February 23, 2010
We made some changes in the cluster system, which is our primary structure for pastoral training and accountability. One change involves staffpersons.
Previously, we required all licensed ministers–senior pastors and staffpersons–to attend monthly cluster meetings. In some cases, staffpersons attended the same cluster as the senior pastor. In other cases, staffpersons attended a cluster with other persons in their area of specialty–a youth cluster, a pastoral care cluster, a cluster for music ministers, etc.
Now, we only require that senior pastors attend cluster meetings. But we don’t want to neglect training for staffpersons.
As a substitute for staffpersons, we are holding four “summits” in the coming months. These are two-day events designed for ministers in specific areas of specialization.
April 26-30: UB Youth Workers Summit. This annual meeting goes back a number of years. It is not limited to staffpersons. Rather, UB churches are invited to send their “lead” youth worker, whether on the payroll or not.
May 6-8: Worship Summit. This new event is designed for staffpersons who focus on areas related to worship and music.
May 17-19: Children’s Ministry Leaders Summit. This new event is for persons who specialize in working with children. Again, it is not limited to staffpersons. As with the Youth Workers Summit, it’s limited to your “lead” children’s worker.
May 18-20: Warmth Summit. This new event is for staffpersons whose ministry involves such issues as spiritual care, visitation, and assimilation.
As bishop, I encourage churches and pastors to make sure their staffpersons are able to attend one of these summits if it is in their area of specialization.