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Four Areas of Focus: Developing Leaders

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All Christians are called to a ministry of sharing God’s love in the world. Some have the vocation of leading the church in its work of forming disciples and equipping congregations to live out God’s mission in the world.

The United Methodist Church recognizes the critical importance of developing new leaders to guide the church through changing times. Principled, visionary and effective ordained and lay leaders  help United Methodists grow in faith and in sharing God’s love with others.

The United Methodist Church is focusing on inviting and preparing young people, including women and people of color, to become clergy who lead the church in world-transforming ministry.

Training and sending laypeople is another focus. The early Methodist movement grew through the efforts of laity who led small groups, taught Bible study, provided outreach ministry and led the administrative life of the church. Developing and nurturing strong lay leaders is another important component of creating a church fully engaged in the work of making disciples for the transformation of the world.

Transformation Stories
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Women in the Southeastern Jurisdiction pray for Bishops-elect Sue Haupert-Johnson (in green-and-blue) and Sharma Lewis (in yellow-and-white) a day before their consecration. United Methodists already have elected a record number of women bishops this year. Photo by Jasmine Haynes, Mississippi Conference

New women bishops make history

U.S. delegates have elected more women bishops than in any previous class of United Methodist episcopal leaders. Four are African American. Read More

Joy is evident as the Rev. Sharma Lewis, center, of the North Georgia Conference is elected a United Methodist bishop on the first ballot July 13 by the denomination’s Southeastern Jurisdiction. Lewis is the first African-American woman to elected bishop by that jurisdiction. Photo by Ansley Brackin.

Southeastern elects first African-American woman as bishop

The Rev. Sharma Lewis of North Georgia is elected on first ballot of 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. Read More

Kevin John “Kejo” Maddela stands with another youth leader at Christmas Institute 2012 in the Philippines. Photo courtesy of Kevin John Maddela.

Philippines’ Christmas Institute helps youth find gifts

Young people spend the days after Christmas in a retreat geared just for them. “It is a remake of the heart-warming experience of John Wesley.” More

A new study from Duke University shows a

How thick is the stained-glass ceiling?

A new National Congregations Study report from Duke University finds that only 11 percent of U.S. congregations are led by women. Read More

The Rev. Stefan Pfister mentors Cambodian pastors. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Stefan Pfister.

The five most difficult questions for pastors

People may expect pastors to always know what to say, but sometimes that’s not easy. During Pastor Appreciation Month, clergy talk about their most challenging conversations. More