Monday, October 19, 2009

Criteria for a new Conference Superintendent

A member of the search team for the replacement Superintendent for the Pacific Southwest Conference approached me the other day to ask me if I had any ideas of suitable candidates for the next Superintendent. I must confess that I have served churches under a number of Superintendents and Evelyn Johnson is one of the finest leaders I have ever had. She is clear, decisive, honest and fair. Her heart beats for the local church and she champions new initiatives to grow the church and God's kingdom.
The role of Superintendent is horrendous. It is filled with responsibility and endowed with little authority. Between denominational leadership and local congregational polity, Superintendents are often the ones called in to clean up messes and settle fights. So when asked, I had to pause. What I submit below are a series of disqualifications, exclusions for any candidate. We did this process at Salem Covenant when we went from a Council to Team Leadership model. We spent hours defining what "the senior pastor would NOT do." It was both weird and amazingly liberating. I was set free to preach, pray and lead. Here are some thoughts about who should NOT be a Superintendent and below, who SHOULD be a candidate.
1. Someone who sees the position as a promotion
2. Someone who has always wanted to return to California
3. Someone who needs to leave the church (position) where he/she is serving
4. Someone who believes he/she is entitled to the position
5. Someone who loves going to meetings
6. Someone who has always been loyal to the status quo
7. Someone who does not think out of the box


1. Someone who loves the local church
2. Someone who gets both emerging best practices and the need for new change
3. Someone who know how to empower others
4. Someone who demands team performance
5. Someone who is not afraid to speak the truth to pastors & church leaders
6. Someone who is intolerant of waste
7. Someone who is passionate for God’s kingdom to grow

Any more thoughts?


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