Extension Ministries

Elders in Extension Ministry: 

Appointments Elders may be appointed to a variety of settings under the provisions of ¶344.1: Appointments within the connectional structures of United Methodism; Appointments to extension ministries of elders in full connection under endorsement by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) and other ministry settings which the bishop and conference Board of Ordained Ministry may designate; Elders in service under the General Board of Global Ministries may be appointed to the ministries as listed above. They may be assigned to service either in annual conferences or central conferences, or with affiliated autonomous churches, independent churches, churches resulting from the union of Methodist churches and other communions, or in other denominational or ecumenical ministries; Elders may receive appointments beyond the ministry usually extended through the local United Methodist church and other institutions listed above when considered by the bishop and the annual conference Board of Ordained Ministry to be a true extension of the Christian ministry of the church. They may be appointed to a pastoral ministry in other Christian denominations, at the request of appropriate judicatory officers of that denomination. These ministries shall be initiated in missional response to the needs of persons in special circumstances and unique situations and shall reflect the commitment of the clergy to intentional fulfillment of their ordination vows to Service, Word, Sacrament, and Order.

These appointments shall be made only to positions related to adequate accountability structures, according to guidelines established by the board of ordained ministry and cabinet in the annual conferences .... (¶344.5).

Elders in Extension Ministry: Connectional Accountability

In addition to the accountability structure within the extension ministry setting itself, clergy in such appointments are expected to have a charge conference relationship in their home annual conference (¶344.3). If persons are appointed outside the bounds of their home conference, they are expected to hold affiliate charge conference relationships in a United Methodist church in the area where they are living.

Elders in extension ministry appointments must provide an annual report to the bishop, district superintendent, charge conference, and Board of Ordained Ministry. Those appointed outside the bounds of their annual conference must also submit a copy of this report to their affiliate charge conference and the bishop in the area where they are serving. A standardized report form (#2170) is available for use by annual conferences. It is to be supplemented by a narrative report of ministry, along with information regarding continuing education and evaluation.

Elders in Extension Ministry: Support

Accountability must be balanced by support. Therefore, the church has an equal concern and responsibility for the development of structures and programs which support those in extension ministry. The annual conference Board of Ordained Ministry is to provide "maximum contact with and support of persons" (¶632. 1 d) in such appointments.

The structure provided by the Board of Ordained Ministry through the Division of Ordained Ministry will vary according to the number of persons in this category of appointment. At a minimum there should be a member of the BOM who is responsible for maintaining contact with elders in extension ministry and lifting concerns raised by this constituency. When there are more than a few persons in extension ministry, it is advisable to establish a committee to work in this area. Although the committee chairperson must be a member of the BOM, committee membership is not limited to board members and may include persons who are themselves in extension ministry.

There are three primary areas of responsibility: transition into and out of extension ministry appointments; communication and contact with persons so appointed; and advocacy and interpretation of issues and concerns in this area. Functions in these areas may include (but are not limited to):

receiving and responding to annual reports received by persons in extension ministry
interpreting extension ministry through the board's annual report to the conference assisting in the placement of extension ministers on conference boards and agencies;
assisting them in making their talents and skills available to the conference and the local church
maintaining liaison with the Division of Ordained Ministry regarding the endorsement of conference members
serving as a resource to persons moving into or out of extension ministry settings; providing information on endorsement, certification, or retirement;  serving as a referral point for those returning to local church appointments; assisting with recruitment for persons to serve in extension ministry

The bishop, representatives of the cabinet, and an endorsed   representative from extension ministries within the board of ordained ministry shall provide an opportunity to meet annually with ordained clergy in extension ministries who perform their ministry within the bounds of annual conference.. .. (¶344.2b)