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Clergy Profile Question

posted on September 18

I am a pastor and don’t plan to change churches in the coming year so why should I use my valuable time to fill out the clergy profile?   
Let me answer that question as a District Superintendent that not long ago, as a pastor, would have quietly griped that the “conference” was giving me something else to do. 
First, filling out these profiles strengthens the connection that we value so much in the United Methodist Church.  How often have we said that conference or general church staff and leadership just don’t understand what it is like in the local church?  This is a significant resource and tool to help the leadership of the district and conference to understand who you are, your needs and what is going on in your local church or ministry.  It will take time to fill  out the profile, but I promise as the District Superintendent to prayerfully read over your submission.
Second, filling out the profile will honor Bishop Fairley.  As our spiritual leader Bishop Fairley feels that these profiles are essential for the larger work of the conference and church.  I think I know Bishop Fairley well enough to say that he does not want to give us busy work for the sake of busy work.  He wants all our pastors and churches focused on making passionate spiritual disciples.  He also feels that he needs more information at his disposal to make the best appointments possible.  Even if you aren’t planning to move this year, it allows him to look down the road for both you and the congregation. 
Third, filling out the profile helps each of us to reflect on where we are in our ministry.  I don’t know about you, but for me, there are times I get so focused on the work of ministry that I forget to step back and reflect on where I am in ministry.  We can choose to make this more than just another form to fill out. We can opt to make it a spiritual exercise, maybe even a means of grace.  If you have not already filled out the profile, I encourage you to pray that the Holy Spirit uses that time to speak to you. 
Lastly, even though now you don’t have plans to move, a lot of things can change between today and Annual Conference next June.  Having your profile submitted will allow the bishop and cabinet make well-informed decisions. 
Blessings as you fill out your profile.
-William Moore