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Conference Table - Clergy Excellence

Excellence for Ministry - A Focus on the Agenda for the Center for Clergy Excellence:

This session will focus on the creation of a system that will enable clergy to be resourced and supported throughout their ministry. It will be held Tue., Nov. 28, 2006, at St. James United Methodist Church, Tampa. The chair of this session is the Rev. David Dodge, executive director of the Florida Conference Center for Clergy Excellence.


As we begin to identify what distinguishes a person as being “excellent” in ministry, there are certain baseline assumptions that apply to all who are licensed or ordained. These baseline assumptions represent the starting point from which one then moves to a deeper and more complete understanding of one’s ministry. The developed understanding results in a ministry that rises above the norm.

These baseline assumptions include the following:

  1. The primary mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Each clergy person must have this as his/her primary objective, and should be faithfully living into that expression of ministry.
  2. Each clergy person must have a certain set of skills. This skill set will vary from individual to individual, and from order to order. These skills include
  • A clear ability to proclaim the Word
  • A foundational understanding of Wesleyan theology and the ability
    to communicate that understanding within the individual’s particular ministry setting
  • The ability to discern God’s direction for one’s ministry and to lead
    people in following God’s leading.

With these understandings of what is fundamental we can then look to what defines excellence.


  • Faithfulness to call

  • Willingness to put faithfulness to call over personal comfort/advancement/desires

  • Constantly being called and pushed beyond the setting of ministry – going to the uncomfortable settings

  • Seeks mentors for self and mentors others in ministry

  • Aware of one’s own characteristics, needs and issues

  • Takes initiative to address identified personal and/or vocational needs

  • Practices a vibrant, living expression of the spiritual disciplines resulting in a heart of resiliency

  • Finds ways of being engaged in the community beyond the local church, bridging the community and the church by representing Christ in the community, engaging the community and reframing the story of the church in the context of the community

  • Possesses an inner sense of accountability

  • Gives evidence of living a balanced, healthy life

  • Gives evidence of trust and personal authority

  • Is a producer of the culture of the church

Suggested Readings

God’s Potters: Pastoral Leadership and the Shaping of Congregations by Jackson w. Carroll. Published by Eerdmans, 2006

Resurrecting Excellence: Shaping Faithful Christian Ministry by L. Gregory Jones and Kevin R. Armstrong. Published by Eerdmans, 2006.

The Conference Table schedule:

10:30  a.m.


11:00  a.m.  Conference Table begins
1-1:30  p.m. Lunch (nominal charge to participants)
4:00  p.m. Conference Table ends


All Conference Table gatherings are web cast live so those who are not able to attend may access the session on their home or office computer while it is taking place. Interested individuals may enter the webcast on the day of each event by visiting the conference Web site at and clicking on the webcast button.

Click here to register for Conference Table 16