At a meeting on Feb. 22, the Conference Connectional Table (CCT) reviewed the proposal for staff reorganization and raised questions about some aspects of the plan.
The proposal calls for four staff leaders to function as a team to resource local churches in becoming “healthy congregations . . . making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
The four staff positions in the original proposal align with the four teams of the Connectional Table structure. New positions created in the plan are Christian Formation Team Coordinator, Outreach Team Coordinator, and Stewardship Team Coordinator. The Leadership Team would be added to the role of the executive director of Connectional Ministries and would not create an opening for employment. The CCT expressed concern that no one was specifically designated to lead or oversee the work of church revitalization.
Bishop Al Gwinn and CCT Chairperson Emily Innes reflected on the concerns with Executive Director of Connectional Ministries Carol Goehring. Together these members of the Connectional Table recommend a refined proposal for staffing.
The new plan does not change the number of persons to be hired. It does not change the financial commitment of the North Carolina Conference. It creates a new position of Leadership Team Coordinator and transfers church revitalization to the portfolio of the executive director who will continue to direct the Connectional Ministries Staff and conference ministries.
The staff position of Stewardship Team Coordinator will not be filled. Conference Treasurer Christine Dodson has been the staff leader for the Stewardship Team and will continue in that support role.
The Christian Formation Team Coordinator position is yet to be filled, although a search team is working on this. The Outreach Team Coordinator is now filled. The Leadership Team Coordinator position is announced and the job description is posted on the Conference website and other sites until March 20. The fourth team member is the Executive Director of Connectional Ministries and Church Revitalization.
“We are reorganizing to direct more of the resources of the Conference to the local church, to provide support for transformation of existing congregations. The model is the best we could envision, and we remain committed to the vision of ‘healthy congregations and effective leaders making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,’” said the Rev. Carol Goehring.
“This is, however, an adaptive situation. We are refining the proposal after listening to the collective wisdom of the Conference leaders,” she said.
Goehring calls the process of change and the realignment of staff “fluid,” allowing for individual skill sets and spiritual gifts to influence the team’s capacity to effect positive outcomes.
“It is not possible to anticipate every detail of the new model for Connectional Ministries, but we believe God is in the plans we are developing and will lead us into a new day in the North Carolina Conference,” Goehring said.