“Paul led our high-octane board of directors (including a college president, two state legislators, and a Wachovia vice president) in a day-long retreat that helped us define responsibilities and roles.
He used work from Parker Palmer, insights from systems management theory, and brought us to a close with the Eucharist!
In his very being, Paul is always creatively weaving his first class spirit, his keen intellect, his unending good humor, and his deep dedication in wonderful synthesis.
He is a leader of unmatched substance.”
— Rev. Bruce E. Stanley,
Director, Methodist Home
Paul has served as assistant to two bishops in the past seven years.
These partnerships have allowed him to see the responsibilities of a bishop and understand the depth of commitment required to fulfill the demands of the episcopal office.
“As I look at the rhythm and cycle of a conference year,” Paul said, “I am mindful of the responsibilities placed upon our episcopal leaders. The bishop constantly holds the vision of the church before us, teaching and guarding the faith in a way that invites others into a life of discipleship. While our mission, expressed in the Great Commission, does not change, the vision is always tied to the immediate context of an annual conference, local church, or community.”
“On a very practical level, an annual conference can fulfill this mission by starting new congregations, who from the very beginning understand they will also birth additional communities of faith and new churches.”
The fruit of the Spirit is a primary filter Paul uses in ministry and partnership with others. “The filter I use when I’m engaged with others is the ‘fruit of the Spirit’. I gently ask myself and others, ‘Are we being kind? Are we patient? Do we express genuine love? Are we joyful? Will this lead to peace? Am I exercising self-control?’ In this way, we reflect the same mind in us that was in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“The language of leadership is not simply about effectiveness; it is fruitfulness. For this reason, I believe every congregation can be a fruitful, missional, and evangelistic congregation. Congregations are transformed more fully into the Body of Christ in the same way in which we as individuals are made into the image of Christ, by immersing ourselves in the means of grace.”
© 2008 NC Conference SEJ Delegation
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