The 2016 General Conference lifted ¶349 and affirmed the need for a process for reflecting on one’s effectiveness in ministry and discerning God’s call for serving with excellence in whatever capacity one’s calling leads. Since February 2018, a 15-person Planning Team consisting of members of the West Ohio Conference Laity, Board of Ordained Ministry, the Appointive Cabinet, and the Office of Ministry have been developing the process for caring for this work. It is our intent to affirm one’s body of work in ministry and to create a comprehensive plan for continued excellence. Our team created a name for this work, the Reflecting, Equipping, and Flourishing Process (REF).
The scriptural foundation for this process comes from James 1:22-25 – “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it – not forgetting what they have heard but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do.”
The first group to participate in the REF Process did so in September 2019 at the Nationwide Conference Center in Lewis Center, OH. The planning team listened intently to the feedback from the first group before preparing to launch the full process in 2022.
This Event will include exploration of one’s Emotional Quotient, learning about EQ Coaching, time set aside for spiritual reflection, and opportunities to connect with fellow leaders. Scientific data and research have shown that ministry cycles shift in eight-year increments, so all participants in REF will have been in ministry for at least eight years and will begin this journey together. After the Event, there will be a six-month period of self-reflection, coaching, and personal and professional development. There will also be special consideration given for those who are looking for paths of re-tooling, returning to school, and exploring creative paths for ministry.
The full launch will take place in February 2022.