Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Thank you for your patience while this year’s Shared Ministry Assessment tool was under development. The NEUMC cabinet, in consultation with the Board of Ordained Ministry, is in the process of aligning and simplifying the process of shared assessment that shapes conversation among church leaders, pastors, and District Superintendents. Next year we hope for an even “shorter and sweeter” discussion format.
This is sacred work, meant to support and assess the expression of God’s gifts through the ministries of our churches and pastors. For the Pastor Parish Relations Committee, it creates an opportunity to pause, looking back at how the congregation has responded to God’s call to live and love as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ in the past year. The questions are designed to support emerging clarity about who God is calling you to be and what God is calling you to do right here, right now.
For clergy, these conversations are to support, evaluate and document your ministry as it develops in each appointment’s context. Each year’s materials form the basis of your annual meeting with the District Superintendent. They are also resources in the Bishop’s appointment-making process. Summaries of the shared ministry assessments over a clergy person’s years of ministry will form a portfolio to be used in the new 8-year ministry self-assessment (2016 BOD paragraph 349.3). The self-assessment process is being developed by the Board of Ordained Ministry in consultation with the cabinet and with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
Together you create a covenant of expectation supporting and holding accountable lay and clergy partners in the covenant.* This covenant forms as you articulate insights about your wider community, set priorities to live into the vision God opens before you, identify resources available, and set benchmarks that give form to ministry. Thus, assessment is not based on how “happy” people in the congregation are, but on specifically on what is being learned and accomplished as plans for ministry develop. Good assessment depends on clear expectations. We will provide ongoing support to you in developing these plans.
May God bless the sacred space that is created as you enter conversation together.
*”Watching Over One Another in Love: A Wesleyan Model for Ministry Assessment” by Gwen Purushotham.