“Some of us are waking up and asking, ‘Is this it? Is this all I’ve been working for?’” she said. “There’s too much fear holding us back… Fear is what causes those parking lot conversations where we attack decisions we just made in our church meetings inside.”
She will urge leaders to “live courageously in our personal journeys,” because “people can lead in much different ways when we awaken to the life God has called us to live and begin to stir up our gifts.”
Focusing more on engagement than expertise, King will use “integrated, interactive exercises” that people can take back to their churches to foster creative thinking, intentional planning, cooperation and shared responsibility.
She wants to help people figure out what to do, why and how. But the answer to “When?” is likely “Now”—whether it’s a community garden, an after-school program, health education or financial literacy classes, Bible studies in the community, or other ideas like those Bishop Peggy Johnson has been sharing in her talks with districts.
When it comes to identifying, recruiting and nominating new leaders—and we are in that season now—King suggests helping them consider not just what roles they are needed for, but the “Why” in their lives—why God may be calling them into a new ministry role, not just for the church but for their own personal development and discipleship experience.
King, an elder in the Texas Conference, previously served as Discipleship’s Director of Leadership for Congregational Vitality, designing and leading workshops and webinars, and coaching churches and leaders around the connection.
She formerly was Associate Pastor for Leadership and Laity Development at Jones Memorial UMC in Houston and also launched a totally online church. She also has a background in business sales and community development—both of which taught her to “listen to the people and understand their context and rhythms.”
What she has also learned and will eagerly teach are some other keys to fruitful ministry leadership:
- Building trust and support through clear communication of a church’s mission and goals.
- “Getting to know your people” through patient, attentive conversation.
- Having integrity and a firm commitment to follow-through.
- Getting out of ministry silos to work across lines and differences.
- Celebrating the journey and its achievements at all stages.
- Evaluating the bottom line and making needed adjustments to be both faithful and fruitful.
This training, she said, will be dynamic, unscripted but centered on trusting in the Holy Spirit. “I’m trusting that God will have already let people know why they are there, and that God will have assembled the spiritual gifts needed” to generate learning for vital ministry.