Step 8 of the Bishop’s Mission Plan: Grow Passionate and Excellent Clergy

Every pastor’s call is different. Yet there are ways in which the response to the call is the same, especially in the United Methodist Church. Pastors are required to receive education, whether through the course of study or seminary, and there is an expectation that learning and growing more proficient in key areas of pastoral leadership will be a lifelong process. Step 8 of the Bishop’s Mission Plan focuses on providing new and better resources to help clergy meet the needs of a changing world.
The level of responsibility for pastors in the United Methodist Church today is much more like the world of Paul in the earliest days of the church than it was in the more recent past, says Bishop Gary E. Mueller. 
“A pastor is called to be the spiritual leader to a congregation and sometimes, perhaps often, they feel ill-equipped to lead a congregation with excellence and passion,” he said. “And perhaps the training or resources currently provided don’t support the pastor as much as they could in this rapidly changing world.”
Step 8 calls for coaching and mentoring of pastors so they can gain expertise and competence in key areas for spiritual leaders: personal discipleship, preaching, evangelism, mission-field engagement, stewardship and equipping laity for ministry. 
According to the plan, demonstration of these basic competencies is needed to create and sustain vital churches that engage with the mission field.
“The tools, training and resources that pastors need so that they can lead with passion and excellence will be developed and provided,” said Mueller. “We will be helping pastors to be the kind of spiritual leader God is calling them to be, and to be the type of leaders they want to be.”