An effective committee on nominations and leader development identifies, develops, deploys, evaluates, and monitors Christian spiritual leadership so that the congregation carries out the ministries for transformation of the community. The committee guides church leaders (whether called a church council or administrative board or another name) on matters regarding laity in leadership of the congregation.
Spiritual Gifts and Qualifications Helpful for the Committee
This committee is made of of no more than nine people, one of whom must be a young adult. One-third of this committee is elected annually by the charge conference. The committee is to elect people who have one or more of these spiritual gifts: administration, discernment, exhortation (encouragement), helping, knowledge, servanthood, teaching, and wisdom. Members of this committee should show evidence of growing discipleship and willingness to help others identify their places of ministry. The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church states that the pastor shall be the chair of the group and a layperson shall be vice-chair who may represent the committee at meetings of the church leadership team.
Responsibilities of the Committee
- Members of this committee are to be attentive to their own Christian spiritual lives and engaged in biblical and theological reflection about God’s call and the mission of the church. This committee helps members of the church identify their calls from God, their leadership gifts, and places for Christian service.
- This committee leads the congregation to understand that God gives gifts, skills, and experiences to every individual within the body of Christ for ministry for the transformation of the world. Individual ministry may be lived out within personal relationships, in work or school settings, and in the congregation.
- This committee develops a system for becoming familiar with people in the congregation. It helps people discover their spiritual gifts, name their skills, interests, knowledge, and life experiences in addition to developing a system for tracking this information.
- This committee works cooperatively with other groups or individuals to prepare job descriptions that are adapted to the needs and organizational style of the church.
- This committee becomes familiar with the responsibilities for each leadership position and matches potential leaders with particular opportunities for spiritual leadership.
- This committee invites people to positions of spiritual leadership, receives their responses, and provides training and support for these individuals.
- This committee presents a nomination list to the charge conference for a church council chair, a committee on pastor (staff) parish relations and its chair, a board of trustees, a committee on finance (to include chair, financial secretary, and treasurer), a lay member to annual conference, and a lay leader. The committee works with the church council (or other leadership group) throughout the year to name other leaders for the ministry that fulfills the mission of the congregation.
Responsibilities of the Chairperson (the Pastor)
- Work in partnership with the layperson who is co-chair or vice chair to plan agendas and lead meetings.
- Work with the church council to develop a comprehensive plan for connecting growing Christian disciples with leadership opportunities based on the mission and vision of the congregation.
- Report to the church council and the charge conference a list of people nominated by the committee who have agreed to serve in positions that the charge conference elects.
- Provide resource materials and training opportunities for congregational leaders. (See suggestions in other sections of this booklet.)
- Review this material and read the Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation 2017-2020: Committee on Nominations and Leadership Development.
- Meet together as a committee soon after your election by the charge conference to plan your work. Engage the committee in Bible study and theological reflection to understand the work of discerning and articulating God’s call to individuals for ministry and leadership.
- Explore resources for helping Christians understand their God-given gifts and the connection of gifts with a call to ministry. Prepare yourself and the committee for building a congregational culture that links God’s call with the mission of making disciples who will be disciple makers. Consider ways to build comprehensive teaching and preaching about God’s call of people into the body of Christ to live fully, using their spiritual gifts and life experiences as they participate in God’s mission to the world.
- Check to see what records of potential leaders exist. Update these and plan to gather additional information.
- Involve all committee members in building a culture of leader development in your congregation. Talk with people about their skills, spiritual gifts, interests, and availability for leadership positions. Begin to think about the best ways to involve new people in leadership roles, paying attention to the rotation of lay leadership.
- With the church leadership team and others, review the mission and vision of your congregation and the needs of the community to determine which areas of responsibility will require what kinds of leaders during the coming year.
- Consider ways your committee can plan programs, workshops, and other ways to help individuals uncover their gifts for ministry, support individuals in their ministry, and provide leadership development training.
People and Agencies That Can Help
- Adults and youth in your church who are current leaders can identify others who might join the ministry.
- People in your community whose professional experiences might help with training.
- People and businesses in your community who are potential partners for fulfilling the ministry goals.
- InfoServ, the information service for the church, provides current information about United Methodist resources, programs, and staff services. Email: email@example.com; Website: infoserv.umc.org
- Jodi Cataldo (Laity Leadership), jcataldo@UMCdiscipleship.org, Discipleship Ministries, P.O. Box 340003, Nashville, TN 37203-0003; (877) 899-2780; www.umcdiscipleship.org.
Web and Print Resources
- Discipleship Ministries, toll free 1-877-899-2780, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.umcdiscipleship.org/leadership-resources
- Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation, 2017-2020: Nominations and Leadership Development (Cokesbury, 2016)
- Discover Your Spiritual Gifts by William J. Carter (Discipleship Resources; available through the Upper Room Bookstore)
- Selecting Church Leaders: A Practice in Spiritual Discernment by Chuck Olsen and Ellen Morseth (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2002)
- The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2016 (Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 2016)
- Understanding Spiritual Gifts by Mary Lou Redding (Upper Room Books, 2010)
- What Every Leader Needs to Know, www.upperroom.org/bookstore (small booklets are useful for study or as a one-hour workshop: Spiritual Leadership by Michael Bealla, Leading Meetings by Betsey Heavner, Mission and Vision by Carol F. Krau and Leading in Prayer by Betsey Heavner)
- Spiritual Gifts Assessment Tool. A free PDF download for individuals. http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/introduction-to-lay-ministry-the-basic-course