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Mission Strategists

Recently I met with the District Superintendents (Don Scott – Central, Bob Holloway – East, Ginger Bassford – North, Carol Woods – West, and Rankin Koch - South) to review the pioneering work we did on realigning the work of District Superintendents around the mission field.  To refresh memories: for the last four years the Exodus Project has reshaped the work of the conference to center around our mission of “…making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world…” In this reshaping, the job description of the district superintendent has also been redefined.  One of the key ways a DS carries out our mission is by being the “Chief Mission Strategist of the district.” The intent is to move District Superintendents away from administrative maintenance and on to mission.  This is no easy task because the Disciplinary mandates still have to be met (many, most, of them involving administrative maintenance) even while we seek to engage DSs as Mission Field Strategists.  (We really are building the bridge while we walk on it!) We have identified and been working on a number of elements that shift the focus of a DS’s job to being a mission strategist.  1)  Lifting up mission field questions/issues with local churches; 2) identifying and engaging missional outreach needs for the District as a whole; 3) guiding congregations to examine their future - i.e. legacy, critical mission, regional, etc. - and assisting them to strategically engage that future; 4) collaborative learning both within the District (lay and clergy) as well as with the various Ministry Centers (Evangelism & Church Growth, Leadership, and Mission Support); 5) recruitment of potential new clergy and lay leaders; and 6) the development and deployment of resources (personnel, financial, energy, time, etc.). A District Superintendent as chief mission strategist for a district works with each church to repeatedly ask the question:  “How are you engaging the mission field?”  All this is done with the intention to engage and energize local churches to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.