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Leading Well

posted on January 30

As we approach the General Conference in May 2020 and all the possibilities that surround it, the pastors and the laity of the Pennyrile District need to be “leading well” throughout this process. There is enough angst and concern to go around and, as church leaders, we owe our congregations the very best information and guidance that we can provide so as to help the decision-making process that will have far-reaching impact throughout the entire church.

The Pennyrile District Leadership Team has discussed this situation and wants to provide you with some ideas of how to “lead well,” especially during difficult times!   The Rev. Dr. Scott Wilson put these thoughts on paper to be shared.

Please read these ideas and use them accordingly. There will be numerous political and personal agendas debated and discussed over the next few months; we must remember there is only one agenda we are supposed to be following - the agenda of Christ.

Rev. Scott C. Stith
Pennyrile District Superintendent

Leading Well in 2020: Concerning General Conference Conversations

As you have conversations around the upcoming General Conference 2020 in May,
here are some things to remember:

  • Make sure you share creditable information only. Do not share your personal opinions or agenda in your church gatherings. What the church needs is information that will aid them in making the best decisions for the congregation as a whole -  not making the decision that you think is correct.

  • Encourage people to do critical thinking and not group thinking.

    • Critical Thinking – the evaluation and analysis of an issue in order to form a personal decision.

    • Group Thinking – a group decision formed under the guidance or influence of  individual(s) that dominates and shapes the thinking of an entire group.

  • All voices matter. Make sure everyone is heard and their voice is respected.

  • Mediation language is helpful in leading the church as they work toward making decisions. A leader is to intervene in the discussion in order to help bring about a resolution.

  • Mean is unacceptable. There is no place for anyone to be mean in the discussions and decision-making process. Just because people disagree does not make it acceptable to treat one another with contempt. “We can agree to disagree, but we do not have to be disagreeable!”

  • Respond to the information and situation, Do Not React!

    • Responding involves forming an educated decision based on well researched information that is available.

    • Reacting involves initial feelings and thoughts derived from bits of information with little time spent on evaluating the entire situation.

  • Know all the options. Be well read when it comes to the entire issue. Don’t form an opinion or speak to the situation based on one article or press release. Read as much as you can from all parties so that you will know as much as possible before forming opinions or informing others.

  • Remember that only the General Conference can speak for the United Methodist Church. No proposal or special interest group can speak for the denomination. No local church or Bishop has the power to speak for the United Methodist Church. ONLY the General Conference has that power.

Rev. Dr. Scott Wilson
Cadiz UMC