We are voting on whether we should have term limits for bishops? So I am curious, what do you value about the role of the bishop? What do you think is the most important things the bishops do to lead the conference forward? By the way, the vote didn’t pass…they will still serve for life, but nonetheless I am interested in what you think? What do we need bishops to do for us to be the church God is calling us to be?
Role of Bishop
April 30, 2012
Comments on: "Role of Bishop" (3)
I think term limits for bishops would be a good thing. We need some way to make sure bishops are accountable. The way it is now, once they’re in they can, and do (in some cases), advocate for their own political agendas and ungodly causes rather than upholding the Discipline and the historic, orthodox and Wesleyan faith. And we have them for life, even after they retire they still come to GC and push their agendas. There MUST be some way to hold them accountable and remove them if they do such things. A lifetime appointment for bishops would be fine if they were all godly men and women. But unfortunately that’s not the case.
I can only imagine that the role of the bishop is difficult, and in Minnesota in particular, it is going to be a whole lot more difficult by adding the Dakotas Annual Conference. When I read Friedman’s book “The World is Flat” the first question I asked myself was why do we have Bishops? If the world is really flattening and hierarchical structures are a thing of the past, then why Bishops? It can be used in the same context for local congregations: why do they need a pastor? They could do God’s work together without one.
We need to be more limber as a denomination. In our structure, in our costs, and in our mission.
Invitation has to permeate our church structures, or our churches will continue to decline. We know for a fact that unless pastors are invitational, neither will their parishioners be. The role of today’s leader in the church is not just to manage, but to be out in the mission field. So that’s what Bishops can do. Are THEY spending 30% of their regular workweek, hanging out in coffee shops, talking to baristas, praying for openings in every day conversation to talk about faith with their unchurched, unconnected bankers and dog-sitters and personal trainers and house painters et al? Are they inviting those persons into a relationship with Christ and with the church? Are they talking about their experiences in the mission field publicly, with their cabinets and in their sermons around their Conferences? This is what we’re asking pastors to do. Bishops can lead the way.