Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Pastors are appointed by a Bishop to local churches in the FMCUSA, they are not hired by the local church. The Bishop consults with a team of lay and clergy leaders that you elect annually to this role at Annual Conference.  That team is called the Ministerial Appointments Committee (MAC). A video describing the MAC process for a church and pastor in transition can be viewed on youtube.

The FMCUSA and NCC can be viewed as a large, complex organization with many sites engaged in fulfilling its mission. We do not view our churches as local silos but as part of a large connection engaged in large-scale blessing of the world with Christ’s good news.  Our MAC and Ministerial Education and Guidance Board systems are developed to provide the best possible screening, training and pairing of quality spiritual leadership with a congregation’s missional purpose and needs.

During this time of year, pastors and the local church delegates are asked to provide annual feedback to the MAC regarding their perceived health of pastoral fit. There are many tools we employ to gauge the health and vitality of a pastor/church fit annually. The annual MAC report is one such tool. Annual interviews with the superintendent, monthly reporting, monthly meetings with peers, coaching, church profiles developed by local church boards, tri-annual congregational review of church and pastoral effectiveness – and good old fashioned as-needed phone calls and visits are used as well. Your pastor, your board, your NCC MEG and MAC and YOU are constantly looking for ways to get it right. Pray for your pastor and delegate during this process. Pray for your church. Pray without ceasing!

Compassionate Hope for the Future

Nelson Mandela wrote, “Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” Scripture tells us that Jesus “had compassion on them, for they were as sheep without a shepherd.”

February is COMPASSION MONTH in the NCC. We encourage every church and each follower of Jesus to consider ways of acting with true compassion for those who surround us – often invisibly – in suffering and pain. The Body of Christ still operates today to bring healing and hope.

We expect compassion to be a way of life for Christ followers, not merely something done via a monthly minder nor accomplished by writing a check or uttering a prayer alone. Though checks and prayers are both powerful and effective, we can act with compassion daily.

Still, consider supporting your front line NCC and FMCUSA ministries that extend God’s compassion to areas of great need.

Olive Branch Mission daily tends to the needs of hundreds who would be without shelter or food in the city of Chicago. Not only providing a safe place to stay (though that alone is tremendous) – OBM is one of the country’s most successful addiction rehab centers, its power found through transformed lives centered in Jesus lived in community.

Hearthstone Communities is an award winning and superb example of the best continuous care services available to aging Americans. In addition, Hearthstone provides McHenry County Illinois’ best early learning center, educating children who could not afford enriching young childhood educational experiences on their own. The state cuts funds but the need continues to grow. How will the church of Jesus respond?

International Child Care Ministries provides children and their families all over the world a chance for education, food, medicine and the loving support that enables them to break the cycle of poverty and have profoundly positive influences within their communities.

The Set Free Movement is an FMC based organization which not only advocated to end human trafficking but is actually doing it. Annually the enslaved are set free, laws are enforced and safe houses (including the one operated by Ginger Coakley in Illinois) are operated.

How will you support compassion this month?