I have just returned from 3 days at Duke Divinity School as a part of the Episcopal Leadership Forum. We are a group of 22 UM bishops who meet twice a year in a continuing education context. One of the exercises they put us through was to reflect on what our individual priorities will be for the next 18 months. I found it to be welcome “balcony” time. For me two priorities leap to the forefront. Actually these are not new at all but continuations of ongoing work. (In addition, I want to assert that by their very nature of these priorities are flexible and subject to significant revision and morphing.) 1) To grow a learning organization that reaches a new generation for Christ. At a minimum there are four specific strategies that encompass this priority.
- Developing Cluster groups as learning communities
- District Superintendents learning a new job focused in coaching
- Conference Staff and Centers becoming more tightly focused on energizing and equipping local congregations
- Establishing a culture of accountability throughout the Conference system
- Developing a new generation of leaders for congregations and the conference
- Helping train leaders for the new post-Christendom age
- Moving continuing education from being a job “perk” for clergy to a focused part of ministry development on a voluntary basis