendent did not do it. Besides, they are finally responsible and should have the courage of their convictions Or you could do it. Since we are not waiting anymore for conference, have the DS do it.
In the covenant of the clergy,
Rev Jerry Eckert, AIA contact person
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.