“Healthy Clergy, Healthy Connection” was the theme of this year’s Iowa United Methodist School for Ministry. The annual continuing education event was held on the shores of Lake Rathbun in Appanoose County last week.
Dr. Peter L. Steinke, a pastor, therapist, educator, and church consultant, addressed the changing times of our culture and the church’s response. “About 85% of churches agree that they need to change (to reach new people for Jesus Christ), but only 5% have taken any action.”
Healthy churches can take the problems they face and turn them into opportunities, he asserted. We are much more resilient when we know our purpose. When disagreements and conflicts arise—as they always will—our purpose becomes a tool for making healthy decisions that serves God’s mission in the world.
Two other lecturers participated in the event. Dr. Kirk Byron Jones, affectionately referred to as “The Preacher’s Teacher,” addressed the need for balance between the personal lives and ministry roles of church leaders. Dr. W. Craig Gilliam, the Coordinator of Congregational Services for JustPeace, offered his expertise in conflict transformation in congregations, leadership education, team building, and group process.
Richard and Trish Bruxvoort Colligan of Strawberry Point served as worship leaders for the week. This year $10,000 in apportionment gifts from the United Methodist churches of Iowa helped to support the Iowa School for Ministry.