Episcopal Candidate, Part II

What is one to do if one wants to be a United Methodist Bishop? As I noted before, if one can get a gig leading another Annual Conference in one’s jurisdiction in morning bible study, one can dramatically increase one’s visibility. The theory goes that if one does a good job, one might gain votes at the next Jurisdictional Conference.

My concern is about whether or not such “gigs” are rewarded on the basis of launching or promoting episcopal candidates. While the connection seems obvious to me, it is covert. No one at Annual Conference dared mention that our “guest Bible Study leader” might be being presented as an episcopal candidate.

Ok, no one but me. Everyone with whom I brought up the possibility shrugged it off our outright denied that it could be the case. I finally did get one person to acknowledge what was going on, that said Elder was indeed being presented as an episcopal candidate, and that said Elder was a choice of the current Bishops to be an episcopal candidate.

One of the most frustrating things for me in the family system we call The United Methodist Church is when we refuse to say things that are obvious but simply not to be said.

Isn’t it time we were willing to name things what they are?

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1 Response to Episcopal Candidate, Part II

  1. Richard H says:

    As I read leadership literature, one feature touted as an essential part of long term organizational success is having a plan for leadership continuance that maintains the vision & purpose of the organization. As United Methodists that kind of planning is ruled out at the beginning. Think, for example, of the large churches in the Texas Annual Conference. I hear that Jim Moore at St. Lukes in Houston is nearing retirement. If St. Lukes has a clear and biblical sense of mission and is successful in achieving it – Jim Moore has a high reputation so one would hope this is so – then Jim and the church should be concerned about pastoral succession. Now being a large rich church, tradition dictates that they can exert the influence to get who they want. But wouldn’t it make some sense to have a successor in place as an associate – then perhaps a co-pastor – for the last year or three of Jim Moore’s tenure?

    What about Bishops? If you have a decent bishop who is leading the conference well, can you not imagine that that bishop might want to see that mission & vision continue? Can you not imagine that said bishop might want to exert influence to help make that happen? Seems easy to imagine. But as you say, as easy as that is to imagine, as wise as it might seem, we refuse to talk about it or make the process transparent.

    Here’s my vote for transparency.

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