Anxious times (like now) call for non-anxious leaders

June 26, 2019
Submitted by Bill Selby
President and Center Mentor, Center for Pastoral Effectiveness

So there's some anxiety in the United Methodist denomination! Perhaps more than usual? But it's the same anxiety felt since the beginning of creation whenever our reptilian brains kick in. A contemporary extreme of this reptilian brain would be road rage. But given the right stimulus, you've probably witnessed a similar reaction in a church board meeting. Sometimes it's just tough to separate the emotion from the intellect, the church family from the personal family. And there you are, the minister, caught with your Discipline down but can’t find the paragraph to deal with this ”stuff.”

This was how the Center for Pastoral Effectiveness came to be. We are a resource for clergy to find the emotional “center” for their leadership to blossom, to deflect the bruising, and to be able to discern what of this anxiety “stuff” is about you and what of this is about them.

The Center hit a nerve with clergy leadership 20 years ago and 1,000 alumni would affirm that this may be “the most valuable continuing education experience.” (Especially now!) These are important times for your leadership as clergy - leadership that stays connected to your people but does not get emotionally enmeshed in their anxiety so you don’t lose what is, you believed to be, "the joy of your call.”

The next Mountain Sky Centers for Pastoral Effectiveness - Track l are scheduled to begin Sept. 9-11 in Bozeman Montana, Oct. 14-16 in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. This Center experience of six three-day retreats is spread of 18 months giving you time to integrate the understandings of family systems into your everyday, spread the cost out into three calendar years, and gain 14 continuing education units. We guaranteed you will appreciate this journey.

For registration or information, contact Bill Selby, Center Mentor at for Colorado, and Derf Bergman at for Montana. If you would like a recommendation by one of our alumni, let me know or just meet one at your next district get-together. They're there! For those alumni of Track l, check out our scheduled on our website for Track ll and Track lll coming up soon.

”Remember, no conversation ends with a period.” Selby