“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
Dear Friends in the SW District:
In October 2012, we started a process in the SW District to develop a collective missional strategy through the building up of strong directional, operational and task teams. We decided that a group of 12 clergy and lay leaders will conform as an Operational Team to work together on developing a missional strategy for this District.
After several months of building trust, practicing spiritual disciplines, creating a covenant, developing a Ministry Action Plan (MAP) and dreaming about new ways to advance the mission of God in our area, we came up with the following:
SW District Vision
God calls us to be a community of Christ followers with a passionate and contagious love for God, for one another and for our neighbors.
SW District Mission
Our mission is to Discover, Develop and Deploy Passionate Spiritual Leaders to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
SW District Values
- Everyone is a creation of God and of sacred worth (Child of God/Person of Worth or "COGPOW") and God’s grace is for all.
- The Church in the Wesleyan Tradition exists to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
- We believe that fruitful ministry occurs most often in teams of disciples using their gifts for the sake of God’s mission.
How are we going to accomplish all that?
- Requiring that all Pastors under appointment would participate in Clergy Area Teams
- Encouraging the formation of District Laity teams
- Recruiting passionate disciples to become passionate leaders and pastors through our Candidacy Process (DCom)
- Discovering churches and leaders to adopt churches/establishing strategic partnerships, starting second sites
- Training people to lead Task, Operational and Directional teams within the District ministries
- Through our Charge Conferences: this year we are going to hold 3 “Supercharged Conferences”: one in the North portion of our District (Christ Venice), one in the South (Estero) and one in the East (First Sebring)
- The THRIVE Conference (District Training Event) planned and executed by our SW District Congregational Vitality Team
- The ACTIVATE Conferences (in partnership with TMS Global)
- The Church Growth Plan process, and specific interventions and networking with declining churches
- Our Quarterly Clergy Team Meetings (January, April, September and November)
- FreshX Strategies and Church/School Partnerships
- Leadership Training Events: Generative Leadership Training, SLI Facilitator Training and Global Leadership Summit
In the SW District, we believe that FRUITFUL MINISTRY happens most often through strong teams of passionate spiritual leaders who have a heart for advancing the mission of God in this area.
What do we mean by “team”?
- Team: a group organized to work together for a common goal or purpose
- Teamwork: the cooperative effort by members of a team to achieve a common goal
- Team player: a person willing to quit acting as a “heroic solo leader”, accepting that no one has all the gifts / the Holy Spirit is still rising up people with diverse skills-sets
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 teaches us that ministry is not for lone rangers
- Trying to handle life (or ministry) alone is a unwise, very risky business
Reasons to work in teams:
- Because of our own weakness: “If one person falls, the other can reach out and help” (v. 10). We are weak and prone to stumble and fall. We live in a world where stumbling and standing up is very difficult and requires the help of others. Prevention is better accomplished when we can trust others. Restoration and rehabilitation is better accomplished through team work.
- Because of our own vulnerability: “Two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?” (v. 11). Because of the fallen world we live in, we may need other people’s skills, gifts and expertise in order to thrive (for instance, sports teams).
- Because there are assailants: “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer” (v. 12). The power of evil is real in this world! An attacker may overpower one person alone, but a team would be able to overcome any attacks. That’s why “Three are even better, a triple-braided cord is not easily broken”.
Consequences of failing to work in teams
- It shows that we lack in vision and discernment: We fail to discover and develop others to reach their full potential. We fail to discern God’s gifts in others and to deploy them according to their giftedness.
- It shows we believe we are indispensable: It shows we believe no one can replace us or do it better.
- It prevents us from fruitful ministry: We are trapped in micro-managing, taking time from the main purpose of our office: a ministry of Word, Sacrament, Order, and Service.
- It produces burnout: We lose the joy in our call to ministry, we get sick and exhausted.
- It prevents others from stepping up and joining in the mission of the church: We fail to discover, develop and deploy leaders.
- It produces frustration because of ineffectiveness: People grow disenchanted and angry because “nothing seems to work right”.
What do we mean by “fruitful ministry”?
- Developing an environment of trust and genuine care for each other where members feel loved, supported and affirmed,
- Embracing the freedom to develop people’s gifts and graces,
- Opening space for creativity and innovation to face adaptive challenges,
- Learning from failures and creating new opportunities for greater fruitfulness, and
- Excitement and enthusiasm about what God is doing through the team.
In Christ’s amazing love and grace,
South West District faith communities will gather for one of three super-charged events. We will have several inspirational speakers as well as worship, celebration, connection and the business of the charge conference.
This is your church's charged conference. Mandatory attendance for all clergy.
The only form we require to be sent into the District Office before charge conference is the clergy compensation form. Please submit that form no later than October 1, 2018. All other forms should be submitted with the charge conference packet on the day of the event.
DID YOU HAVE A CHANGE IN APPOINTMENT?
Did you have a change in appointment? There are some things to be aware of with this new change. If you had a change in appointment you will need to re-enroll in the UMPIP plan because the change in churches is a change in employers with Wespath. Therefore it is necessary to complete the UMPIP enrollment form and submit it to Wespath to be re-enrolled in the plan. The form will also require a signature of the Business Manager or whomever is responsible for your payroll. Please click on the 2018 UMPIP Contribution Form to re-enroll or change your contribution elections.
Are you getting your 1% match to your CRSP pension plan by satisfying your 1% to the UMPIP pension plan? If you have a parsonage, your 1% will need to allow for the calculation for the parsonage as part of your total compensation package. Remember, your parsonage is calculated as 25% of your salary.
Some things to consider that could impact your 1% match:
- Salary change
- Housing allowance change
- Moving Expense
- A change in church appointment
As of 2018 the tax law changed regarding moving expenses. If you are reimbursed or if your church paid the moving expense directly to the movers, the moving expense is now taxable income and is also pension eligible. To receive money into your pension plan on the moving expense, please ensure you send in the completed Moving Clergy Expense Form to the district office before the end of the 2018 tax year. For additional information on the moving expense tax change, please refer to the link on Moving Expense Q&A.