New Clergygreenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread
Does the AME Church have a system for attracting and reciving new clergy? Many denominations do recruitment at Colleges, Universities and Seminaries seeking out the best and the brightest. How do we attract our clergy? Do we rely on word of mouth or is there a systemaic way that conferences, districts or even Bishops attract people to the denomination or track those who are members of the denomination as they progress through their studies. The Bible says study to show thy self approved." Are we making sure that we are securing the services of those who are the best and the brightest?
-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000
The AME Church doesn't seem to have a system for attracting and retaining new, qualified clergy because they are so busy receiving clergy based on politic. I don't believe our Bishops could access a database and see who might be available across the connection.
-- Anonymous, January 31, 2001
I have to respond to this question since I am going through the process right now with the Board of Examiners of coming into the AME denomination. I am coming in from another denomination. I am in the fifth district Bishop Bryants district. What attracted me to the AME denomination in terms of wanting to be a minister was actually my local church, Wayman Chapel in Billings, Montana the church and Pastor James Defoe recruited me and assisted me in hearing God's plan for me. My presiding elder Dr. Ellis Casson was the one who made the most impression on me, for he has been in ministry for 42 years and is still on fire for God and the AME church. I thought, wow! I want to be a part of a denomination that is looking to the future and clergy are excited about being a part of. There have been no politics, I had to present documents to the board of examiners, regarding my previous denomination, seminary degree, church experience etc. I may not be the brightest, but I have been trained well. The other thing that attracts me to this denomination, is that my Bishop and Presiding elder listen to me. I feel called to rural ministry. I like planting churchs and that calling is respected in the AME church. When I was United Methodist, the board of ordained ministry was not interested in what I felt was my calling, I was not being heard. There is one woman in my church who I know is called to ordained ministry she is Mexican, I will tell my presiding elder about her. From my experience the best way to attract young people is to begin with the local church, identify members of the congregation whom you feel is called to ministry, instill in them a thirst for higher education. By the way all mainline denominations are struggling with this very issue.
-- Anonymous, February 01, 2001