I was re-introduced to an interesting topic the other day reading through the Wesley blog. The question arises about the lack of “great” preachers in the UMC, or any denomination for that matter. There were then comments that went on to decry the pastor as administrator and even the pastor as chaplain (visitor to the elderly, ill, injured, imprisoned, etc.) It got me to thinking that maybe I ought to lay out my current thoughts on my priorities, especially as it relates to the UMC Discipline. The Board of Ordained Ministry in the California-Pacific Annual Conference makes candidates answer a question about the duties of a pastor, and the 2004 Discipline has definitely cleaned up the guidelines to make them a little more manageable to digest.
So maybe I ought to look at the first set I had to answer according to the BoOM Standards, and the ones that are now in place and rank them according to my gifts/talents, interest, and needs for the local church I serve. I think that is the only way I can conscientiously answer. To give it according to what the standard should be would be to harm another pastor, or another congregation. So be prepared for a long post to come.