Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Every year in the UMC bishops have that wonderful job of trying to appoint elders to various churches. Sometimes this works very well and sometimes, well, ummm... it just plain sucks.

Well I have an answer to the problems that arise... a new model for how a bishop might appoint pastors and increase the number of United Methodists in the meantime.

Nothing brings people in like a little pop culture sensability.

So I invite all of our currently active bishops to check this out and let's revolutionize the appointment system:

I Present "Elder Idol"

Check it out and comment on how you think this idea might get played out in our appointment system.


Thunder Jones said...

Anything would work better....

I like the idea of bishops making appointments, but does the Bishop of the Middle Tennessee annual conference (why not call them diocese?) really know what 1st UMC Cottontown needs? He just leaves it to the DS and they don't pay too much attention.

St.Phransus said...

that's a farily accurate picture i believe for the most part.

Thunder Jones said...

It is much different with RCC since they follow a stricter liturgical rite. How do you balance the authority of the episcopal office with the strains of the modern church in ecclessial appointments?

We Episcopalians have the churches form committees that select a rector and then the rector hire the associates and others. The bishop advises and accepts letters of transfer, but certainly doesn't appoint. Methodist bishops are certainly more powerful since they can move those who disagree with them into obscure parishes. Too powerful? I dunno. Especially since UMC bishops move around too. Are Methodists afraid of ecclesial commitment?

DogBlogger said...

Boy, this is a tough one. It's interrupted my thoughts several times during the day. I'm wondering if what we really need is more of a "Congregation Idol" approach: i.e., community of faith, y'all behave yourselves and prove you want to make disciples -- heck, maybe actually make a few -- and you'll get first pick at your next preacher.

gavin richardson said...

will simon cowell be there to dogg the contestants.. or do we have to find an equivalent in the faith world. i see joyce meyers as paula, joel osteen to say "dawg" or "awesome" & maybe the new and improved pat robertson to tell which pastors should be killed or wiped out by natural disaster.

Zoomdaddy said...

Before i withdrew my candidacy in the UMC, my reticence (sp?) about itineracy was a big question mark. Other denoms that have similar systems (free methodist, foursquare) work much more cooperatively. Basically, the church board, the appointee, and the appointer (DS, bishop, whatever s/he is called in the denom) all have to agree on the thing. There are no such strictures within the UMC. Of course, I was one of those weirdos who believed in turning all DS's into bishops putting an upper limit of the number of churches any one bishop could oversee (I think even 50 is too many, let's say 25). So in each annual conference the epsicopal repsonsibilities would be shared by all the former-DS's-now-bishops collegially, and allow for more personal interaction of the bishops with the local churches. But no one would ever listen to that. It actually might make a little bit of sense.

St.Phransus said...

being at a nazarene school i've listened intently to the differences in the structure of our wesleyan brothers and sisters and how they do things.

they do not have bishops, but their ds's act as bishops (mostly because they are a smaller denomination than we are). but i like what i know of their appointment system.

a church submits what they are looking for in a pastor, the ds gives them a list of potentials, the church then works it out with the pastor and THEY BOTH AGREE if they think it a good move and then ask that that pastor be appointed to the church by the district superintendent.

now i can see where problems could arise- if there are churches that unhealthy (racism, gender bias, conflict, etc..) then sometimes i feel that it be appropriate for certain pastors to be appointed that can help move a congregation to wholeness.

but their system isn't too shabby; not a whole lot different than the methodist, but maybe a bit more communal/trinitarian (which I LIKE).

John said...

I prefer the cage-fighting approach to pastoral appointments, just like we had back in Asbury's days.

Mark Youngman said...

crazy Brits

Andy B. said...

I must be lucky - the bishops and superintendents with whom I have worked have been nice people who listened to me. Hope my situation is not unusual. Obviously the people who complain the loudest are the ones who think they have been pushed around by the system. That kind of skews the discussion a bit.
Bishops are people too,
Andy B.