21 Steps to a Vital Pastor/Parish Relations Committee Rev. Kendall Waller, Heartland Central & South District Superintendent 1. Pray regularly for your pastor! 2. You are required to meet 4 times per year; 1/per month is recommended in the pastor’s 1st year (and more often as needs require). 3. There can be no meetings without the pastor present (exceptions can only be granted by the pastor or the District Superintendent). We don’t do secret or “parking lot” meetings. 4. Confidentiality is a nonnegotiable. • Written minutes should be kept of each meeting. 5. Only church members can serve on the PPRC. • The Lay Leader and the Lay Delegate to AC serve on the PPRC. • Two people from the same household cannot serve on the PPRC. • Family members of the pastor or staff may not serve on the PPRC. • No person should serve on the PPR who does not keep the minimum expectations of a church member. • Members of the PPR should be willing to support the giving of 100% to apportionments and the polity of the United Methodist Church. 6. The PPRC is not the Pastor’s supervisor, the District Superintendent has that role. 7. The PPRC’s work is consultative/interpretive. It is also collaborative and supportive. • The job description of the PPRC and the job description of the pastor are set forth in The (current) Book of Discipline. • These should be annually reviewed. 8. Healthy PPRC’s function as a “Heat Shield” or advocate for the pastor, in order to make it possible for the pastor to lead rather than simply manage the church. 9. The primary criterion for evaluating the pastor should be the “mission” of the church. 10. The Pastor is the supervisor for all staff. The PPRC would do well to support that responsibility. • Insubordination never furthers the mission of the church. 11. In multi-staffed churches, we recommend functioning as a PPRC rather than a SPRC. In other words, delegate hiring, firing, and evaluation of the staff to the pastor. 12. Don’t get triangulated. Triangulation Theory 101 Victim Triangulation Theory 101 Victim Perpetrator Triangulation Theory 101 Rescuer Victim Perpetrator Triangulation Theory 101 Rescuer (Dad) Victim (Child) Perpetrator Mommy) 12. Don’t get triangulated. If there are complaints follow these steps: 1) First, direct the person to speak with the pastor. 2) If the person and the pastor cannot resolve it, then the issue is taken to the PPRC. 3) If the PPRC cannot resolve the issue, then the PPRC or Pastor invites the help of the District Superintendent. 4) Do not deal with anonymous. Complainants need to be named (exceptions are in cases of alleged abuse). 5) It is not the job of the PPRC chair to solve problems, only to convene the committee and make sure that issues are dealt with fairly. 6) If I get a call/letter/email, this is how I will handle it. . . . . 13. The PPRC recommends salary to the Church Council, after consulting with the Finance Committee; the Church Council makes recommendations to the Church Conference. 14. Evaluations occur in the Fall. This is the process: 1) The pastor fills out a selfevaluation and sends it to the District Superintendent. 2) The PPRC evaluates the pastor, and then shares their evaluation with the pastor before sending it to the District Superintendent. 3) The District Superintendent reviews both the pastor’s selfevaluation and the PPRC’s evaluation and, after meeting with the pastor, establishes the pastor’s goals for the year. These goals are sent to the PPRC so that together the PPRC and the pastor can work on them in the coming year. 4) The evaluations are geared to helping the pastor become more effective. 5) Last year’s evaluations/goals should be regularly reviewed. 15. A typical PPRC meeting should be: ⅓ Leadership Development; ⅓ Review of Goals; ⅓ Problem Solving. 16. The Consultations occur in December (the PPRC is asked if they recommend that the Pastor “stay,” “move,” or “either”). The PPRC should meet with the pastor to share their recommendation to the Bishop. I strongly recommend that on-coming PPRC members be included in that “consultative” decision. • Do not take surveys or polls. You have been chosen for this position for YOUR perspectives. Surveys and polls triangulate members of the congregation, involve other non-elected persons in the conversation, and can ultimately lead to a division in the congregation. • Please do not give your pastor a positive/glowing evaluation and, one month later, send in a recommendation to the Bishop that your pastor be moved! 17. How can the PPRC work with the District Superintendent to hold the Pastor accountable for (measureable) goals? • Tie the achievement of (measureable) goals to salary. • Make it clear that if (measureable) goals aren’t achieved, you will not be recommending that he/she be returned. • Do NOT hold pastors accountable for goals without also giving them authority to lead! An Accountable Leadership Model • Bureaucratic: Responsibility – Authority = Safe but not Effective An Accountable Leadership Model • Bureaucratic: Responsibility – Authority = Safe but not Effective • Autocratic: Responsibility + Authority – Accountability = Effective but not Safe An Accountable Leadership Model • Bureaucratic: Responsibility – Authority = Safe but not Effective • Autocratic: Responsibility + Authority – Accountability = Effective but not Safe • Accountable Leader: Responsibility + Authority + Accountability • Do NOT hold pastors accountable for goals without also giving them authority to lead. 18. Total Staff Budgets should not exceed more than 50% of the church’s expected general budget receipts. A 19. The PPR Chair and the Chair of Trustees are expected to make an annual review of the parsonage, in order to make recommendations to the Trustees for its upkeep. 20. Leadership happens best when we function as a team. Pastors are advised to meet regularly and often with the PPR Chair, Lay Leader, and Church Council Chair. Make a Covenant that you will not “surprise” each other. 21. Pray regularly for your pastor!